Social Media Marketing: Listen to Your Target Audience to Help Build Relationships Part 2

Listen to help build relationships with your target audience Source -
On Monday, we discussed the advantages of listening to your target audience. Now, let’s discuss how you can go about listening to your target audience via Google Alerts and the different social media networks.

By listening, your brand will be able to build relationships with your target audience, create superior content, and deliver exceptional experiences.  If you missed part 1, you can still review the advantages to listening to your target audience.

By paying attention to the ongoing social conversations in your industry, you can pick up on emerging trends, new customer pains, and other valuable information. Here are some ways that will help you follow your brand and industry easily.

Gathering information from a multiple of sources will give you well rounded view of your brand, industry, and target audience.

Different Methods to Listen to Your Target Audience

  1. Google Alerts and RSS Feeds
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter Hashtags
  4. Twitter
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Google+
  7. Blogs

#1 Set up Google Alerts and RSS feeds

When you create a Google Alert, you will receive email summaries on the subject matter you specify. Google Alerts will pick up anything included in Blogs, and you should follow any blogs that appear on your Google Alerts consistently. You should also identify any RSS feeds that consistently talk about your brand, competitors, and industry.

Different Google Alerts and RSS feeds you should follow

  • Your Brand
  • Keywords specific to your industry
  • Your Industry
  • Your Competitors

#2 Facebook

First, follow your competitor and listen for keywords or emerging trends.

Second, identify and participate in any Facebook groups that impact your brand. The more people in these groups, the more it gets promoted to their friends and social networks.

Next, organize different lists for different topics and influencers that you want to follow. These lists allow you to view and post to different groups or companies.

#3 Listening via Twitter Hashtags

Hashtags have become one of the best ways to monitor the discussion around a particular topic, trend or idea in your space.

Hashtags to Follow

  • Your Brand
  • Specific Keywords
  • Your Industry
  • Your Competitors
  • Your Competitors

#4 Listening on Twitter

First, conduct a couple of searches on your brand, keywords, industry, and your competitors. Identify the influencers, analysts, journalists, and other knowledgeable people in your arena who appear in your searches and follow them. Monitor what your influencers say and discover who is retweeting your influencers tweets.

Twitter Lists

  • Organize all of the people you identified into different Twitter lists.
  • Each list should be segmented/grouped together by similarities.
  • Twitter lists can be public or private.
  • Consider making your influencers group public to show that you are actively collecting information from knowledgeable sources.
  • Monitor what each group is saying.
  • If there are any complaints, develop a customer service method on how to handle the complaints.
  • Discover if you need to make tweaks to your services to satisfy your target audience.

#5 Listening on LinkedIn

Search for any groups based on your brand, industry, competitors, or keywords. Next, follow your competitors to monitor the conversations happening on their company pages. Finally, pay attention to any comments that are said on your company pages.

#6 Listening on G+

First, conduct a search on your brand, keywords, industry, and competitor and see what comes up.

Google+ Circles
Similar to Twitter lists, you can create different Google+ Circles of people. Each circle can have their own personas allowing you to tailor your communication based on the personas. When you notice people talking about your brand or industry, include them in one of your circles.

Google+ Hangouts
You can also use Google Hangouts makes to connect people in different circles. Google Hangouts gives you face time with your target audience on their terms.

#7 Listening on Blogs

Back in #1, you should have started following any blogs that appeared in your Google Alerts consistently. Listen for any news about your brand. Every once in a while you may choose to make a comment to show your target audience that you are listening, and this will indicate that you care.

Once you set your methods of listening, you may feel a little overwhelmed. However, you have access to an abundance of intelligence about your target audience to help you build relationships with your target audience.

My suggestions is to set aside some time once a week or take 30 minutes everyday just to listen(read). Don’t comment on anything or post anything. This is time for you to just learn about what people are saying. Take notes and make a list of action items.

When listening, look for consistencies and patterns. This will help you prioritize any action items you need to take. Look for potential marketing messages, or opportunities to connect with your target audience.

As you listen, remember to your purpose is to build stronger relationships with your target audience, so your brand can deliver exceptional experiences.

After reading today’s post, please comment on any ways you like to listen to your target audience via social media.

Take Care and Happy Listening.


Additional Social Media News and Resources

Getting your Social Media Audience to Share in this Weeks Social Media Discussion

Getting your Social Media Audience to Share Source: effectively in social media accomplishes two goals for Digital Marketing Managers and Social Media Marketers:

  1. Connect with your target audience in the form of social media audience.
  2. Ability to extend your reach when your social media audience shares about your brand for their social media connections to see.

When you accomplish goal number 2, this is similar to creating word-of-mouth marketing.

Importance of Getting your Social Media Audience to Share

According to a Nielsen Survey, 33% of buyers believe what brands say about themselves. On the other hand, 92% of buyers believe what their peers have to say about a brand. Therefore, when your social media audience shares about your brand, their connections believe what is said.

