Whether you’re using social media yourself or not, it’s hard to miss their prevalence. As internet users skyrocketed over the past two decades, so did social media users. In turn, this vast new audience allures businesses like few other options do. Indeed, as the internet changed the way we shop, more and more digital marketers embrace social media marketing. However, merely using social media isn’t enough; you need to find and target your social media audience. So, this article will help you do just that.
First and foremost, let’s briefly discuss social media themselves. Frankly, if they’re not lucrative, why would they be worth your time?
In pure numbers, research suggests that over 4.6 billion people use the internet today. In turn, about 90% of them use social media; that’s roughly 4.15 billion people. Combine this vast audience with how much social media marketing has grown in recent years, and the answer is clear.
Furthermore, it’s also extremely cost-effective. Lyfe Marketing finds that social media is over ten times more cost-effective than TV. It’s also massively preferable to ads in magazines, newspapers, radio, and twice as effective as even billboards.
With that in mind, you’ll still need to find and target your social media audience. From building your own website to enhancing your online presence, it’s crucial to know who you’re aiming to appeal to. This quest begins with actually finding your ideal audience and where they prefer to hang out.
As with all business endeavors, you need to know who your buyers are. As such, before looking outward, look in; who are you attracting?
Examine your product or service, as well as your historical data. Track interactions through Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and similar software, and gather all relevant data. With these insights in hand, you should be able to build buyer personas. You’ll typically find between 3 to 5 ideal buyer personas for your business proposition.
Similarly, if you already have a social media presence, you can use your platforms’ audience insight tools. You can then combine these insights with your own to better pinpoint your audience.
For example, Facebook remains an advertising juggernaut today. It’s where businesses of all sizes and industries engage their audiences due to its massive monthly user base of 2.8 billion. At the same time, Facebook offers very deep audience insight tools. You can thus use those to further your research and more accurately find and target your social media audience.
Finally, you can simply ask your customers. This may seem like an unorthodox practice, but audiences increasingly want to engage with brands and respond well to surveys.
Consider, for example, email survey campaigns. You can set up such campaigns for your existing audiences, where you ask about their social media preferences. You may even automate such campaigns for when new leads subscribe to your email list. Alternatively, you may conduct such surveys on your existing social media platforms, if you’re using any.
Now, to find and target your social media audience, you’ll need to both locate it and appeal to it. With the former part covered, let’s now explore the latter.
As we do, it’s vital to remember the 5-3-2 rule. In essence, it dictates that specific percentages of your content should be of different types:
This is a fundamental rule of thumb to keep in mind. Targeting your audience doesn’t come from merely tailoring all content to them but also from diversifying it.
First and foremost, reaching your audience takes considerable effort. Fortunately, many tools exist to help you do just that. Whether organic or paid, use all tools your resources, workforce, and budget allow.
Two notable examples are ad targeting and lookalike audiences. Wikipedia helpfully defines the former as “advertising […] towards an audience with certain traits […]with a focus on race, economic status, sex, age, generation, level of education, income level, and employment.” Moreover, there’s a psychological component to it, including behavioral patterns and interests. The latter then uses the information you’ve gathered to target audiences that look like your own, as the name suggests.
Next, you should carefully consider the strengths of your chosen platforms. Reaching your audience, and doing so effectively, depends on how well your content resonates with them. To properly use content to become known, consider the following brief examples.
Facebook generally has older demographics. As a platform, it promotes communities better than others and supports visual content, such as images, videos, and infographics.
In contrast, Twitter generally has younger demographics, with roughly 38% of users aged 18 and 29. It facilitates time-sensitive content better, and its character limit promotes digestible, bite-sized posts.
Finally, Instagram also generally has younger, urban audiences, and more female users than male. It’s a very visual-based platform, much like Pinterest, that relies on captivating images.
Finally, at this point you should have the following information:
With these in mind, you should begin tailoring content for your target audience. Pay attention to your written content’s substance, structure, tone, and style. Consider your visual content’s quality, production value, and relevance to your target audience. And, above all, remember to diversify your content. Being “salesy” is far from what social media audiences want, so avoid it at all costs.
In summary, you should now know how to find and target your social media audience. Carefully identify your audience using historical data, audience insight tools, and surveys. Then, reach out to your audience with organic and paid tools, and adapt your content to best suit your platform. In turn, you’ll know precisely how to tailor content for your target audience and thus improve your reach and effectiveness.
Owen Cooke is a blogger and digital marketing enthusiast. He often contributes to websites that deal with technology, advertising, and social media. When he isn’t exploring the world of tech, Owen enjoys spending time outdoors and hiking.
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