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Establishing an influential digital presence is a two-sided game. Working on your own presence and messages. And understanding where you find your audience. This post is about identifying where your industry conversations take place.
Find your customers
Your social media presence should contribute to increasing your business. Your customers is the number one target group for your social media efforts.
A good starting point is to find and connect with your existing customer contacts. Using LinkedIn and Twitter. Connect on LinkedIn as a start. Following on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube depending on business.
Second you want to find and connect with the digital savvy influencers. Shaping your customers thoughts and opinions. In larger organizations, the top might be less digital savvy. With strong digital influencers existing in the middle layers of the organizations.
Expect big differences between B2B and B2C businesses. With B2C executives being more active than B2B executives.
Find your Eco-system partners
Collaborations with partners and eco-system building play a key role. Even more so in the digital market place. Making connections with eco-system partners should be your second priority.
Start by connecting with the ones you already know. On both LinkedIn and Twitter. Adopt a similar approach as for customers. connect with both top layers and strong digital influencers.
Find your competitors
Your competitors define your social media ambition. With an opportunity to lead or playing catch-up. Understand your competitors’ digital presence by asking simple questions. Who is taking the lead in their digital influence making? Which topics do they address? What is their communication tone? What is their mix between personal and professional communication? What is their communication cadence?
Track your peers in competing companies close. And expand the competitor sphere to immediate competitors and potential future competitors. When you know their top-5 individuals you have good base to operate from. And you know their digital preference as leaders, likers or lurkers, based on how they act.
Find your media and analyst contacts
This is the most social media savvy side of an executive contact network. A network that is eager to pick up on new information. Where you need to assume they always see and read all you write. Nothing is off record in social channels. A great set of contacts to connect with early on.
Find digital influencers you can learn from
Certain industries might be in an early stage of the digital influencing maturity. A reality more common for the B2B market place. In such situations, it is worthwhile to look at strong Digital B2B influencers. Looking outside your own industry. Looking at representatives with an existing track record. Both for building an audience and providing insightful content.
Other categories where you can look for inspiration is B2C leaders. As well as politicians and journalists, sports icons, bloggers and podcasters. All with an awareness that different markets use different tone of digital voice.
Questions to ask yourself
- Where are my customers and competitors present – start where you find your audience.
- Who are the most influential customer representatives – search outside the C-suite.
- What type of content seem to be mainstream in my target channels – start with this content type first.
- How many platforms do I pursue from start – for B2B Start with LinkedIn and expand to Twitter
- How do you reach an audience of digital immigrants – expect conservative digital learners.
- What does this stakeholder analysis tell you about your strategy – outside-in dominates.
Additional reading suggestions
- How to really get to know your customers [BLOGPOST] – by Business 2 Community
- The 7 best social media channels for business marketing [ARTICLE] – by Huffington Post
- Which social media channels should I use for my business [BLOGPOST] – by Yahoo Aabaco Small Business
- How the world’s top CEOs use social media [ARTICLE] – by Contently
- 10 strategic ways CEOs can take advantage of social media [ARTICLE] – by Inc