The value of a large Social Media following to a marketeer has been through some peaks and troughs over the years. While originally it was the main marker of the legitimacy of a brand in the eyes of many, its true importance to Social Media algorithms has been waning as Facebook et al continue their relentless drive towards monetisation at the expense of organic reach. Gone are the days when your post was seen by most, if not all of your followers – replaced by an environment where the only way to guarantee extensive reach is through ad spend. So where then, can you find the value in your follower base?

One way is to use the demographic makeup of your existing follower base to understand your audience and profile potential new consumers. Marketers should be seeing their SM following as a resource not just to sell to and to build a community around, but as a yardstick for who is interested in the brand. By understanding who naturally makes up your audience, it will be easier to find new consumers.

Taking Facebook and Instagram as an example, there are a number of in-app features you can use to your advantage. Firstly, the insights section gives you an easy and digestible run down of the basic demographic make up of your existing audience, including age ranges, location and gender. Understanding that will give you a solid base from which to build your audience further.

Facebook’s digital advertising system opens yet more doors. Their interest-based targeting allows you to test and learn what your audience is interested in by segmenting your audience and analysing the results. Though this method will require you to create ad content and spend money on its promotion, it’s a brilliant way to identify key characteristics or interests that you know potential customers will have.

Your existing audience can also be used as the basis of what Facebook calls a ‘Lookalike Audience’. This is essentially a mirror of your existing audience, which Facebook takes and extrapolates to create an audience of consumers who look like your followers in terms of characteristics and interests, but don’t currently form part of your audience. This group can then be targeted with advertising campaigns, ensuring that your brand awareness campaigns are reaching potential new customers who are relevant to your business.

For more information on how to leverage your Social Media following to prospect new customers, please contact us here