Finding the right audience online requires just as much research as any other campaign, whether it is PR or marketing.

Check that you have answers to these three questions before anyone jumps onto Twitter or Facebook:

1. What do you want from social media?

Do you want to make sales to new customers? You’ll need to drive people towards a website. On the other hand, a concise PR message can work on its own.

Figuring out what you want from your social media will help you craft the right message.

2. Who are your audience online?

It doesn’t matter who your audience is in the physical world, the best audience for you may be different online. Knowing your audience makes a big difference:

3. What’s in it for them?

Entering the social media space is like arriving at a huge party where everyone is shouting at everyone else. To get the throngs of people to pay attention to your message you need to give them a reason beyond ‘We shout the loudest’.

Decide the best way to answer their question 'What's in it for me?' If you need to reach teenagers online, a promotion tied in with free texts or online games will be more effective than simply presenting them with your message. Generation Y? Maybe useful links or information about venues to meet.

Once your initial campaign has started, keep an eye on who is responding. You'll be able to further refine your approach to social media and your clients.

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