Social media listening isn’t just an advantage for retail and entertainment brands – it can boost readership of online publications too. And more readers means more ad dollars coming your way, keeping your site thriving.

How do you use social media analytics tools to appeal to both entities?

Let’s focus first on readers. Whether you’re a mommy blog, a major news organization, or another niche site – you’ve got to have readers or you’ll sink fast. Not just because writers want what they’ve written to be read by people, but because readers are the draw for the advertisers who keep your publication’s lights on.

So you not only need readers, you need consistent and loyal readers. But don’t mistake blind announcements about your latest posts for social engagement. That’s not enough to keep people coming back to YOUR publication over all others – or sharing your content.

The way to do both is to get to know your readers – as well as you know the subject matter you publish. And to use audience marketing to find new readers who may not know you’re out there.

Audience segments as diverse as your blog sections

No two readers are exactly the same, but there are certainly common traits they share – and we’re not talking about demographics like gender or age. While demographics are fine, they’re a bit limiting because they don’t give you the insights you need to make personal connections on social media. And that’s what social users demand in the Age of You.

To engage at that individualized level, you’ve got to put your social media monitoring tools to use and find out what your readers are talking about when they aren’t talking about you (which is more often than not). What are they watching on TV? What charities do they support? What foods do they love or hate?

Your best chances to connect are by using these insights to create unique audience segments to target. And there are several ways to put these segments to use in a personalized way:

  • Connecting with current readers by speaking to them human-to-human (H2H, as we say)
  • Alerting new readers about content that aligns with the interests they share on social
  • Creating content based on social users’ wants, needs, likes, dislikes, and passions – and telling them they inspired you

Who do you want to tell when you have an amazing new movie review? The people who are online talking about how much they love movies, of course. But more than that, you can narrow your messaging to appeal to those who love movies AND, say, Italian food – which will make that pasta company buying ads on your site very happy.

Knowing your readers is your best selling tool

And you need your advertisers happy, because they’re just as crucial to your operation as your readers. That’s why it’s so important to know your readers – they’re your best selling tool! Touting your page views, unique visitors, and their time spent on each page is always useful – but being able to tell a brand that you know definitively your readers love their product or brand? Now we’re talking.

For example, if your audience is sharing your articles and a segment of them are also tweeting about 7-Eleven Slurpees, that gives you a chance to offer your space to the brand. And they can be confident in their ROI.

But the only way to offer that assurance is to focus on what readers are saying on social. Even if they’re speaking in slanguage or emojis. The right social media monitoring tools can decipher everything your audience has to say.

Of course, some brands are publishing their own content – and the same rules apply. In fact, however you’re using social media listening, it’s important to take consumer emotions into account, and create micro-segments for individualized messaging.

When you have the right tools in place to do it, grabbing the attention of the right audience – and advertisers interested in that audience –  becomes just as easy as publishing your next blog post.

All you have to do is reach out!

Image from Cathy T

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