For many businesses the biggest challenge of social media marketing is connecting with the right audience. Today I’d like to help you find social media audience – your ideal audience – by figuring out who your target demographic is, what social media platforms they hang out on, and what kind of content they’re most interested in.
The first step if you want to find social media audience is knowing who your customers are outside of social media. You can figure this out by creating demographics profiles – profiles containing information about your customers’ age, gender, income bracket, and more.
You’ll want to create at least two demographic profiles:
If your product appeals to many different groups of people you’ll want to create several demographic profiles. This allows you to target marketing campaigns at specific segments of your customer base.
The more detail you can include, the better, but there are a few things that are absolutely essential:
The demographic profile for your current customers is the easiest one to create, because you can use data you’ve already collected.
You can use any or all of the following methods to gather data about your current customers:
For best results, combine all three forms of research and distill the information into your customer demographics profile. If you notice that you’re reaching multiple demographics, create multiple profiles.
This profile is all about the people you want to reach in order to expand your business. For example, if you sell a time-saving cleaning product, your current customers might be moms, but you might want to reach young professionals.
You don’t already have access to these people, so you’ll have to get a little more creative to build this demographic profile.
Follow these steps to create a demographic profile for your dream customers:
Another good exercise to do is try looking for other websites that your target customers already read and enjoy. Then, you can look through the demographic profiles of those websites via a tool like Alexa. The free version of Alexa will let you know about the audiences’ basic traits, such as their gender, education, and browsing location. To get more, you’ll need to subscribe.
Often looking through your research will give you easy ways to narrow things down. For example, young professionals can easily be divided into different groups based on education, industry, and wages.
Comb through your research and pick out the most attractive qualities in your target demographic, then use those to narrow your profile down. Keep narrowing things down until you feel like you actually know the person you’re trying to reach.
Now that you know who you’re targeting, it’s time to figure out where you can find social media audience. Luckily tracking social media statistics is an industry unto itself, so there’s plenty of interesting information to be found.
You can easily spend weeks researching this stuff, but we’re going to go through a brief overview of each social media network.
Pay close attention to where your demographic spends time and choose 2-3 networks to focus on. Having a few active accounts where you engage with your community is more effective than having poorly maintained accounts on a dozen sites.
Facebook is the largest social media network in the world and has members from almost every generation, but some demographics are more attracted to it than others.
Here are the most important Facebook statistics for business owners:
(Charts by Visualizer Lite.)You can find more fascinating Facebook statistics in Omnicore’s Facebook by the Numbers article (published August 2017).
YouTube is the second largest social media network in the world, and it also has the power of Google behind it. It can be difficult to produce a steady stream of videos, but if your demographics are hanging out here, it’s definitely worth the effort.
Pay special attention to these essential YouTube statistics:
Instagram isn’t nearly as big as YouTube, but it is the fastest growing social media network, and that growth shows no signs of stopping any time soon.
Here are some of the most important Instagram statistics for businesses to know:
Twitter’s lost some ground to other social media networks in the past few years, but they still have millions of active users. Every business should at least consider developing a Twitter presence.
Here’s what you need to know about Twitter:
Snapchat is currently the second fastest growing social network. Their demographics are narrower than most of the other networks, but the engagement they have with those demographics cannot be overstated. If your ideal social media audience is teenagers, you can’t afford to ignore Snapchat.
Check out these essential Snapchat statistics for marketers:
Pinterest isn’t growing as fast as some of the other social networks, but they are still growing. They also already have a dedicated social media audience of 150 million active users. If your business lends itself easily to photography, Pinterest is definitely worth checking out.
Here are some Pinterest statistics worth noting:
LinkedIn’s main goal is to facilitate professional connections rather than social ones. They offer an extensive range of ways to make your brand visible, both to customers and to future employees.
Here are a few fascinating statistics about LinkedIn:
It should come as no surprise that every type of content works better for some audiences – and some social networks – than others. Once you’ve figured out where to be, you need to develop some rules for how your brand will behave on each network.
Your social media content should build your reputation and develop a relationship with your target demographics. You want to earn their trust, respect, even admiration. Every post should give your social media audience something of value, and promotional content should be severely limited. Most marketing professionals recommend a ratio of eight non-promotional items to every two promotional posts.
The best way to ensure that your brand provides consistent value is to create a social media schedule.
One of the most common mistakes business owners make with social media is focusing purely on increasing their likes/followers. These are called vanity metrics. They make you feel good, but they don’t actually mean much for your business. An actively engaged social media audience of 1,200 real people is better than 12,000 bots.
Here are some of the metrics you should actually be tracking:
Managing to find social media audience should be a way to enhance your business, not a goal in and of itself. Your social media plan should focus on turning followers into paying customers and customers into lifelong fans.
The social media networks you’ve chosen might be dominated by your target demographics, but there are still millions of other people. How do you cut through the crowd to the audience you actually want?
You can start by asking a better question: how can you make your content more visible to your ideal social media audience?
Your social media plan should include specific strategies for the content posted on each platform.
The world of social media can change at an alarming rate, and you need to adapt your social media strategy to fit the changing times. Each campaign should be individually assessed for its effectiveness – using the metrics we discussed earlier – and your overall social media strategy should be revisited once a year.
You also need to pay close attention to changing content and demographic trends on social media. If your target audience is moving to a network en masse, you need to know. If a new type of content will improve your effectiveness on social media, you need to know.
Once a year check out the major social media statistics on a site like Social Media Today, paying close attention to what your ideal social media audience is doing. Combine those statistics with the results of your previous years’ social media efforts to adjust your plan. Adapting your strategy to fit the changing times will help you create a great social media presence for your brand.
Dianna Gunn is an SEO strategist and freelance writer who provides content solutions to businesses of all shapes and sizes at www.thedabbler.ca
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