5 Ways to engage with your ideal audience on social media

In today's crowded online market place, it can often feel incredibly overwhelming trying to find your ideal audience, attract their attention and convert them into loyal followers and ultimately clients/customers. Although social media is an incredibly powerful tool for marketing your business, it can be exhausting constantly trying to shout above the noise and get yourself heard.
Whilst we are all striving for more likes and more followers, what is important to remember is that any social media efforts need to be based upon engaging with your audience rather than just throwing out content and praying it will stick. Whilst followers/page likes can give a certain indication of your audience size, this means nothing if they are never really connecting with your business and brand.

Finding clients/customers is first and foremost about creating a community and gaining trust. It’s about listening to what your audience wants and providing them with content that makes them stop and take notice. My coaching business has been built primarily via social media but in order to attract my clients, I’ve had to become very strategic in what I post and how I interact with my audience.
I recently had my first booked out month and every single one of those clients discovered my brand through social media so I’d like to share with you some of my best tips for breaking through the noise.
1.    Invite discussion
When first starting out, with every post, I would ask a question. At the time my audience was only very small but I slowly started to realize that despite this, my audience were extremely engaged as most of the time, people would respond.
My questions would vary from simple ‘let me know what you are working on today’ type posts, to inviting them to ask me business related questions. I found that the more I did this, the more I used my social media platforms almost like an online forum, the more my following grew.
Not only that, but most of my followers were also hopping over to my site to find out more. They were signing up to my email list off the back of the discussions they had got involved in on social media.  They were also tagging friends in the discussions or sharing posts with friends who may have also found it useful.
I was using my social media in a way to cultivate a community and although at the time my audience was still really tiny in terms of figures, I was able to book my first client within that first month because of my engagement.
2.    Hang out on Facebook Groups
More recently, I have started to spend a lot of time in Facebook groups as I find they provide far more opportunities for engagement and discussion than a Facebook page.
Within these groups, I never push my services and I never tend to mention that I’m a coach. Instead, I am just someone who provides advice and value and answers question. I’m able to demonstrate my expertise without it ever seeming salesy.
A huge proportion of my clients now come from these online groups and its all happened organically. If I have spent an hour or so responding to peoples questions and sharing my knowledge I tend to find that at some point, a prospective client will take notice and inquire about what it is that I do and the services that I offer.
3.    Tell a story

One of the most daunting things about launching a business is the feeling that there are already so many people doing the exact same thing and that you are entering into a highly saturated market.
One of the things that is going to make you stand out is you, the personality behind the brand. This is why revealing your own personal journey about how you got to where you are today is an incredibly powerful way to make people take notice, particularly if you’ve overcome hurdles to get there.
Although you want to keep a professional front, don’t be afraid to reveal your flaws and vulnerabilities to your audience as these are things that make your business and brand feel more real and authentic.
For ages, I tried to behind a rose tinted window and try and make it seem that everything in my life and business was going amazingly. As a business coach and life stylist, I didn’t think people would want to hire me if it didn’t seem like I could even get my own life on track.
I eventually wrote a post about overcoming anxiety and struggling with self doubt and how I suffered burn out in the early days of my business. The response I got from that post was overwhelming in terms of support and booking inquiries from people who wanted to work with me. Because I’d shared my flaws I think it made me seem more real and relate-able and someone people would trust working with.
4.    Encourage people to sign up to your mailing list.
Although social media is amazing for attracting your clients/customers and communicating with them, it’s still a good idea to encourage them to sign up to your mailing list so you can connect with them via email too.
A big part of this is due to the algorithms social media platforms use whereby not all of your audience will ever see your posts. In contrast, people tend to check their email most days so your visibility is far greater.
In order to encourage your clients/customers to sign up to your email list, social media is a useful tool to use. A good idea is to create some sort of freebie, something of value that your audience will get in return for signing up. This freebie – whether it is an ebook, a mini course, a downloadable print out – can then be promoted via your social media platforms.
Depending on your budget, it is worthwhile looking into Facebook ads to promote this giveaway as the add will not only generate awareness of your band, but will also help to build your list too.
5.    Collaborate with others with a similar audience.
I’ve have recently discovered the power of collaboration and it has really amplified my growth over the past few months. The idea is that you reach out to someone who attracts if not the exact same audience, a very similar one in order for you to form a mutually beneficial partnership. This partnership may just be a case of you promoting each others content, or it could be a project you work on together.
Some ideas for collaborations are guest posting, working on a product together, holding a webinar, podcasting or holding an event together.  By doing these as a team and by both individually promoting this collaboration on social media, you are both getting exposure to each others audience.

Social media has been hugely impactful for my business and its one of my favourite marketing tools but in order for it to work, you do need to be strategic and show up to communicate with your audience, create discussion and be of value in order to get their attention. My last piece of advice would be to make sure you don’t spread yourself too thin across all platform. Choose which platform works best for you and where your audience are most likely to hang out and focus your efforts there. To build up your community on social media does take time, but if your are consistent and persistent, soon enough your fans will come flocking.

How to you engage with your ideal audience on social media?

PS: If you liked this post, you might also like How To Brand Your Social Media.

About the Author

Dani Watson is a business strategist, life stylist and motivational speaker helping women to build their empires and bring their A-game. She loves empowering women with the confidence to realize their full potential, help them gain clarity on their business direction and turn their passions and skill sets into profits, She is founder of The Clique a platform dedicated to female entrepreneurs where she shares tips on finding your audience online, cultivating a success mindset and interviews inspiring Girlbosses. She loves yoga and coffee, although on Fridays, she prefers her espresso in a martini. You can find her hanging out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.