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Digital marketing

How to attract your target audience on social media

how to find your social media target audience

Attracting the right audience to your social media business pages is an important factor for all marketing strategies.  First of all, it’s important to understand your target market and then  you’ll be able to focus your ads and reach the audience most likely to convert into customers.

Developing a clear understanding of your social media target audience may be the most important thing you do as a social media marketer. Your target audience informs all elements of your social media strategy.

Your target audience is not “everyone”. Your task in defining your social media audience is to identify and understand your niche so you can dominate it.

Audience research will help you craft relevant content, messaging, and ads. All of this can lead to higher conversion rates and better social media Return On Investment (ROI). Of course, these are key metrics for all social marketers (and marketing bosses).

What is a Target Audience?

A target audience is the specific group of people you want to reach with your marketing and social channels. They are the people who are most likely to be interested in your content, products, or services. They are likely united by some common characteristics, like demographics and behaviours, needs & wants.

As you develop your target audience definition, don’t be afraid to get highly specific. You can start with broad categories like millennials or startup businesses. But good social media audience research will allow you to get into much finer detail.

Remember: You can sell to everyone, but you can’t target everyone with all of your social content. You can’t speak directly to your best potential customers if you’re trying to speak to their kids and parents and spouses and colleagues at the same time.

Does it really matter?

Yes. Narrowing down your audience is a crucial aspect of effective social media marketing as you’ll have a better understanding of where you need to spend money and resources in order to connect with these specific people. That means you get the most out of your marketing budget.

Furthermore, if you don’t identify your audience, you won’t be able to create relevant and interesting content for them. In most cases, the content you make will be too general to spark much interest from your readers and you won’t get much traction or engagement online.

The key is to integrate your social media audience insights with other channels like email to create a well-rounded marketing strategy and gain a comprehensive understanding of your audience.

How to find your social media target audience

Social media audience research isn’t complicated. It’s mainly about narrowing your focus while expanding your reach.

Below is a list of essential research that you should carry out to fine tune your target audience:


1. Compile data on your existing customers and social media audience

Who most wants to engage with you on social media? Start with the people already buying from you, following you, and interacting with your posts. Some data points you might want to consider are:

  • Age: You don’t need to get too specific here. Focus on learning which decade of life your social media target audience is in, or their generation.
  • Location (and time zone): Where in the world does your social media audience live? This helps you understand which geographic areas to target. You’ll also learn what hours are most important for your customer service and sales reps to be online. And when you should schedule your social ads and posts to ensure best visibility.
  • Language: What language does your target audience speak? Don’t assume it’s your language. And don’t assume they speak the dominant language of their current physical location.
  • Spending power and patterns: How much money does your target audience for social media sites have to spend? How do they approach purchases in your price category? Do they have specific financial concerns or preferences you need to address?
  • Interests: What does your target audience like to do? What TV shows do they watch? What other businesses do they interact with?
  • Challenges: What pain points is your social media audience dealing with?
  • Stage of life: Does your social media target audience include college students? New parents? Parents of teens? Retirees?

B2B companies should also consider:

  • Size of business: What kinds of businesses buy from and engage with you? Are they start-ups or enterprise-level brands?
  • Who tends to make the buying decisions: Are you targeting the CEO? The CTO? The social marketing manager?

Social media analytics provide much of this information. Facebook Audience Insights can be particularly helpful.

Your own customer database can also provide a wealth of information. You can’t assume that your overall customer demographics will match your target audience for social media sites. But understanding who’s already buying from you can help you understand who’s most likely to be interested in your social channels.

Google Analytics

Check Google Analytics to see which social networks appear in your referral traffic report.

If you’re using UTM parameters, you can also see which social posts are driving the most traffic to your site. If you notice your Twitter posts drive way more traffic than your Facebook posts, this is likely a clue that your audience is more active on Twitter.


2. Check out your social competition

Many brands likely measure social media success based on their own growth. Your followers increased 10%, great! You’re averaging 15% more comments per post, fantastic! Or is it?

While all those numbers are great, how do they stack up against similar brands in your industry? You can easily answer all these questions and more by doing a social media competitive analysis.

With the huge amount of social pages online today, chances are, your social media audience overlaps with that of your competitors. So it’s worth checking out what they’re doing so you can benefit from the lessons they’ve already learned. Are they reaching segments you hadn’t thought to consider? How are they positioning themselves?

