Social media has come a long way since its debut, evolving into a mainstream marketing tool in less than two decades. Nearly 91.9% of US companies with 100+ employees used social media marketing in 2021. Whether you’re a megacorporation turning over billions in revenue, or a new startup trying to break even, your business needs a social media presence to attract leads.
Social media marketing allows brands to engage with potential customers on some of the world’s largest platforms. Perhaps more importantly, it costs next to nothing. But if you want to perform well on social, you should define your target audience. Locating your target demographic will help you drive more relevant campaigns and acquire better results.
In this post, we’ll share some tips to help you target the right people on social media. But first, let’s understand what a target audience is.
What is a Target Audience?
Simply put, your target audience is made of people most likely to buy from you. It is usually dictated by:
- Marital status
Your target audience will vary based on your products and services. For example, a couture label will have a different target audience than an athletic sportswear brand.
Determining a target audience is vital to effective consumer engagement. It can help you craft personalized content for specific personas, streamline your sales approach, boost brand visibility, and increase reach.
But how do you locate your target audience amongst nearly 4.5 billion social media users? Let’s find out!
6 Tips to Discover Your Target Audience on Social Media
Your clients may be hidden away in the social sea. But with the right tools and research, you can get through to them without breaking a sweat. Here’s how.
1. Create Buyer Personas
Your business isn’t going to hit the right notes with everybody. Some people will love your services, while others won’t see any value in them. As a result, you need to zone in on your ideal customer- someone who not only benefits from your business but also pushes it in the right direction.
There are several ways to do this. Let’s dive in.
- Start by analyzing your offerings. How does your product/service solve your consumers’ problems? What sets you apart from your market rivals? Why should customers trust you instead of them?
- Next, scrutinize past interactions with customers. Comb through every breakthrough/debacle to decide your strengths and weaknesses.
- Create an ideal customer profile. Get as close as possible by pinpointing age, education, income levels, spending patterns, languages, pain points, and life stages, among other things.
2. Find Out Where Your Target Audience Hangs Out
Although Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube top the charts most often, they aren’t the be-all and end-all of social media. Depending on your target audience, you may have to cast a wider net.
Take TikTok as an example. The short-form video-sharing app has been making waves in the social sphere. In 2021, 63% of Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 used TikTok every week. So, if you are on a teen-focused brand, you might find an overwhelming majority of your target audience on TikTok.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are several smaller, less visible, yet highly specialized social networks. While you can’t be active on all of them, establish where your target audience hangs out the most.
3. Use Hashtags
It’s safe to say hashtags (# followed by a trending word or phrase) have taken over social media. Not only are they a great way to stay updated on industry trends, but they also allow you to get more attention from your target audience.
However, adding random hashtags to your posts won’t get you far. Follow these #bestpractices to attract your target audience more appropriately.
- Steer clear of broad terms. Instead, use carefully chosen hashtags that speak to your target audience. The more specific you can make them, the higher your chances of drawing people from your niche.
- Don’t add a hashtag every couple of words. Doing this can distract people from your content.
- Short hashtags are easier to remember.
- Try not to make your hashtags too obscure. You still want people to search for them.
4. Create Exciting New Content
Engaging people through social media is an art. You need the right content to keep your target audience interested in your brand. When people find you fun, quirky, or inspirational, they will likely promote you to their peers.
For starters, figure out what your target audience wants to see on your socials. It’s best if you share a selection of curated content to find which ones click. Keep an eye on your social media analytics to get a handle on your best uploads.
Most importantly, avoid turning every post into an advertisement. Sure, you can throw in a couple of promotions every now and then. But if all your posts are salesy, people may not engage with them at all.
5. See What Your Competition Is Doing
You probably share your target audience with market rivals. Hence, it’s worth checking out what they’re doing to enhance their reach. What social channels are they on? How are they responding to their audience? Are they formal and polite or chatty and easygoing? Who are their top followers? What does their posting schedule look like?
Again, this is one of the simplest ways to refine your social media targeting methods. Even if you’re not following in your competitors’ footsteps, you can always benefit from the lessons they learned along the way.
6. Shell Out For Social Media Ads
Organic reach is hard to achieve. In some cases, you’ll have to invest in social media advertising. Paid ads can help improve brand recognition, increase conversion rates, and boost business traffic. But you must advertise on platforms where your target audience is present and active. There is no point in running ads on Facebook if most of your potential clients are on Instagram.
Also, high-performing organic posts make the best candidates for social media ads. Present your audience with content you know they’re already interested in. This way, you’ll have a better shot at obtaining click-throughs.
The Bottom Line
Successful social marketing campaigns begin with identifying a target audience. Once you’ve found your niche crowd, you can develop a well-balanced content plan that appeals to them. Hopefully, the tips in this post will get you off to a solid start!
Author Bio: Mark Haugstad is the creator of WaterMark Design based in Elk River, Minnesota. He has over ten years of experience in web and graphic design, working with small businesses across industries. Focused on providing quality service and affordability, he firmly believes in determination, integrity, faith, and having fun each day.