I never refer to an audience as a social media community. It just doesn’t sound right. People are people whether they are online, in person over the phone.
To me, a social media community is a gathering of like-minded individuals on a specific social media platform. And that platform can be Medium, Substack, Twitter, LinkedIn, Clubhouse, or TikTok.
Often, marketers are too quick to publish social media content without thinking through what it is they’re trying to accomplish. They don’t spend time analyzing the conversations, sharing habits, and media consumption of the audience they are trying to reach In the expect that content to drive engagement.
It doesn’t take a lot of time to implement a data insights strategy by building an audience and extracting actionable insights that could inform content come a narrative or messaging. The real challenge is that it requires time and patience needed to uncover insights from audience data.
People that spend time within a social media community do so because they have similar interests to the other members of the community. they relate to each other and oftentimes form strong relationships. These communities are typically based on certain topics, hobbies or interests.
If you work in public relations, your social communities might consist of the top 50 journalists writing about technology and business. It may also be analysts from Gartner, Forrester, IDC or some of the smaller analyst firms.
If you work in marketing your social communities will consist of your customers. The key to getting the smartest insights from your social media community is to build to segment your audience into smaller groups, so that you can uncover additional insights about each one.
And if you are a social media manager your social media community will consist of customers and prospects that are following your social media channels. This could also be influencers, partners, and even employees.
Your social media community might also be a Reddit forum, Sub-Reddit or maybe it’s a group of developers on Github talking about and sharing python or C++ code.
Understanding the topics, trends, hidden narratives and hashtags are critical pieces of data. This tells marketers what is top of mind during a specific moment in time. This also allows marketers to create community content that’s aligned to those topics in an effort to be as relevant to each audience segment as possible. Here’s a quick example using Clubhouse analytics to understand user behavior on the popular social audio platform.
It’s also critical to understand what media is being shared by the audience. With data, it’s possible to understand what URLs are being shared within a specific social media community. This gives marketers a hint as to which publications the audience have high affinity for.
This type of information is a gold mine for those who work in public relations. Mainly because it gives them the rigor to prioritize which media outlets they should pitch a story to based on the affinity levels of the audience.
And lastly, analytics can help identify a crisis before it happens using the same methodology listed above. Again, it’s a matter of time, patience, and data mining that is needed to provide value and insight to your social media community.
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