How to Find Your Target Audience on Social Media
Nowadays, nearly every company is active on social media; and if you’re the team member in charge of running those accounts, you’re going to need to make your social media efforts stand out. Every company has a goal of promoting its products or services or even engaging with its existing audience. And to make it even tougher, there’s a common misconception where people believe the more views and likes your content gets, the better. But just because you’re active on social media, or have even gone viral, doesn’t always mean your efforts are fully paying off.
Oftentimes businesses will run social accounts without any real idea about what they should be doing and why they should do it. The biggest problem that these businesses and organizations have is that they’re not making a strategic effort to find their target audience on social media. The bottom line is that if you’re trying to reach everyone, you’re going to reach no one.
Before we get into any specifics, it’s important that we define exactly what a target audience is.
Your target audience is made up of the people who are most likely to be interested in your company’s services or products. Basically, it’s a specific group of people your content is intended for. They often have shared qualities, including pain points, interests, and demographics. Think of it like your content is an arrow and the targets are these groups of people. Where do you want your content to land?
Target Audience vs. Target Market
The terms target audience and target market are often used interchangeably. Your target market refers to your potential clients and customers. While your target audience is comprised of those groups you aim to reach with your marketing efforts and will be more relevant to your content marketing and advertising decisions.
Why does it matter?
Building a target audience will open your business to more opportunities when it comes to your social media marketing efforts, including:
- Crafting personalized, persuasive messaging
- Publishing the right type of content on your company blog to share on social and engage users
- Figuring out when and where to reach this group of people
- Running targeted digital marketing campaigns with pre-defined, measurable goals
- Posting content on your social channels that best reflects and resonates with your user’s needs
The most important thing to remember is that social media is all about your audience. To optimize your social media marketing efforts, the first step to understand your target audience – and start using it the right way. That’s why we’re sharing some important steps to take to do just that.
Identify Your Target Audience
You may already have a general idea of the types of people to whom you sell your products or offer your services. As you build up a tighter description of your target audience, you’ll want to begin by asking yourself some questions, such as:
- Which age groups are you hoping to reach? Do you appeal to some generations more than others?
- Do your typical customers or clients fall within a specific income category?
- What types of values does your target audience have in common?
- Is your audience primarily made up of men, women, or non-binary individuals? Or is it a mix?
- Is your audience local, or do they span a broader geographic region?
You’ll then want to narrow your target audience even further by considering shared interests, habits, views, and lifestyle characteristics, such as:
- What do these people enjoy?
- What is important to them?
- Is there something they feel particularly strongly about?
- Are their political or religious views an important factor to consider?
- What is their general level of education?
- Are these people typically married, divorced, or single?
- Any particular spending habits? Are they thrifty or tend to be engaged shoppers?
The clearer your image of the intended audience, the more likely you’ll hit a bullseye.
What Social Channels Do They Use?
You can’t possibly be active on every single social network available in today’s world, and quite frankly, your target audience is unlikely to be either. Similar types of people tend to stick together, so your main task here is to establish the social sites where your target audience spends the most time. Most social network sites offer research on the types of people who use their platforms. We’d recommend exploring the data on some of the platforms you’re considering or currently using and see how it matches up with your identified demographic.
Research What Your Competitors Are Doing
Your target audience likely overlaps with your competitor’s. Be sure to check out their active social media channels and analyze what they’re doing on each of them: how do they engage with their audience members? What type of content are they posting and sharing?
Also, be sure to look at who your competitor is targeting in their advertising efforts specifically. Where are they employing paid advertising? Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter? Who are they addressing in their ads? Try analyzing their ads, messaging, and branding to put together a target audience and see how it compares with yours—including how it overlaps and how it differs. This should help you better articulate your brand’s differentiation.
Create Content Your Target Audience Will Love
Now that you have a pretty good grasp of your target audience, you’ll need to create and share the types of content that will interest those people and get them to engage with your brand.
Ideally, you’ll utilize a mix of curated content and original content related to the topics that interest them. You want them to come to your page because they value the content you create and share.
You may need to engage in some trial and error, keeping an eye on your analytics to determine the types of content that generally work and the types that don’t. Some people will prefer to read blog posts while others are only interested in memes or videos. Keep some variety to your content – but focus on what your followers love the most.
Don’t forget to include posts that encourage engagement. Ask questions in your posts and engage when people respond. Social media can also be utilized as another type of customer service department. Encourage people to send direct messages where you can quickly and easily address any complaints and issues.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to be yourself; people love a brand that is genuine and authentic.
When used correctly, social media is an incredibly effective tool when it comes to increasing brand awareness. Reaching your target audience helps with promotional efforts and allows you to understand what actions are needed to cultivate a well-rounded marketing strategy and ultimately turn potential buyers into loyal customers.