Picture this: you spend all week working on a Tweet, you’ve written and rewritten your copy, and you’re ready for it to go viral… only for it to flop once it goes live. So, what’s the problem here? 

Chances are, you’re missing the mark when it comes to understanding your audience. Without that baseline, your content strategy isn’t going to hit a lot of home runs on social media. If you want to resonate on social, then getting a clearer picture of who your audience is needs to be a top priority, not an afterthought.  Fortunately, there are a lot of options for you to explore. Here’s everything you need to know!

Getting Started

Why not begin with the information you already have on hand? Many marketing teams should have strong buyer personas built out for their prospects. This is a great place to start for social targeting. Take the data and research that your fellow marketers have already done and build from there. This should give you a great overview of the types of people who would buy from your company, their pain points, and how you can solve them. 

Remember, it’s okay to focus on more than one buyer persona – in fact, that’s a great way to get hyper-personal with your targeting. If you’re already using a tool to schedule and monitor your content, it’s worth checking out the reporting capabilities to see what audience-related insights you can glean from there as well. 

The Need-to-Knows 

Once you have an idea of where to start, it’s important to understand exactly what you need to look for and why. Let’s begin with the basics. When it comes to demographic data, you should know the following about your audience:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Education Level
  • Occupation and title
  • Ethnicity 
  • Location 
  • Marriage/family status

In tools like DemographicsPro, this data is often presented in two ways– firstly, as an overview of the top demographics for each category (ex. An average audience age of 35), and secondly, as a breakdown of different categories for each demographic (ex. A graph that shows which age brackets you’re reaching, and to what extent). 

 

 

Age range demographic insights

Here’s a sample graph that shows which age brackets you’re reaching, and to what extent.

Don’t stop there, though

A lot of audience profiling tools also provide data around factors such as:

  • Brand and media affinities 
  • General likes or interests online
  • Top keywords (including mentions and hashtags)
  • Top influencers your audience engages with

Why is this data so important? Imagine finding out that your HR-focused social posts have been reaching a largely finance-based audience, or your content aimed at executives is mostly hitting the individual contributor level. Maybe this is how you find out that it’s time to shift your messaging to resonate better with your existing audience or to ultimately understand what you need to do to reach your target audience. 

Audience insights demographics

Use audience insights to ensure your content is reaching the right people.

Take your audience data, cross-reference it with performance data like top-performing content themes and best times to post, and you now have a much clearer picture of who you’re reaching. You’re not only a step closer to the perfect social media strategy, you’ve given yourself a competitive edge, too. 

Now, it’s time to think about what you can do with your audience profiles beyond social posts. 

The Real Value in Knowing Your Audience

Brands that are able to include the latest social trends in their content strategy on an ongoing basis will ultimately stay ahead of the game. Understanding your audience gives you the footing you need to execute those strategies, ideas, and campaigns with greater confidence and effectiveness in the long run. 

Using this data, we’ve helped our clients create engagement-focused content strategies that truly speak to their audience on social. Here are some engagement tactics you can start to implement once you understand who you’re speaking to –

  • Polls via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram Stories
  • LinkedIn Live sessions (ex. Q&A or ‘Ask Me Anything’ formats)
  • Facebook and LinkedIn groups
  • LinkedIn Showcase pages 

In other words, understanding your audience opens the door to a lot of opportunities that create those personalized, human-to-human connections between brands and individuals. 

There you have it: the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of audience targeting on social media. Curious to learn more about how we’re leveraging audience data to help our clients gain a winning edge? You can contact us at any time!