[tweetmeme source=”barrydewar” alias=”http://ow.ly/2373c” only_single=false]The hardest thing to do when you are passing yourself off as a social media consultant is to find your networks. Clients will come to you and say they want 5000 followers on Twitter or that they want to share their news with 10,000 Facebook friends. What they haven’t thought about is who those people are or where to find them.
That’s my job right?
Yes, that’s my job but you’re going to have a better idea than me. I need to do a lot of data mining in your head and the collective head of your company to get the information I need to then go and find the people who might be interested in becoming fans of your brand.
It’s bloody hard. Try finding a niche market of disabled kids who don’t actually want to identify themselves as such online due to it being the only place they can compete on a level playing field. Or try finding ethnic or religious groups who, culturally, just don’t get the medium or have their own closed networks which serve them perfectly well.
Sure, finding people who like cheese or sourcing advocates for technology or entertainment is easy. Too easy maybe. But I haven’t ever had a brief like that. When people come to me it’s because they have already thought about it and come up blank.
So, what to do?
I don’t have a magic Twitter nose. I can’t always find these people either but what I’m learning is that the best way to do it is not online. You need to find these people in their own comfort zones. Go to a local meeting in someone’s front room, or get a clipboard and interview people on the street. It’s never easy, and it’s not cheap. But sometimes it’s the only way.
And you thought “doing social media” was easy…