Find Your Audience on Social Media
We all want to use social media to connect with our readers. It’s a great way to be personable and thank people for being supportive of our craft. But how do you find them? Sure if you’re someone like Obama, users will come to you (he reached 1 million followers in under 5 hours). Not all of us are that cool, so we have to work a bit harder. Here are three ways to find your audience on social media:
Google Campaign URLs
No, this method isn’t directly associated with social media. But it’s an easy way to see where most of the traffic to your blog or site is coming from. Basically, what you do is create a URL using this spiffy tool that adds tags at the end of the URL. *Note: this only work if you use Google Analytics, so you should probably get on that.
You are required to enter your URL, Source, Medium and Name (below each in the form are examples if you need help). You use the created URL in your social media posts. Then, reap the benefits. When you are in Google Analytics, you can see the results in your Acquisition > Campaigns section by your campaign name. Once you click on one of those, you can see the Source/Medium AKA where your visitors are coming from (you can see mine over there).
So what do you do with this information? Well, if you are spreading your posts over lots of social media platforms, you can see which ones are working best (and sending the most traffic to your site) and cut down on the others. Really, you should be good at a handful of platforms and not do all of them just because they are there.
There are a couple of great ways to find users on Twitter. One is to start following people who fit in your niche, and interact with them. For me, I follow a bunch of fellow writers, as I my target audience is writers and bloggers. Then, when they tweet and interact with others, I follow those people as well (after, of course, checking their bio and last couple of tweets to make sure I actually want to follow them).
Another way is to participate in Twitter chats (which I’m going to write a post about soon) and hashtags. There are plenty that are related to writing like #amwriting, #IreadYA, #writingharvest, #storydam (really, there’s too many to count). There are usually some great people lurking in those if you take the time to check them out.
Tip: If you are looking to find when your audience is online (aka your followers), I recommend checking out Tweriod. It shows you when your users are typically online to help you schedule posts productively.
I know, many people are up in the air about what’s really going on over there. I don’t have those answers for you. What I do have is information about my favorite part of Google+ and that is the Google+ Communities.
These are specific groups that you can chat, discuss, and ask questions about almost any topic you can think of. For writers, some great communities to check out are Writer’s Discussion Group, Writing Resources and Blogging. What is particularly great is posting your blog posts in them (that is, if they are in the guidelines of the community). If you aren’t spammy about it and only post blog posts that are actually relevant to the people in the group, it can be a wonderful source of traffic (you may have noticed it was my top campaign source for the time period I selected).