Without a doubt, social media has become one of the most powerful channels for targeting audiences. According to the latest statistics, there are 4.55 billion social media users worldwide as of October 2021. For businesses, this offers a huge market for brand building. Creating a social media profile can help boost your online presence.
However, establishing your target audience is not that easy if you cannot identify them in the first place. Just because customers are on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn does not mean they can be your right audience. Targeting to the wrong audience is not only a waste of resources but also an exercise in futility. In this article, we shall take a look at the steps on how to properly identify your target audience on social media.
- Identify Your Target Audience
- Determine The Social Media Channel To Use
- Research Competition
- Employ Social Listening
- Use Data To Determine Your Target Market
- Use industry hashtags
- Create Content
- Engage With Customers
- Survey Your Existing Customers
- Test Your Strategy
1. Identify Your Target Audience
Before you can start with your social media campaign, you should first identify “who” your target audience is. Social media is a haven for finding potential customers but just because they are there does not mean you can target them. When it comes to social media, you can sell to everyone but not everyone can be your target audience. Everything starts with knowing who your target market is.
So who is your target audience? They are the people who are likely to be interested in your content, products, or services. They share common characteristics such as demographics and behavior. If your product caters to the older population, obviously you cannot sell it to millennials or younger customers.
You can start with a broad category and then narrow it down to a particular group or niche. Not identifying your target audience can be costly. In addition, it can help with effective spending and improved customer retention. With the right audience, you can refine your marketing strategy and save you money in the process.
2. Determine The Social Media Channel They Use
After identifying who your target audience is, the next step is to find which channel they spend most of their time on. Not all of them stay on Facebook or Twitter, they could be on LinkedIn or Reddit. In social media, it is all about quality and not just quantity. Focusing on just two to three channels consistently will yield much better results than being on several channels.
It is unlikely that you can be active on all social media channels and it is also impossible for your target audience to be active on all social media channels as well. If your target audience uses a certain channel then you should be on that channel for you to be able to engage and convince them to be your loyal customer.
When you’re targeting the right audience, find the social media channels where they are staying most of the time and focus your marketing on those sites. There are many online tools that can help you identify the social media channels your target audience is using.
3. Research Competition
Chances are competitors are targeting the same audience you are targeting on their favorite social media channels. At the same time, you need to find out how they are positioning themselves in the market. What are they doing across social media platforms? What type of content are they using and sharing?
With competitor research, you need to identify what strategies are working and not working for them. By researching your competition, you will be able to integrate their strategies or come up with your own. When implementing your own social media strategy, you need to keep in mind that social media is dynamic and should be adjustable according to need.
Competitor research will help you gauge how you will stack up against others in your industry. You will be able to identify both new opportunities and potential threats. Aside from insights about other companies, you will also be able to gain insight into your own business and your audience. This way, you will be able to implement strategies on how you can make your business stand out from the competition.
4. Employ Social Listening
To be effective with your target audience, you need to listen to what they are talking about. Make sure you have an understanding of the nuances of each social network. For instance, communicating with your Twitter audience revolves around hashtags and current topics. For YouTube, social listening involves comments, likes, and subscriptions.
Social listening entails monitoring relevant keywords and hashtags as this is what people are saying about you and your competitors online. It opens up opportunities for you to discover relevant hashtags so you can use them in your social posts and extend your reach to other relevant users. With social listening, you can create a benchmark and further boost the customer experience. In addition, it can help you drive strategic business changes, whether product descriptions, pricing, service improvements, and others.
With social listening, you can gauge public perception about your brand or products. If you have a current campaign, social listening allows you to understand how it is resonating with your target audience. The bottom line is that social listening will provide you with so many amazing opportunities.
5. Use Data To Determine Your Target Market
Customer data is vital in determining who your target audience will be. Playing a guessing game will not suffice. Having customer data will help you make an informed business decision. Without the right data, you will be wasting time, money, and resources targeting the wrong audience. Use Google analytics and other measuring tools for narrowing down your target market.
If you have a CRM system, you can use the data that is being captured by the software. You can start with your current customers, followers, or those who interact with your posts. Examples of data you might want to consider include age, location, language, spending power and patterns, interests, and others. If you own a B2B company, you might want to consider the size of your business and the decision makers.
Your customer database can provide you with a wealth of information. Never assume that your overall customer demographics will match your target audience for social media sites. But you can start with the ones who are already buying from you. You can use website and social media analytics. Pay close attention to the engagement, reach, click-throughs, hashtag engagement, and others.
