Soooo some tolerant soul in a #Facebook group asked me to explain what I meant by saying I was building a proxy audience for my own business the same way I normally would for a client.
I am actually SUPER EXCITED about this summer's market research, so I said:
Well, when I build a proxy audience for a client I typically do it by identifying interests and circumstances that would make somebody more likely to have a need for the client's product or service. Then I go looking for accounts that cater to each of those interests and concerns - usually I start with a list of 5-10 accounts. From there, I begin pulling samples from their like/follow lists and their post interactions, typically aiming for a mathematically randomized sample of 20-50% of total account interactions. I follow up by doing the same things on each of the accounts I've sampled, and that usually gives me both my initial proxy audience (anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred accounts, depending on the scale of the project) and an exponentially expanding set of overlapping interests/concerns with which to perform the same find-and-sample operation. Usually at that point I step back and begin pulling mathematically randomized samples again, but this time I'm looking for things like syntax and sociolinguistic indicators of performance, sincerity, intimacy, etc. I analyze the results to come up with a set of recommendations to send to my client ... or, in this case, to myself! 😃 It's good nerdy fun.
If developing a proxy audience sounds time-consuming ... well, that's because it is!
It is also highly effective. If you are struggling to find (online) and engage (online) the people you are just SURE will both need and want the thing you're selling ... you will be hard-put to find a better bang for your market research buck than proxy audience sampling.
I made a video breakdown yesterday.
Nobody say anything about the face I am making in this thumbnail.