In part one of our look into social media strategy, we got into the goal-setting framework. In step two, we’re diving into target audiences. Although it may be time-consuming upfront, determining a target market allows you to focus your marketing efforts in the most cost-effective way possible.
Once you know who your audience is, understanding the needs of consumers is essential. You can often discover exactly how you can meet consumer needs through careful market research including running a focus group, scanning industry reviews or doing a market survey.
What is a target audience?
A target audience is the defined group of people you want to reach with your marketing efforts. They are the people who are not only interested in your content, products, or services but are also willing to pay for them. They are the people who need your product, content or service and they are likely all linked by some common characteristics, like demographics and behaviours.
Social Media Strategy Tip: Learn everything you can about your target audience
Outline your audience by creating audience personas:
A persona is a user-centred marketing tool that makes use of a fictional character created to represent a user type that would make use of your product or service and be willing to or have the means to purchase it. They are defined as qualitative sets of data, constructed to be representative of specific segments or your target market. Basically, this means that a persona is less about numbers and more about personal characteristics. It is a set of data about a type of person that makes up a large group of your target market.
Knowing who your audience is and the specific demographic and social groups they fall into will help you to understand the kind of content they are interested in and what they want to see on social media. This way you can create content that they will engage with. Engagement is great for community building and growth. It’s also critical if you want to turn social media followers into customers for your business.
Customer personas can also help you to accurately focus your paid advertising.
When Jason and I started Agora, we initially defined who we thought our clients would be. We were so sure of not only the types of people we would serve but also the types of projects we would complete. Then, we started working. Things were not what we thought they would be but being a new business, we pushed on, took any client who trusted us with their baby and kept going. We learnt a lot. A year and three months in, we revisited our strategy and took another look at our buyer personas. This time, we also had the benefit of being able to look back and see who our previously successful clients had been and use that to create a more accurate vision. Three months later, we have seen this outline proved time and time again.
Creating your customer personas
The process of creating customer personas is one of the more time-consuming tasks of your social media strategy. As well as time, it also takes constant refining. It is a work in progress but once you get it right, you know your targeting is correct and can use it to your advantage. While you’re getting it right, it is still a great source of direction.
When it comes to your target customer, you should know their:
- Location (and time zone)
- Average income/ available budget
- Typical job title or industry
- Spending power and patterns
- Particular pain points or challenges
- Most visited social channel
Need help? Check out our handy social media strategy template that will get you off to a good start.
Get to know your fans, followers, and customers as real people with real wants and needs, and you will know how to target and engage them on social media. Make use of previous customer data to assist you in making educated guesses.
Gathering data to appeal to your target audience
Don’t make assumptions. Think Facebook is a better network for reaching Baby Boomers than Millennials? Well, the numbers show that Millennials still outnumber Boomers on the platform. So do the research and find out where your personas are spending their time.
Source: PEW Research Center
Social media analytics can also provide valuable information about who your audience is, where they live, and how they interact with your brand on social media. These insights allow you to refine your strategy and better target your audience.
By refining your targeting you will not only improve the results of your marketing efforts but you will also reduce your overall cost per lead. An effective social media strategy provides a framework for a clear, well-thought-out message, directed at the correct audience. Make sure you’re aiming at the right people. If you’re doing all the right things but never seem to land the hit, let’s chat about your targeting. Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org