Do you know where your brand’s followers are? Not where they are on the internet or what social media platform they’re on, but where they are physically located in the world? More importantly, should you? Brands want to maximize their earning potential, and the location of your social media audience may play into that. Discover if your social media management team should pay attention to follower location.
Where Can You Do Business?
The first thing to determine is if your company can do business with other countries. If your business operates solely in one location, with no ability to service other countries, then you absolutely need to pay attention to your follower location. No need to read the rest of this article, you know for a fact that audience location matters. If you’re an American company and have a 100,000 Twitter followers, but only half are in the United States, then half of your audience is doing you no good. The main purpose of social media is to be able to reach out and interact with customers and potential customers – people outside of your company’s borders won’t be either of those things (may want to specify brick and motor business, for ecommerce, it could matter). This holds true for both ecommerce and brick and mortar businesses. Whether people must physically show up to your location or you’re restricted by shipping zones and service areas – if you’re promoting to people who can’t buy from you, you’re wasting your time (and therefore money).
But if your company can do business with other countries, the answer is a bit more complicated. You may be able to do business internationally, but what is the cost associated with doing so? Do you even want to seek out business with other countries? You need to determine the relationship between customer value and location.
The Customer Value – Location Relationship
Look at the costs associated with doing business at different locations. SHIFT is able to do business anywhere in the world, but it’s going to be a lot less expensive to travel to a pitch down the street from our office than one in Australia. Therefore, while we welcome and celebrate all of our Australian followers, we don’t want the majority of our social media following located in an area that’s an expensive place to do business. The same goes for other location-based costs.
Consider other things that factor into the customer value-location relationship: do local regulations or tariffs cut into your profit margins when working in certain locations? Are there extra business costs or man hours that go into adapting content or products for different countries? If you’re a non-European company and do any business at all with the EU – whether operations are in the EU itself or you simply do business with EU citizens, regardless of where they currently reside – you will be bound by the GDPR. Learn more about the General Data Protection Regulation here, but each violation can result in a fine up to 4% of a company’s annual revenue, or 20 million Euros, whichever is greater. All potential costs associated with doing business in other countries need accounting for when determining where your most valuable business takes place.
Once you’ve determined the costs associated with other locations, you should have a good idea where your target locations are – the ones with the lowest associated costs that offer you the greatest opportunity for earning potential. Those are the places you want your followers to be.
Do you know where your followers are? Unless you are a brand where location has zero effect on your bottom line, where the cost to do business down the street is the same as in the Arctic Circle, you need to know where your social media audience is. Social media is often the first step in the customer journey, and you need to know if your social media audience is starting people on this path to purchase. Follower location may appear to be an inconsequential data point, but it can have a large effect on your bottom line. While not an end metric, it is a diagnostic metric, one that offers vast insight into your market and the future success of your brand.
Your number of followers may be a badge of pride, but remember why your brand is on social media in the first place: to reach current and/or future customers. If you have followers located where you don’t sell, then they can’t buy, and followers in low cost-to-value locations are worth more than followers in locations associated with higher costs. When it comes down to it, not all current or future customers are worth the same to your company. Some will be more valuable than others, and you want your social media efforts focused on audiences that represent the greatest earning potential for your brand. Ensure that you and your social media management team know where your followers are.
Want to learn how to locate your social media audience? Want to know what to do if they’re not where you want them to be? There’s a lot to be learned from your follower locations –learn to locate and how to gain actionable insight from your follower locations in the next post!