Your Target Audience: Who They Are and Where to Find Them
Are you frustrated with your social media engagement? Maybe you’ve tried it all... Posting on a consistent cadence, using all the new features on Instagram, commenting and engaging with others in your industry—heck, you’ve even made a few TikToks. But it doesn’t seem like ANYTHING is working. Social media is supposed to help you generate leads, make sales, and be the cure-all to your business woes—at least, that’s what you’ve been told. But when you’re struggling to get a few likes on a photo, suddenly the thought of making a profit seems less likely than Selena Gomez and the Biebs getting back together (RIP, Jelena).
The thing is, you could be doing EVERYTHING right, and still not get the engagement you want. Why? Well, your target audience might not be utilizing the social media platform you’re promoting yourself on. And that’s the real bummer! Nobody wants to see their hard work go to waste.
You can double-down on your Instagram presence all you want, but if your ideal consumer doesn’t even have an Instagram account, you would be better off putting your marketing energy elsewhere. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t have an Instagram account at all, but your ideal customer could be hiding out on other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.
Essentially, these lackluster results are whispering the old tried-and-true mantra, “Work smarter, not harder.” Social media success is massively dependent on your ability to accurately identify your target audience and effectively reach them online. Your ideal customers are out there, but you can’t attempt to find them until you know who exactly you’re looking for.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. But what is this “ideal customer” nonsense, you ask? Last time you checked, your target audience was simply “anyone interested in your business.”
Here’s the thing: Identifying your target audience DOESN’T mean you’re excluding other potential customers. You’re simply distinguishing where to prioritize your marketing efforts to give yourself the best chance at making a sale, gaining a customer, or making a conversion of some kind. Basically, focusing on where you’ll get your biggest bang for your buck. Building off the previous example, you wouldn’t delete your Instagram account—you’d simply focus on Facebook or another platform more.
So, how do you identify your target audience?
We’re glad you asked. Fill out our FREE questionnaire, and check out the steps below.
First, let’s identify your target audience based on demographics. Be as specific as possible with your answers!
How old are they?
Where do they live?
What’s their gender?
How much money do they make?
What’s their level of education?
What’s their marital or family status?
What do they do for work?
Next, let’s get a feel for your consumers’ psychographics. What is their personality like? Attitude? Values? What are their interests? How do they like spending their time? What type of lifestyle do they lead?
Listen closely to this next one:
Where do they get their information from?
Is it the newspaper? Magazines? Their Twitter feed? TikTok? Their favorite news channel?
This will help you identify where to focus your marketing efforts.
Let’s break it down with an example. Say you’re an interior designer. Your target audience might look a little something like this: Homeowners between the ages of 30 and 60, with incomes over $125,000, living in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Let’s break it down further, with psychographics this time: Specifically, those homeowners who are also interested in basement remodeling and modern styles.
From there, you can continue to specify and identify your niche. Maybe you’re targeting new parents or retired couples. You get the idea.
Once you have your ideal customer, your next task is to figure out where they hang out online.
This might help—check out the demographics for the users of the following social media platforms (stats via Sprout):
Number of monthly active users: 2.7 billion
Largest age group: 25-34
Gender: 44% female, 56% male
Time spent per day: 38 minutes
With lots of boomers on Facebook, it’s a fab place to run ads, especially for older demographics with more money in their pocket. Still reigning as social media’s king, Facebook is typically a reliable platform for advertising due to its sheer size and engagement rate. And don’t believe the naysayers who say young users have left Facebook—they’re still there, but it just isn’t their top app.
Number of monthly active users: 1 billion Largest age group: 25-34
Gender: 57% female, 43% male
Time spent per day: 29 minutes
Facebook and Instagram share an advertising platform, making it easy to cross-promote on both channels. Interested in influencer marketing campaigns? Instagram is one of your best bets to motivate shoppers and increase brand awareness through influencers.
Number of monthly active users: 187 million Largest age group: 30-49
Gender: 32% female, 68% male
Time spent per day: 3.53 minutes per session
Twitter’s short-form content makes it a great place to share quick updates, provide customer service, and show your brand’s thought leadership through threads. And, if education is an important part of your target audience’s demographic, it’s helpful to note that 42% of Twitter users hold a degree.
Number of monthly active users: 738 million Largest age group: 46-55
Gender: 51% male, 49% female
Time spent per day: 63% of LinkedIn users access the network on a monthly basis, while 22% of users access the network weekly.
LinkedIn is a top-rated social network for lead generation, primarily due to its higher-educated, higher earning B2B demographic. Maybe your business is looking to grow its international audience? Over 70% of LinkedIn users reside outside of the U.S.
Number of monthly active users: 400+ million Largest age group: 30-49
Gender: 78% female, 22% male
Time spent per day: 14.2 minutes
Females dominate this platform on a level higher than any other social network. Pinterest isn’t overlooked by younger users, either. Of all social networks, Pinterest is arguably the most product-focused, allowing for incredible advertising opportunities given the high-earning users.
Number of monthly active users: 100 million Largest age group: 18-24
Gender: 59% female, 41% male
Time spent per day: 45+ minutes
TikTok isn’t just a trend—in fact, its stats resemble somewhat of a cult. Users spent a whopping 21.5 hours per month on the app in 2020—and with numbers continuing to trend even as the pandemic calms down, that extra screen time wasn’t a fluke. While the younger demographic presents unique challenges for advertisers, influencer marketing is alive and well on the platform, boasting ultra-specific niches for almost anything you can think of.
Number of monthly active users: 265 million Largest age group: 13-34
Gender: 58% female, 40% male
Time spent per day: 26 minutes
While Snapchat might not be the prime place to advertise, it’s an incredible resource for discovering trends among younger users.
Number of monthly active users: 2 billion Largest age group: 15-25
Gender: 72% of both female and male internet users
Time spent per day: 41.9 minutes among viewers 18 and older
Video content continues to grow, which increases opportunities for advertising on the platform. The key to success? Finding the sweet spot between advertisement and entertainment.
Accurately identifying your target audience is a MAJOR key when it comes to social media marketing (or any form of marketing, for that matter). If you’re still struggling, here are a few more golden nuggets:
Characterize your current customers. Do they share common characteristics or interests? Who brings in the most biz? Who benefits most from your product or service? These common threads can help weave content that converts.
Analyze your competition. Who are they targeting? You don’t need to necessarily target an identical market—but can you find a specific niche? Is your competitor overlooking any markets?
Look at your product or service with a fresh perspective. Take another look at your biz. Identify the features of your product or service, and define who benefits from that feature. Find people who have a need that benefit fulfills, and identify their characteristics.
Don’t forget to evaluate your audience. Once you have an idea of your target audience, verify that the audience has enough people who fit the criteria. It’s important to find your niche, but don’t get so specific that only a handful of people fit. It’s a delicate dance between finding your niche but not limiting yourself.
Defining your target audience sets the foundation for all of your social media marketing efforts, and it’s no easy task. It might seem overwhelming, but taking the time to truly identify your customer base will reap benefits far beyond more likes on Instagram. Once you have a firm understanding of your audience, you can create content that converts. And that, my friend, is our specialty. We’d be happy to chat with you about your biz, help you identify your target audience (and where they’re hanging out online), and create content that gets you real results. Schedule a Discovery call with us today!