Keeping this in mind, you want to create an environment on social media where your audience like, retweet, comment, and recommend your brand.

To do this

You need to provide your social media audience with compelling reasons to share your messages that is seamless. Tell your social media audience what is in it for them to like, retweet, comment on, or share their thoughts about your social media content.

5 Motivators for your Social Media Audience to Share

  1. Reputation
  2. Access to something exclusive
  3. Co-creation
  4. Competition and Winning
  5. Altruism

Source: Marketo’s The Definitive Guide to Social Sharing

Given these Statistics from a New York Times Study on Social Sharing Do this to spark a response in your social media audience?
75% say sharing helps them better comprehend the news they’re interested in Provide compelling content where a comment will help them understand your content
Before posting a link, 94% consider how helpful a link would be to others Make them feel like they are helping their connections if your brand’s link is in comments
68% share as an advertisement for themselves to teaches others about them Make your audience feel like they are teaching their connections about them when they like, retweet, or comment about your brand
73% say it helps find people with similar interests Give them an opportunity to connect with your followers because they have a common interest in your brand

Source of New York Times Study was included in Marketo’s Definitive Guide on Social Marketing

7 Tactics to Motivate Your Social Media Audience to Share

Sharing Content on social media networks Source:

  1. Social Sharing links/buttons before or after your content – ask for people to click the social sharing buttons because they may not see the buttons
  2. When someone downloads your content – provide a pop-up or some message where they can share what they just downloaded
  3. Listen and Respond – Listen to what your social media audience is saying. Respond with content that meets your audience needs.  This action, you will show your audience and their connection that you care.
  4. Refer-a-Friend – provide a compelling offer for your audience if they refer someone. These offers can also be extended to the friends.
  5. Social Sweepstakes – Create a content where entrants spread the word for you.
  6. Polls and Voting – Engage your audience to share their opinions through polls. Your audience votes will be seen by their connections.
  7. Flash Deals – Create a time-sensitive deals that are fun and have the potential to go viral and increase brand awareness.


Since peer recommendations influence how people view a brand, you want to get your social media audience to like and to share about your brand for their social media connections to see your content.  When those connections see your audience sharing about your brand, you are extending your reach.

To get your social media audience to like and share about your brand, you need to post content that will motivate your social media audience to share your content with their social media connections.

2 Great Articles from Social Media Examiner that Show you How to Get your Social Media Audience to Share your Content:

Sources for a Blog Post

Social Media Network News and Resources







Building a Social Media Army to Extend Your Reach Plus Updates and Tools for Social Media Networks

Building a Social Media Army Source:

Finding target audience members to follow your brands on social media networks can take time, but there are people within your grasp who can help. As another tool in your digital marketing toolbox for your social marketing efforts, you can recruit these people to become members of your social media army to help your brand extend it’s reach on social media networks.

Last fall, I attended a presentation by Jason Miller, Senior Manager, Content Marketing & Social, LinkedIn. During the presentation, Jason made a reference to using a social media army to promote your brand on social media networks.

With the help of Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Social Marketing,  I’ve taken Jason’s idea and put together a rough outline how you can recruit members and build your own a social media army to extend your brand’s reach.

Purpose of a Social Media Army:

Share your posts and retweet your messages in social media networks to reach army members’ connections and attract additional potential customers to experience your brand.

Think about what you want your army members to share and engage their social media connections to seek you out.

NEXT, start recruiting your own social media army.

Potential Social Media Army Members:

  • Internal Stakeholders
  • Employee Advocates of Social Media
  • Internal Thought Leaders
  • Top Industry Influencers
  • Brand Evangelists
  • Long-Time Customers

What’s in it for them to become a Social Media Army Members?

  • Personal Branding
  • Building personal social media marketing skills
  • Building relationships with your target audience
  • For Internal Members, building customer relationships
  • Increasing your company’s reputation as a thought leader

Train your Social Media Army Members:

Teach social media army members to create army strong stories Source:

  • Provide background/history on the different social media networks
  • Explain the types of content that gets posted to each social media network
  • Outline the social media participation rules
  • Provide content tips
  • Instruct them how to post images, video
  • Provide formatting parameters for posts
  • Tell them how to optimize messages for SEO
  • Teach them how to create army strong stories to entice their connections to find your website
  • Tell them how their connections can give you their email addresses
  • Create a series of blog posts for your social media army members for communication and training

Think about the following quote from Pete Cashmore, CEO & Founder of, “We’re living at a time when attention is the new currency. Those who insert themselves into as many channels as possible look set to capture the most value.”

A social media army can get your messages inserted into as many channels and increase your value.

Facebook Like in Fatigues Source: can’t do it all. HOWEVER, with a social media army, you can participate in more social media networks and your messages can reach more potential customers than if you tried to build a target audience on social media networks all on your own.

SO, recruit some help and start building your social media army today.

