A Business’s Guide to Finding its Target Audience On Social Media

So you’ve set up profiles/pages on relevant social media networks. Now what?

Your current customers and the people who know about your brand will find you, but what about everyone else in your target market?

Having a clear understanding of your target audience on social media networks is critical for the success of your social media marketing strategies. Your target audience determines everything from the type of content you post on your social media pages to the sort of strategies you implement.

First things first, “everyone” isn’t your target market. Aside from Google (and probably other search engines), you’re not catering to everyone. Before you even begin designing social media marketing strategies, you need to define your target audience on social media and take the time to understand their concerns and needs.

Getting a better understanding of your target audience requires research; only then can you create compelling content and ads that effectively generate the results you’re looking for. You’ll know your social media marketing strategies are a success when you witness a hike in conversion rates and ROI.

Man using social media on tabletWho Is Your Target Audience?

Your target audience on social media platforms is whoever you think your brand appeals to. These people should want to connect and engage with your brand because of all you’re offering; whether it’s the product/service or the content.

You could define this group of individuals by their demographics, behavior, lifestyle and attitude.

Start with broad categories like “millennial moms”, “people above 50,” etc. and then work on narrowing it down. The more research you conduct, the more defined your target audience will be, allowing you to create tailored social media marketing strategies.

Bear in mind that although you’d want to widen your target market as much as possible, your target audience on social media has to be specific for your SMM strategies to work.

So how do you find your target audience on social media?

Finding Your Target Audience On Social Media

Considering that half the world’s population uses social media, it can be overwhelming for non-marketers to find their target audience on relevant platforms.

Luckily, all platforms offer tools to help you out. After you carry out the research, finding your target audience on social media isn’t very difficult.

Gather Data From Your Current Customers

Start with the customers you already have. Send out surveys, feedback forms, perform field research, etc. to collect demographic and psychographic research. Encourage them to connect with you on social media and note their interests, interactions with your brand, the content they post, like and share.

The more information you obtain from your current customers, the easier it is to find your target audience online.

B2B Target Audience

Finding the right target audience for B2B businesses is different because demographic and psychographic information is irrelevant. B2B marketing isn’t about appealing to the individual; it’s to do with fulfilling the needs of another company; therefore, the approach to finding your target audience is different from B2C organizations.

To define a social media target audience for your B2B company, think about the sizes of the firms you deal with and the main decision-maker in the transactions—these are the people you’ll target with your SMM strategies.

Dive into your customer database to extract as much information as you can about their locations, reach, target market and competition.

UTM Codes
If you haven’t already integrated UTM codes with your social media posts, it’s time to start. These help you monitor the performance of content and campaigns you run on your social media pages.

After you’ve placed UTM codes on your social media, you can use Google Analytics to track your performance.

Social Listening

Social listening is a useful method used to find your social media target audience. If your brand is big enough, you can use social listening to see what people are saying about it and your offerings. Search for your brand name and products on social media platforms and see what shows up.

Hashtags and Keywords

Use hashtags for social listening to find what online users are saying about your brand, company, industry and competition—hashtags are a vital tool for brand/industry research on social media.

Keep an eye out for other keywords and hashtags your target audience uses, so that you can use them in your SMM strategies.

Engage With Your Followers

Engaging with your followers is also a part of social listening. Get into the habit of responding to your social media followers and address their concerns.

Phone with social media iconsFinding Relevant Social Media Platforms

There are seven main social media platforms that have garnered enough users to be worthy of your time, money and effort: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Reddit.

These are the social media channels you should be looking into. That being said, setting up pages on all of them is a waste of time; you need to focus your attention on social media networks where your target audience is most active.

Tools like Google Analytics, Hootsuite, and Keyhole can help you determine which social media channels your target audience is using.

Assess the Competition

Just like you would with traditional marketing, you must evaluate your competition’s marketing strategies on social media as well.

You can do it manually by looking at their social media accounts, taking note of the strategies they’re investing in and the type of content they’re posting, or you can use online tools that will do the work for you.

Online marketing conceptThe Right Content

Now that you know your target audience, you need to think about how your brand positively impacts them.

Think about the problems you solve, the concerns you address and the goals the target audience meets because of you.

List all the benefits your target audience receives from your products and pair them with their features.

For example, IKEA’s major selling point is its unique storage options; that’s one of the main features of its offerings. Consumers can use its storage options to maximize space in small homes—that’s the benefit of shopping from IKEA.

Keep this benefit-feature template in mind when creating your social media posts. Yes, you do want to highlight your features, but you also want to frame your posts in a way that appeals to your target audience.

Remember, what sets social media marketing apart from traditional marketing is that it’s a two-way conversation. Your target audience has as much voice as you do on social media platforms, if not more.

Instagram Explore pageReaching Your Target Audience

After you’ve defined your target audience, you can begin devising strategies to reach them.

Lookalike Audiences and PPC ads

Tying in PPC ads with your social media marketing strategies is an effective way to expand reach and direct new users to your social media pages.

Once you’ve gathered as much demographic and psychographic information as you can about your current users, you can devise strategies to reach “lookalike audiences”. These are people that share characteristics with your existing audience and can be converted into potential customers.

PPC ads offer targeted methods that are based on demographics and interests, allowing you to create customized campaigns that appeal to specific groups of your target audience.

Pairing social media strategies with PPC ads is especially useful for new companies and brands that have only recently launched social media pages.

A/B Test Your Organic Content and Paid Search Ads

When you begin investing in SMM, you’ll have to adjust your SEO and PPC strategies too.

Use the information you found when researching your target audience to tweak your current content strategy, ad campaigns, images/captions you use on social media networks, and ad schedules.

All the tweaks you make to your marketing strategies, and PPC campaigns must be based on the information you found in your research. Contrary to what many believe, social media marketing isn’t a hit and miss. There’s plenty of information available for you to design powerful, engaging campaigns that increase visibility on social media platforms and widen your reach on relevant channels.

Keep Up With Your Target Audience

Your target audience’s interests, mood, behavior and concerns aren’t set in stone. Social media marketers must stay on their toes and continuously update their research.

In the digital space, companies can’t afford to fall behind. If your content is stale and boring, your target audience will not respond the way you want. You can’t risk becoming irrelevant on social media channels because your target audience will be very quick to detach from you.

Social media strategies are only effective when they’re relevant and add value to the current discourse.

Make a point to engage with your target audience on your social media pages and respond to their queries. Produce fresh content regularly, and when you have the budget hire influencers to increase reach.

Unless you can devote time to carry out the research, design, test and tweak social media marketing campaigns yourself, hire a digital marketing agency to do the hard work for you.

Mediaforce is an award-winning digital marketing agency that offers comprehensive digital marketing solutions. We offer SEO services, Paid search services and social media marketing for companies across all industries in the USA and Canada.

Contact us today for more information.

Neil Teasdale

Author Neil Teasdale

More posts by Neil Teasdale

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