3. Understand what your target audience wants from your social channels

First, you need to make sure you have a rock-solid understanding of how your product or service makes your audience’s life:

  • better
  • easier
  • or just more interesting.

Does it solve their challenges? Address specific pain points? Help them meet their goals?

If you don’t already have a clear list of the benefits of your product or , it’s time to start brainstorming now. Creating benefit statements automatically involves stating some basic information about your target demographic.

Next, start to think about how you can create value for your audience through your social channels. Some key questions to consider:

  • What are your audience’s main purchasing barriers, and how can you help overcome them?
  • Where are your followers at in their buying journey? Are they researching or ready to buy? Looking for reviews?
  • What kind of content does your audience tend to engage with?

If you’re having trouble figuring out exactly what your social audience wants to see on your social channels, you could always ask them.

SurveyMonkey has a free template for a social media audience research survey. Use this template to find out which social networks your audience prefers and their content preferences. You can link to your survey directly from a social post, like Amsterdam Marketing did here:


How to reach your target audience on social media

So you’ve worked through the list above and nd defined your social media target audience, but how do you reach your target audience?

Use these tips to connect with more of them:

Encourage Existing customers

Once you know your target audience, you should make a point of encouraging your existing customers to make contact with you on their preferred social networks. In some cases, such as Facebook Ads Manager, you can upload your current customer database, and Facebook will do its best to find your existing clients on their platform. Quite a few of the social media marketing platforms work with CRMs to help you achieve this.

Lookalike audiences and ad targeting

Lookalike audience targeting is one of the most straightforward ways to reach more of your target audience on social media. Lookalike audiences share characteristics and behaviours with people who already interact with your brand.

Don’t have a customer or subscriber list yet? You can still use precise targeting options to target social ads. You’ll then reach exactly the audience you defined during your research.

If you’re targeting more than one audience, you can target your ads so that each audience sees the content most relevant to them.

Create Content Your Target Audience Will Love

You may well know your target audience, but that will be of little value to you if you don’t do anything to make those people want to take notice of you. You need to create and share the types of content that will interest those people. And remember, that does not mean that you just pitch ads at them.

Ideally, you will target a selection of content at them – a mix of curated content and original content on the topics that interest them. You can throw in the occasional promotion, too.

You need your social pages to be inspirational to these people. You want them to come to your page because they value the content you create and share.

You may have established the types of posts that they like from your surveys. Alternatively, you will need to engage in some trial and error, keeping an eye on your analytics to determine the post types that generally work and the types that don’t seem to engage enthusiasm or interest. Some people will prefer to read blog posts. Others are only interested in funny pictures or short videos.

Don’t forget to include posts that encourage engagement. Ask questions in your posts, and engage when people leave answers in the comments. If you are making Instagram Stories, remember to include some of the more engaging Stickers.

Whatever you do, don’t be too salesy with your posts. Sure, a small percentage can be promotional, but the vast majority of people who follow you do so because they want value from your posts, not because they want to buy your product.

And the golden rules is Quality over Quantity.  If you don’t have enough time or content to post several times a week, that’s OK, just make sure that when you do post it’s quality content. Good quality images, videos or text that is engaging and speaks to your audiences needs and wants.

Use relevant keyword hashtags

They not only permeate the digital space but have also influenced the way we speak. These humble little words serve an important role in our modern digital society.

Every marketer worth their salt knows how crucial hashtags can be for their digital marketing strategy. In case you have forgotten the value of these little additions, here’s a primer on how hashtags play an important role in social media.

  • Hashtags are a great way of labeling and finding niche social media content.
  • Hashtags make all your content easily discoverable.
  • Hashtags allow social media users to find and engage with content related to common themes or interests.
  • Hashtags also propel content to reach more people and be discovered by users all across the world.

Triple check the meaning of any hashtag before using it to avoid embarrassment, and potentially deeply damaging your reputation, because you did not understand what that particular hashtag was referencing

Post consistently

The worst thing you can do when trying to get followers on Instagram is to post content at random, haphazard times. If you’re lucky enough to get users following you in the beginning, you don’t want to make them forget they followed you in the first place.

To combat this, keep to a regular posting schedule. Tools like Hootsuite are great for you to organise your social posting schedule and let you get the posts ready in advance – rather than having to do it daily if you don’t have the time.