Integrating your Platform into an Audience

Hey All, and welcome to another post from Bard & Books! things are finally moving back toward normal as South Carolina has began to reopen the economy which is a bit of a relief. In addition, I’m the middle stages of closing on a house! As long as everything goes well with the loan, we will close on June 3rd, and I will be sure to put some photos!

On to business! This week focuses on another case study for my Social Media Marketing class at SNHU. The originally case study focuses on the Chinese app Weixin, but I have tried to position it in a way that we as writers and marketers can more easily implement some of their design concepts even if we are not software developers. As always, I appreciate all of your support, and if you haven’t done so already please hit the follow button to the right of the screen!

Photo by Stefan Stefancik from Pexels

Whenever we design a marketing platform, whether it is a social media account or a website, usability is critical to its success. When our audiences navigate to our platform that want to be able to quickly and easily find the content that they are looking for. In order to address this we need to know why audiences are interested in us in the first place. Below are a few questions to ask yourself in order to better understand why they are following you:

  1. What are the characteristics of the average audience member (age, location, gender, mobile/pc, etc)?
  2. What piece of content drew them to your platform to begin with?
  3. How much related content do you already have to the piece that drew them?
  4. How many clicks and/or page scrolls does it take to find additional related content?
  5. What are the other elements of your platform that the audience might be interested in?
  6. How can you display those pieces to them as well?
  7. How will they be able to find your platform in the future?

Mahoney and Tang—the authors of Strategic Social Media: From Marketing to Social Change—discuss the Chinese social media app Weixin as one of their case studies. Weixin was developed with usability in mind. While most authors, marketers, and readers are not developing an entire social media app to serve as an author platform, I believe that their approach can improve our websites as well as give ideas for strategic social media campaigns.

The images below display the user interface for Weixin, and I think that it is important to note that there are only three elements included in the menu bar. Even though there are only three primary elements, Weixin offers dozens of features to its users ranging from messaging, news feed, internet browsing, taxi services, and money transfers. That said, they have organized the interface to be simple and straightforward.

Photo by Mahoney & Tang at Strategic Social Media…

While many people first start using Weixin for the social messaging features, they often end up using it for several other tasks as well. Weixin wants its users to incorporate their app into their daily lives. Once it becomes a habit, they capture a loyal audience for any future efforts. A similar strategy can be applied to our marketing platforms. If an audience member first encounters Bard & Books through this post, they may be an author, a marketer, a mega-fan of Weixin, or one of my classmates at SNHU. I want to provide enough value that the user engages with the content as well as follows the blog in order to see future posts.

In order to convert potential readers into followers, I believe that is necessary to display that there are several other posts related to the topics that my audience is interested in, thus the menu for this website is organized based off of general topics, and the bottom of each posts has a few others that a are recommended to the reader. This backlog of content is one of the strongest aspects of any platform, and is critical to the long term growth of any platform. Thank you for reading, and if you enjoyed the post please like, comment, and follow the site to see future content. Don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts, and I hope to see you on the next post from Bard & Books!

2 thoughts on “Integrating your Platform into an Audience

  1. Hi Steven,

    I wish the best on closing on your new house. It is one of the most excellent feelings to have when the deal completes. As I read your blog about Weixin, I agree with you that the company focused on the usability of their application. Additionally, Weixin went deeper to understand the needs of the users, which gave them the foundation for creating a useful application that was accepted by many people. Unlike traditional marketing, social media marketing focuses on engaging and understanding the audiences, and Weixin made the right investment to gather the data needed to understand what their audience’s daily lives. Furthermore, Weixin took a step forward and created the WeChat to reach an international audience that built a bridge between the East and West continents. Thoroughly understand their audience and their needs contributed to creating a usable application that was well received in the Asian communities.



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