How to Find Your Target Audience on Social Media
Most people know that it’s important to define your target audience, but not everyone knows how to use that information in marketing campaigns on social media.
Read on to learn more about how to identify your target audience and engage with them on your social media platforms.
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How to Identify Your Target Audience
Marketing teams waste nearly $40 billion a year on ads and campaigns that don’t effectively engage with their target audiences. C campaigns can fail for a variety of reasons, but, oftentimes, this failure to engage with your audience stems from a lack of understanding of who that audience really is.
“Target audience” is defined as a group of consumers characterized by businesses based on behavior and demographic characteristics who are most likely to be interested in purchasing a business’ product.
Target audiences define buyer personas that help sales teams understand who they’re selling to and generally guide every marketing and advertising campaign. Without understanding your target audience, how can you make your messaging specific and persuasive?
You always need to know who you’re writing for when building anything consumer-facing. Without a target audience in mind, you’re throwing mud at the wall in the dark.
Different Types of Target Audiences
First, you need to understand what makes up different kinds of target audiences. They can be sorted in multiple ways depending on how specific you want to be and which demographics and characteristics you choose to focus on.
Once you know a more general audience that you want to go after, you can also segment them further based on things like level of purchase intent, interests and hobbies, available spending money, or unique subcultures that they are a part of (jazz enthusiasts, football fans, Marvel movie lovers, etc.).
The Importance of Understanding Your Target Audience
It’s a common sales and marketing adage that if you try to sell to everyone, you’ll end up selling to no one. Unless you’re selling water, not everybody on Earth will want your product and not everyone who wants your product will want it for the same reason.
It’s important to narrow your focus to the people who are most interested in buying your product and those who already have a need for it. This is your target audience.
80% of customers say they’re more likely to buy from a company that offers personalized interactions. This doesn’t have to mean literally calling them out by name, it can just be a message more tailored to their interests.
Even if you sell something everyone can use—healthcare, food, or clothing—narrowing your scope is still important. Even though technically everyone needs healthcare, food, and clothing, focusing on a broad audience will actually do more harm to your business than good.
Going forward with marketing campaigns without a target audience makes it harder for businesses to attract new customers due to things like:
- Weak Branding: People love brands because they align with their own personal ideals and styles. This strong branding stems from the unique copy and design of ad campaigns, logos, and content, all of which will be too generic if you’re trying to attract and appease a huge variety of people. Weak branding makes it difficult for people to relate to your company, reducing brand affinity and the number of loyal, repeat customers and brand ambassadors that you can generate.
- Bland Messaging: If you’re trying to attract everyone then your messaging will come across as flat, uninspired, and uninteresting to almost everybody.
- Attracting the Wrong Customers: Believe it or not, there’s such a thing as the wrong type of customer. Someone who doesn’t appreciate your offering, can’t benefit from it or doesn’t need it will become a very unsatisfied customer. They leave bad reviews, produce poor word-of-mouth, and can be a drain on company resources.
Using Social Media to Find Your Target Audience
To find your ideal target audience on social media, ask yourself a few questions about your current audience and customers:
- What do you know about your current audience?
- What are they looking for? Why do they buy from you?
- What information are they seeking?
- Where are they getting that information?
After finding these answers, you should have a solid idea of what social users would qualify as being within your target audience. Maybe it’s sports nuts who want the latest trade news or fashionistas who follow the most up-to-date designers and trendsetters.
Additionally, you need to understand how your products fill a need for them and the value that you create in their lives.
Armed with all this knowledge, you can start looking to find effective ways to engage with them.
TIP: Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (and many more) also provide analytical tools to give you more demographic insights into your following!
How to Engage with Your Target Audience on Social Media
The next step is to give your audience what it wants and get that content in front of them. On social media, you can do this in a few ways:
- Create Original Content: Content is the lifeblood of your social media. The content that you create will determine how effective and engaging your social media strategy is. To create the best content, it’s imperative that you’ve identified your audience’s likes, dislikes, interests, questions, and anything else that will help you understand what they want from you.
- Interact with People Directly: Social media is an incredible tool for businesses that allows them to directly interact with their audience. Answer questions, handle customer service requests, crack jokes, direct people to your site, and generally just provide a memorable experience to anyone who contacts you. This makes your brand extremely approachable, friendly, helpful, and is, in most cases, a massive net positive.
- Find and Use Relevant Trends: Nearly all social platforms have some sort of trending topics, use them to your advantage. Monitor popular trends, hashtags, news stories, memes, and events that your target audience might be interested in, and throw your hat into the ring. Use the hashtag in a post, comment on a trending story, or share relevant content that adds something interesting to the conversation. Taking advantage of trending topics can create a lot of valuable reach on your posts.
- Follow and Interact with Associated Brands/People: You can also expand your reach by interacting with other brands and people, especially if their interests overlap with your audience’s. Comment on their posts, tag them in jokes, poke fun at them, and try to create enjoyable and memorable moments.
No matter if you’re looking to master your socials or build any other form of marketing campaign, it all starts with identifying your target audience so you can tailor your messaging directly to them. Without this, you’re left writing bland, catch-all messaging that is meant for everybody, but attracts nobody.
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