How To Recognize An Online Community & Its Channels

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For business & brands alike, the Internet provides a wealth of opportunities for those who can successfully engage, connect & cultivate an online community. Even more so important than identifying an online community is being able to recognize the associated channels used to communicate and consume content.

Acquiring a deeper understanding of when, where and how your target audience uses social media should be #1 on your agenda when developing a content marketing strategy. As you continue to spend more time using the Internet as a tool for business. You’ll quickly realize that the Internet is no different that any other channel used to present a message, the most significant difference is that your target audience can talk back.

Being able to engage and create conversations in real time is one of the many advantages that the Internet has to offer over other mediums such as Broadcast TV, Radio & Print. With that being said, your focus should be aimed at identifying when, where and how to engage with your online community.

Understandably, different people consume content in different places. It’s highly unlikely that you would find Instagram foodies hanging out with the Bitcoin Maximalists in the dark corners of reddit. This is why channels have become so popular, they encourage a sense of community around lifestyles and topics. No matter if you’re a business, brand or content creator there’s always a channel for you to engage with your target audience.

Let’s take a closer look below.

How To Engage With Your Target Audience

Engaging with your target audience isn’t solely about creating a one-sided conversation around a message. When developing your online persona your focus should be centered around increasing engagement on social media. Why? Engaging with your target audience not only builds trust, it creates an experience around your overall brand.

The opportunity to engage is not only afforded by company to consumer, commenting between members of an online community is also a byproduct of sharing content. Just check out any Instagram comment section, the social media platform creates a natural environment to for users to engage and interact with each other.

Also, when I say “engage”, I want you to think about your target audience and what their channel of choice may be. For example, most writers are heavily focused on Twitter. While a photographer or musician will be mainly focused on Instagram. To keep it simple, the Internet is just one big play on human nature. If you’re target audience is more triggered by wordplay, Twitter offers a higher engagement rate.

On the other hand, if your target audience is triggered by visuals. There’s a choice between Facebook, Instagram & YouTube that offer an opportunity brands to engage with their target audience. Once again, your focus should be aimed at identifying when, where and how to engage with your online community.

Now, let’s take a look at four effective strategies that can help you make an impact with your target audience.

  • Identify the channels where your target audience spends the most time.
  • Present your target audience with content that is valuable, relatable and provocative.
  • Step 1: Choose a channel. Step 2: Create conversations. Step 3: Build relationships.
  • Entice your target audience to engage further, whether it be offline or online.

How To Find Your Target Audience’s Channel

When discussing channels on the Internet, a great way to think about it is like Broadcast TV. You know where to find sports, food or drama. When developing a content marketing strategy, another focus should be distribution. Content is flexible, your target audience’s channel may not be.

For instance, most college students will probably gravitate towards what’s hip and new. While older generations may stick with necessity, which may align with Facebook. Offering them the opportunity to keep up with friends and family.

The goal is to identify your target audience’s channel, create engaging content and encourage conversations that promote growth. No matter which channel you choose whether it be Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter or all four. You’ll have to sit back, do your research and study online behavior. All four social media channels require a different persona based on your target audience.

Now let’s take a look below at five demographics that can help you in identifying your target audience’s channel.

  1. Interests/Hobbies
  2. Location/Geographical region
  3. Education
  4. Age
  5. Income

Using these five demographics you should be able to identify which channels your target audience frequents the most and plan accordingly.


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One thought on “How To Recognize An Online Community & Its Channels

  1. Pingback: 5 Ways To Build A Culture Around An Online Community – 227 | Social+Digital

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