Welcome back to our social series! In our last post we ran through some online basics, and suggested a few ways to start promoting your website address. In this post we'll focus on your customers. We're going to look at who they are, and how to start speaking their language.

Timely’s Social Series: Understanding Customers

It’s simple in theory (you already know your customers, right?), but have you sat down and really spent some time thinking about who your potential customers are, where they spend time online, what they search for, and how they would search for the services you offer? It’s an invaluable exercise, and one that not enough businesses make time for. It’s time to begin understanding customers.

Keep in mind that we’re not after a list of keywords here – that old trick died back in the Dark Ages of the web, and anyone offering you search results on the first page of Google should probably be avoided.

What you need is a clear idea on how to frame the content and language you use online. This might mean your website content, a status update on Facebook or a tweet on Twitter, or even a comment you’re leaving on a blog. Having this in mind is important as we move forward and look at the various social networks and how best to use them.

understanding customers

The reason we’re interested in language and content is simple. When you mirror someone’s body language in the physical world it can help them feel more agreeable towards you, and the same principle applies to written language. As you start communicating online you need to use the language, phrases, nuance, style and emotions that will resonate with your customers. Not only will they be more likely to find you, but they’ll be more likely to trust you. This is super-important because as we all know – every relationship is built on trust. The other key aspect here is to be genuine, and we’ll go into more detail on why that’s so important (and how to get it right) in the next post.

For now, jot down a few ideas about what you think makes your customers tick. If you know your business this shouldn’t be too hard, and it might feel quite refreshing to completely flip your thinking from that of a business owner to the mind of your customer. What makes them decide to use one of your services? Where will they look for you, and how often? Who would they chat to about it? What questions would they ask themselves, or their friends? What tone would they use?

You might have done something similar when you started your business, so feel free to draw on that information. Building a ‘profile’ of your ideal customer and what makes them tick will be hugely useful as we move forward through this blog series.

Once that’s done and dusted it’s time to start getting social! The Internet is a vastly different place than it was even just a few years ago. Social media has redefined the way people find information online, and the web has well and truly transitioned from being informational (used to look things up) to conversational (i.e. engaging with people).

The next post in the series will be an introduction to social media, before we run through the various networks.

See you soon!