Sources: Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Social Marketing

To learn more about Building a Social Media Army, look at Jeff Bullas’s How to Get Others to Do Your Social Media Marketing for Free article.

Updates and Tools for Social Media Networks







Next Weeks Social Media Update Topic: Getting your Social Media Followers to Share your Brand’s Messages

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough

Social Media for Digital Marketing Managers – Marketo’s 7 Golden Rules of Social Marketing

Most of yesterday was spent thinking about the most effective way to organize a weekly Social Media post for the Digital Marketing Manager blog that the day was over before I could post something for you.

Since Social Media falls under the digital marketing umbrella, it is necessary for the Digital Marketing Manager blog to cover Social Media, but how can one blog posting per week contain everything that happens every week in the world of Social Media with 500 words or less.

Social Media has a high number of tactics within digital marketing that a whole separate blog could be dedicated to it.

After contemplating how to organize the Social Media post for the Digital Marketing Manager blog, I found a solution for the time being. However, nothing is set in stone, and I welcome your comments on what you think should be included in Social Media.

Since I believe the strategizing process behind implementing social media tactics is extremely important rather than just diving in head first, the weekly Social Media post will primarily discuss planning and strategy, and then, the post will include links to articles about individual Social Media sites news and tips. Now, for the stuff you have been waiting for.

Social Media for Digital Marketing Managers – Marketo’s 7 Golden Rules of Social Marketing

  1. Don’t take yourself too seriously – give your brand a good personality to make your brand likeable.
  2. Inbound Marketing is not enough – combine inbound and outbound marketing efforts into all aspects of your marketing.
  3. Good Content and Solid Offers – Need content to engage customers.
  4. Strong Call to Action – After your content is consumed, what do you want your audience to do?
  5. Always add value – Social Media doesn’t work if there is no value added to your brand.
  6. Social Media is a 2 way street – Social Media opens the line of communication with prospects and customers, so you need to respond quickly and sincerely.
  7. Peer-to-Peer sharing gets your messages heard.

When implementing your Social Media tactics, keep these rules in mind to help you create superior customer experiences.

Source: Marketo’s The Definitive Guide to Social Marketing

Additional Links to Social Media Sites News or Tips

Thanks for reading Social Media Wednesday on this Thursday evenings.

Tomorrow’s topic – Blogging

Call to Action

Does it make sense for Social Media Wednesday to primarily discuss Social Media strategizing process as well as include links to additional Social Media articles? Please send me your comments.

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough

Welcome to Email Marketing Tuesdays – Email Marketing is More Alive than Ever

Welcome to the 1st Email Marketing Tuesdays – Email Marketing is More Alive than Ever.

For a while now, the idea that email marketing is dead has been popping up. I beg to differ. You just have to re-think your Email Marketing practices by making them more personal and relevant.

In a survey from Act-On, 75% of the 19,464 marketers surveyed said Email Marketing is one of the top 3 most implemented campaigns, and 45% said Email Marketing activities are the top 2 marketing activities contributing to the sales pipeline. Given this information, it sounds like marketers use Email Marketing, and it sounds like Email Marketing activities are effective at getting customers to start the purchasing process.

In an article by Peter Yared called Email is Now Just Another Stream, he wrote, “Email has been especially important in e-commerce sales and customer re-engagement. For e-commerce in particular, email marketing exceeds the performance of social advertising.”

Also, if Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn deploy Email Marketing messages as a tactic to get you to their social media sites, I think it is safe to say that Digital Marketing Managers can use Email Marketing as one of their strategies to find customers and generate revenue.

With everything said and done, Email Marketing is still an effective digital marketing strategy. The new challenge is continuing to make Email Marketing effective today, tomorrow, and for the next following years.

One of my favorite Email Marketing Strategies is segmenting my customers and tailoring the content for each segment. By tailoring the content of emails, you can make your email messages personal and relevant. I’ve test this strategy several times, and it always performs better than a generic email message.  Don’t take my word for it, test it on your next email marketing effort. You can test tailoring the email message, the email subject line, or both.  Just look at your database and discover how you can segment your email list.

So, it is safe to say that Email Marketing Managers aren’t going any where.  Just like all other aspects of Digital Marketing, marketers need to adapt to their customers needs and deliver engaging, relevant, and personal Email Marketing campaigns to generate results. I look forward to delivering you strategies and ideas on how to deploy effective email marketing campaigns.

Topics you will see from Email Marketing Tuesdays include:

  • Ideas to Test
  • Email List
  • Content including subject lines, from lines, and email copy
  • Different types of Email Marketing efforts like reactivation, shopping cart abandonment, welcome, and thank you emails efforts
  • Deliverability
  • Automation
  • Segmentation

What’s next up on CindyPlough’s Digital Marketing Manager Blog

Weekday Topic
Tomorrow Social Media
Thursday Content Marketing
Friday Mobile Marketing
Next Monday SEO
Next Tuesday More Email Marketing

Have a great day.

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough