Cultivating Your Audience Part II: A Q&A with Jeff Rohrs

*This is part two of a three-part series recapping Elizabeth Wagner’s interview of Clevelander Jeff Rohrs discussing his call to action for every marketer who wants to increase the size, engagement and value of their audiences.*

Question: How does a marketer determine the magic mix of channels, tools and guidelines? Is it a better strategy to use social media to capture the largest market following possible or focus on opinion leaders?

Answer: I wish there was one answer to that question, but there isn’t. Even within the same industry, two competitors may have to leverage very different channels due to the nature of their brands. A whimsical brand may resonate extremely well on social media whereas a more serious brand may need to focus on influencer channels and direct marketing. The key is to find the right match of channels based on your brand and where your customers live online and off. It’s not about the channels you use as a marketer—it’s about the ones your customers use.

Question: Please describe how to determine the best social media channels that will yield the greatest ROI for your audience segments.

Answer: Tricky question. The ROI a channel generates is impacted by your content, your staffing, and your level of interaction with the audiences you aggregate there. Thus, in prioritizing where you’ll focus your efforts as a brand, you need to be honest with yourself. Don’t bite off more than you can chew—and by all means, don’t put a dispassionate “clock-puncher” in charge of channels where personality and creativity are required. Social media ROI flows from passionate, human interactions. Accordingly, the social media channels that will yield the best ROI will be those where you can match personality with outcome.

Question:What are the seven habits of highly effective proprietary audience developers?


  1. They are always building audiences.
  2. They value audiences as assets and work to quantify their value.
  3. They are willing to ignore org charts to achieve company objectives.
  4. They collaborate across channels, teams and companies when needed.
  5. They spot “moments” to build and engage audiences that others may miss
  6. They serve the audience, not vice versa.
  7. They respect the fact that no audience is owned and that attention must constantly be earned.

Question: In these days of lean marketing staff, how does a sole practitioner monitor social media to ensure possible negative publicity about its brand does not spiral out of control—while still doing everything else?

Answer: You keep a smartphone at the ready at all times and turn your down time into your social engagement time—checking Facebook, Twitter, and the other channels meaningful to your business—throughout the day. Where possible, you also delegate critical issue monitoring or response to an employee who’s perhaps more stationary and able to handle customer service or brand issues that may arise. And most importantly, you never post, tweet or respond angry.  Social media punishes emotional responses. Take the time to take a deep breath and think through whether your response needs to be online—or whether it’s best to pick up the phone and deal with something person-to-person.

To be continued … don’t miss the final segment!

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