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In a recent post to our social pages we noted that the nation’s largest property and casualty insurer, State Farm launched a Facebook page for its Latino customers called State Farm Latino.  The company recognized that there are 13.5 million Latinos on Facebook, and cited this sizeable number as a key reason for launching the dedicated page.  In fact, many companies are segmenting and targeting their audiences based on demographic information like ethnicity, physical location, age, and “profile” i.e. working moms vs. stay at home moms.

The action prompted us to answer the following: What questions should be asked when trying to market to a certain community group in social media?  Here are some questions to think about while forming your strategy:

1) How do you get to know your community?

What do you do when you want to learn about a topic you don’t know anything about?  Research, research, research.  Online sources are generally good for finding out information if you consult reputable sources about the community group you want to grow for your organization.  For example, if you want to target young moms for a hip, new, baby carrier you would like to market, check out online websites for young moms like Café Mom (which calls itself the #1 Place for Moms Online) and Mother’s Click.

2) Where does your target audience live?

Do some research on where your target audience lives in relationship to social media. For example, if you are looking to market your product to the 50 and over crowd across the nation, reach out to longstanding organizations who deal with that population.  For example, a case study published on the AARP website cites the following for that group: Approximately one-quarter of all those 50+ use social media websites (27%) with Facebook being by far the most popular (23%).  So you would definitely want to launch a very aggressive campaign on Facebook over the other social media networks (although, you should include them, too) with incentives to encourage those who like your page on Facebook to invite others.  And perhaps you would want to create an integrated marketing campaign using other media to drive the 50’s plus crowd to social media – like advertising on Eons, the online community for boomers.

3) What niche can you fill for that audience that has previously been ignored?

Explore the topics being raised in the community you are researching and find new topics to write about that are just as important to the enrichment of that community.  For example, if you are marketing to the nonprofit community, it might be helpful to explore the ramifications of the “Latino Social Media for Social Good” program.  This program is the product of an alliance between Hispanicize and Univision, created in an effort to provide communications training for Latino communities.  What impact could the program have on the nonprofit community as a whole?  Perhaps you could create communications training for your own nonprofit community and those who have mirroring communities, like nonprofits that affect African Americans or women for example.

4) How do you figure out what kind of incentives your community would value for participation?

We often encourage our clients to offer an incentive to those who join their communities in the social space.  Find out what your targets would enjoy and offer them appropriate schwag.  For example, if you are a golfing organization, offer your community builders the opportunity to enter to win a trip to Pebble Beach, or the best set of golf clubs you offer.  Not only will you achieve your goal, but your community will also be very grateful.

5) How do you make sure that your community is cohesive and loyal? If you accomplish the goals above – know your community, know where to find them, find out what their interests are, learn how to cultivate interests often ignored, and offer them good schwag, chances are you will build a very loyal community.  And who knows where your community will go from there!

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We created SocialToaster as a social marketing tool to help significantly increase the traffic to your website by using electronic word of mouth referrals.  SocialToaster can be up to ten times more effective than search engine marketing or other traditional forms of digital advertising.  Our automated solution takes the time and guess work out of structuring your social media marketing campaign.  The above blog is based on some of our social media consulting fundamentals that we offer our clients in tandem with SocialToaster.  For more information, sign up for a webinar, or contact a salesperson to learn more today!