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.

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1. Create a demographic profile for your social media audience

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:

  • (a) your current customers
  • (b) new customers you’re trying to draw in

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.

What should your demographic profiles include?

The more detail you can include, the better, but there are a few things that are absolutely essential:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Relationship and family status
  • Country of origin (some businesses may want to get more specific about location)
  • Income bracket
  • Ethnicity
  • Some other details you might want to include are profession, likes and dislikes, recreational activities, and moral/political/religious values.

Group (a): Your current customers

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:

Analytics
Every business should be using Google Analytics. If you haven’t already done it, you can connect Google Analytics to your WordPress blog in a few minutes. Most social media platforms also give users access to a detailed analytics section.
Surveys
What better way to find out about your customers than to ask them directly? You can set up free surveys using a service like Typeform (we use them quite often for various surveys). Keep the survey short and consider offering rewards to encourage people to complete it.
Individual conversations
Reach out to your best customers and ask if they’re willing to participate in a short one-on-one phone conversation. Come armed with a list of questions, but don’t be afraid of letting the conversation take new directions. It might lead to some brilliant ideas.

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.

Group (b): Your dream customer profile

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:

List everything you already know about them
You probably already know a few things about your dream customers. Everything you can think of should go into the profile.
Research, research, research
Now it’s time to figure out what you don’t know. Look for studies, surveys and news articles about your target demographic. You can find information on the values, family lives, professional lives, and financial situations of almost any demographic with a few tightly worded Google searches.

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.

demographics

Narrow your demographic down
The most effective marketing campaigns are tightly focused. The more specific you make your target demographic, the better you can tailor your campaigns to their experiences.

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.

2. Discover where your social media audience hangs out

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

Find social media audience on Facebook

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:

Facebook has 2.01 billion unique monthly visitors
75% of Facebook users spend 20+ minutes on Facebook every day
83% of women who use social media use Facebook, versus 75% of men who use social media
63% of seniors aged 50-64 who use the internet are on Facebook, as well as 56% of online seniors over 65

(Charts by Visualizer Lite.)

You can find more fascinating Facebook statistics in Omnicore’s Facebook by the Numbers article (published August 2017).

YouTube

YouTube

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:

YouTube has 1.3 billion unique visitors per month
YouTube reaches more 18-34 and 35-49 year olds than any cable network in the US
38% of YouTube users are women, 62% are men
80% of YouTube users are outside the US
All of these statistics and many, many more YouTube statistics can be found on the Fortunelord website (last updated July 29th, 2017).

Instagram

Instagram

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:

Instagram has 700 million unique visitors per month
80% of Instagram users come from outside the US
59% of internet users between 18 and 29 are on Instagram, along with 33% of internet users between 30 and 49
17% of teens say Instagram is the most important social media site (up from 12% in 2012)
You can find more useful Instagram statistics in Omnicore’s Instagram by the Numbers (published August 2017).

Twitter

Twitter

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:

Twitter has 328 million unique visitors per month
37% of Twitter users are 18-29; 25% are 30-49
69 million Twitter users are based in the United States
79% of Twitter users are based outside the United States
For a more complete overview of Twitter’s demographics, check out Omnivore’s Twitter by the Numbers (published August 2017).

Snapchat

Snapchat

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:

There are over 300 million active users on Snapchat every month
173 million people use Snapchat every day
71% of Snapchat users are under 31 years old
45% of Snapchat users are 18-24 years old
These statistics are taken from Omnivore’s Snapchat by the Numbers (published August 2017), where you can find a more complete overview of Snapchat demographics.

Pinterest

Pinterest

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:

81% of Pinterest users are women
40% of new signups are men; 69% are women
The median age of a Pinterest user is 40, but most active users are under 40
60% of Pinterest users are from the US
You can get a more detailed overview of Pinterest’s demographics in Omnivore’s Pinterest by the Numbers (published January 2017).

LinkedIn

LinkedIn

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:

40 million college students and recent graduates are on LinkedIn
70% of LinkedIn users are from outside the US
44% of LinkedIn users make more than $75,000 per year
An average user spends 17 minutes monthly on LinkedIn
These statistics and more can be found in Omnivore’s LinkedIn by the Numbers (published January 2017).

2. Determine the best types of content for your social media audience

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.

The #1 Rule: Provide value

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.

Key factors to consider when creating a social media schedule:

  • How to write content that connects with your social media audience. The most successful marketing professionals get that way because they understand how people work. An anthropology-based marketing strategy combines lessons from psychology and language to create messages that resonate deeply with your target audience.
  • How often to post on social media. Your brand needs to post regularly enough to keep it in people’s minds without them feeling like they’re being spammed. Each social media network has its own ideal posting consistency.
  • When to post on social media. Every social media network has its peak activity times. Scheduling posts during these times every day maximizes the number of people you can connect with.
  • Communication style. Your brand should have a consistent style for both written and visual communications. Develop a brand style guide and give it to any employees who will be posting to your social media channels. You should also create specific rules for responding to customer questions and complaints on social media.

Focus on effectiveness

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:

  • Average number of comments on each post
  • Number of active commenters (people you interact with regularly)
  • Social share of voice (what percentage of mentions in your industry are about your business vs. the percentage of mentions of your competitors)
  • Subscribers to your company email list
  • Leads
  • Sales (duh!)

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.

3. Find social media audience on each network

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?

Here are some easy ways to make your content visible on different networks:

  • Facebook and LinkedIn both offer groups where you can post information relevant to your industry. Some of these groups are explicitly places for customers to connect with promotions.
  • Facebook ads come with precise targeting capabilities, allowing you to connect with your ideal audience easily.
  • YouTube is SEO-focused, so your title, video description, and tags should include relevant keywords. You can discover the best keywords for your niche on YouTube with a program like TubeBuddy.
  • Twitter and Instagram both use hashtags to index content. Using popular hashtags relevant to your industry can help the right people find you.
  • Many communities and industries have regular chats on Twitter using specific hashtags (such as #bookmarketingchat for authors on Wednesday nights)
  • Pinterest offers group boards. You can join some popular group boards or create a group board of your own. We talked about the value of Pinterest group boards (and how to use them) in one of our recent posts.
  • Snapchat favors exclusive content, so focus on posting teasers and early demos.
  • Collaborating with influencers on campaigns is particularly effective on Instagram and Snapchat.

Your social media plan should include specific strategies for the content posted on each platform.

Final advice: Watch, measure, adapt

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.

How to find #social #media audience for your #business: complete guide Click To Tweet