6. Use Industry Hashtags
The last few years have seen an increase in the use of industry hashtags. It offers businesses an easy and effective way to keep tabs on the latest events, trending topics, and industry questions. Hashtags started on Twitter and eventually proliferated on other social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn.
Hashtags can make your content visible to interested individuals regardless of whether or not they are followers. Hashtags can help increase social media engagement. Adding hashtags to your tweet, for example, will help double your online engagement. However, research also reveals that the number of hashtags you will use should be monitored. You should limit your use of it to one or two at the most. In fact, Twitter’s own study revealed that using more than two hashtags will drop actual engagement by an average of 17 percent.
When using hashtags, ensure that they are not too broad or general. The more specific you can make them, the better since it will attract a smaller audience that perfectly matches your niche. You can create your own hashtags that will automatically be associated with your brand. In the end, it will help increase your brand exposure. The most important thing is to learn how to use hashtags according to the social media channel you plan to use.
7. Create Content
The time tested cliche “Content is king” still very much applies to targeting the right audience. Content creation will help add value to your social media strategy. Pitching ads is not enough to make your target audience notice you. You need to create and share content that customers will find interesting.
Content creation entails establishing the types of posts that your target audience will like. It will require trial and error on your part as you need to identify which types of content are effective in engaging customers and arousing their interests. For instance, some people will read your blog posts, others are only interested in short videos. You can create various types of content but focus on the ones that your followers are interested in.
When creating content, you don’t want it to sound like a sales pitch. You can post promotional content from time to time but most people prefer content with value. The most important thing to remember is to create engaging content. Create appealing content first and the sales will follow.
8. Engage With Customers
What good is social media if there is no customer engagement? After all, people don’t use social media for a one-way experience. Their aim is to connect with people and with brands. Engagement provides an opportunity to gauge whether your social media strategy is resonating with your audience. Customers expect businesses to engage not only to respond but to do it as quickly as possible. 71% of users expect brands to respond within an hour.
Customer engagement provides businesses with an opportunity to build relationships. Through social media, you can learn from customers and the community and improve the overall experience. With customer engagement, it is not enough that you just interact with them. 54% of social media users research products and providing your followers with value can help increase your sales.
In the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of mobile shoppers, so it is important that your posts are optimized for mobile. 45% of customers purchased products from a mobile device. Aside from that, you would want to make sure that your products can be easily purchased on social media. Make customer engagement a part of your social media strategy to ensure your business growth.
9. Survey Your Existing Customers
The best example of a target audience is your current customers. Although you may already have an idea of their activities and interests, without a doubt the best way to obtain valuable information is to conduct a survey. Include questions that will provide a clear idea of the social sites where they spend most of their time and the kind of content they like to read. Customer surveys provide your business with feedback indicating their current level of satisfaction.
By conducting customer surveys, you will be able to get useful information that you can use for formulating strategic business and marketing plans. However, you may also want to get feedback from past customers as well in order not to alter the results and ultimately reduce the value of your survey data. The idea is to strike a balance between surveying current and past customers.
The collected data from the survey will help your company solve current customer issues and help prevent potential customer problems. It will help you conclude that your customers were not as happy as you thought they were with your products or services. Getting feedback from both current and past customers will assist you in implementing short and long term strategies.
10. Test Your Strategy
Testing your social media strategy is an effective tool for refining your content and advertising strategies. It will help you understand which method works and which method doesn’t. Testing your strategy will help you make the most of your social media budget. A/B testing will help provide you with an insight into what is most effective for each social network.
For instance, testing will help you identify the most effective visual for your social media post. Statistics show that people process visuals 60,000 times faster than text so you need to identify which visual should be at the top of your list. Testing is also effective in identifying the most effective headline. Thus you need to test out different headlines.
For testing to be effective, you need to keep it simple. Test one thing at a time and get the best data. If you get a successful result, don’t stop there and aim for better results. You can always tweak your strategy to find out what will really work best.
Take these tips into mind when identifying your target audience. You want to make sure that you target the right audience or your efforts will prove futile.
Social Media Marketing with airisX
Over the years, social media marketing has evolved from being just another marketing channel into an important part of the customer service experience. Major brands and small businesses are now investing heavily in dedicated social media marketing teams to implement their social media strategies successfully.
airisX brings our outsourcing services to the next level by maintaining a workforce of social media marketing specialists dedicated to enact all your online marketing needs.
Use our social media managers to create a seamless channel for customers to show their support and share the way they use your products. Our staff is very well versed in all the platforms you use to connect with your audience, whether that is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, WeChat, etc., actively responding to messages, posts, and inquiries from your end users. We also further engage your followers by creating, curating, and posting content related to your business.