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battleship-game

Every successful marketer knows this or should know it: You don’t market to everyone. With social media it might be tempting to break this rule – since “everyone” is just a few clicks away. But as easy as social media makes it to connect to the entire world (basically), social audiences don’t want to feel like they’re just part of the crowd.

Think about it: Each social user is ruler of a completely unique domain – their own – where they make the rules. They decide what pictures represent them, what messages they put out to the world, who they’re interested in hearing from, and who’s allowed to talk back to them directly.

You can’t just bust in there, shoving your brand in their face, hoping they’ll care about whatever special you’re trying to tempt them with. That might have been how things used to work, but it is not how they work anymore.

Consumers on social are in charge, and brands need to recognize this if they want to stand a chance. But that’s not the only reason brands have to find a new way.

Everything is on the Internet

The Internet has made the world a bigger place for everyone. With rare exceptions, you can learn how to do almost anything online – and probably for free. This means that hobbies and interests and knowledge no longer fit into the neat little demographic boxes they used to – and neither do the people who pursue them.

Women kickbox and men knit. Dads stay home while moms run companies. Fans fund projects, bloggers from everywhere in the world broaden our perspectives. And through it all, users on social spread the word. They’re exposed to so much constantly, and they have so many options – you couldn’t begin to be relevant to all of them at once.

What’s that old saying? “You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but you can please some of the people some of the time.” The first part may be true, but that second part leaves a lot to be desired.

So let’s reframe it this way: “You can’t please all of the people at once – but you can please everyone in small groups that share common interests.” It’s called micro-targeting at scale, and it’s what brands and marketers need to be doing now.

Organize by tribe

The big question is how? And that’s what we’re all about. The way to conquer the social landscape is by dividing your audience into micro-segments based on the common interests they share. Audience marketing doesn’t mean marketing to a singular audience – it means using the right marketing for the right audience at the right time.

Social listening and consumer sentiment analysis let you uncover those common interests among users to create audience micro-segments. And the best part is these micro-segments aren’t limited by demographic constructs like age, gender or location.

Instead, anyone that fits psychographically – based on attitude, behavior, likes and dislikes – becomes a prospect for your brand. These insights become even more useful when you take your own brand out of the equation.

For example, let’s say your brand is a graphic novel series. If you look at social data about people who read graphic novels in general, you may discover they’re also talking about loving Star Wars, gaming, and frozen pizza. Now you have something to talk to them about.

And you don’t even have to mention your brand (they can see who you are anyway), but you’ll gain cool points and build a relationship by talking to them about everything else they’re passionate about.

With the help of audience marketing tools – like Audience 3D™ – you can create as many segments as you want, with individualized messaging for each – and they’ll all hit home with their audience.

So maybe you CAN market to everyone, after all – you just have to do it in segments.

Want a demo of Audience 3D to see how micro-targeting at scale looks in practice? Reach out!

Image from Michael Bentley

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