Are you exhausting your marketing funds, hiring the best creative geniuses, and publishing content regularly but not seeing tangible results? It’s probably because you don’t know exactly whom to target.
No matter how creative your social media marketing is, all efforts will drown in the noise if you don’t know what your target audience looks like.
Wondering how you will find the right crowd among a whopping 4.59 billion social media users? We got you.
Today, we suggest ways to find your target audience on social media, which data to prioritize, and how you can apply them to reach potential customers.
Table of Contents
- What is a target audience?
- Types of target audience
- How to find your target audience
- Get your social media demographics right with Keyhole
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is a target audience?
A target audience is a particular group of people who share certain demographics and behavioral traits and are likely to be interested in your product or service.
You can have several target audience segments based on various sets of characteristics. For example, the graphic design app Canva primarily targets creators seeking a simple platform for building designs. This target audience can be further segmented into multiple categories, including:
- Social media professionals who use Canva to create visuals for digital campaigns
- Marketers who use it to make banners and other campaigning materials
- Teachers who use the tool to create class presentations, posters, and infographics
- Students who use Canva for school projects
Types of target audience
Several shared characteristics help brands categorize their audience. Here are some notable ones:
This segment is based on the socio-economic data that describe a group of audience. This includes characteristics such as:
- Marital status
- Ethnicity and religion
- Income level
For example, if you sell luxury pet products, your target audience for social media marketing should have pet parents with high incomes.
Targeting an audience by location is one of the quickest ways to reach your desired crowd on social media. Besides a country or a city, brands also target specific location factors such as school zones, college campuses, neighborhoods, etc.
Dominos offers pizza crusts and toppings aligned with a region’s preferred flavor palette and targets the audience on social media accordingly. In the above post, the brand leveraged Cheese Lovers Day and honored America’s shared love for cheesy food.
As we can see in the above post, their social media marketing for the Indian target audience reflects their alignment with the country’s regional traits and preferences.
You can also segment your target audience for social media marketing based on different interests and hobbies. This helps you curate meaningful and memorable social media messages that resonate with what they are passionate about.
For example, Red Bull’s audience on social media is interested in an active lifestyle. That’s why, their social media marketing revolves around adventure sports and outdoor activities. The brand curates content around adventure sports, shares UGC, and uses catchy captions and relevant hashtags to appeal to adrenaline junkies — their target audience on social media.
Targeting an audience based on subculture means that you are creating social media campaigns around a group’s shared experiences or love for a genre or cultural phenomenon. This includes a specific fandom of shows, musicians, etc.
Oreo leveraged the Game of Thrones Finale craze and published the above exceptionally creative video on YouTube to promote a GoT special pack of biscuits. They also released #CookiesAreComing and #GameOfCookies as branded hashtags to target audiences on social media.
Taylor Swift’s recent Eras Tour broke several records, impacted the US economy significantly, and became the center of attention across social media networks. This huge success turned the concert tour into a hugely popular subculture and arguably made the singer one of the most powerful personalities in music.
While Swift always boasted an ardent bunch of followers, her Eras tour soared that number by many folds. Using this particular subculture, Dicks Sporting Goods published the above post, cleverly indicating the singer’s relationship with American Football Player Travis Kelce to target the Taylor Swift fandom who are already hyped up for the tour.
How to find your target audience
Building a thorough knowledge of your target audience takes a lot of time and research. Wondering where to get started? These 5 steps will help you find your target audience for social media marketing-
1. Create a buyer persona
To identify your target audience for social media marketing, start with a closer look at your existing customer base and develop a buyer persona. This will help you identify patterns and trends in your current audience segments and narrow your search for them on social media.
Start by monitoring your existing followers on social media. Measure your engagement rate, track people who regularly interact with your content, and identify common characteristics between them. Here are some questions you need to answer to define your buyer persona:
- What age groups do your existing followers belong to?
- What regions are they from?
- What languages do they speak?
- Which subcultures do they follow?
- What are their pain points?
- How can my product solve their challenges?
You should also consider their income levels and spending patterns. Segment audiences based on all these data to outline buyer personas.
To give you an idea of how a general buyer persona should look like, here is a template by HubSpot.
Once you develop your buyer persona, the next step is to figure out where they hang out the most. That’s where you can find the majority of your target audience.
For example, reports show that 78% of older adults use Facebook above all the other social media platforms. So, if your buyer persona has a segment in that age group, Facebook should be your preferred channel to target audience for social media marketing.
In case Gen Z makes up most of your target audience on social media, Instagram and TikTok are the channels for you. In fact, TikTok counted around 37 million users who were born between 1997 and 2012.
The perfect channel to find your target audience for social media marketing also depends on your business type and industry. Thanks to Instagram and TikTok’s visual vibrancy, B2C companies can show off their products and run ads to find and target their crowd.
Fenty Beauty’s core audience is Gen Z and millennials. So, they use Instagram and TikTok to connect with potential buyers and market their products.
However, if you are a B2B company, you must prioritize LinkedIn’s wide network of industry professionals.
For example, Zendesk runs extensive marketing on LinkedIn to reach their target audience on social media, i.e., businesses facing challenges to streamline customer experience.
Now that you have a general idea about your buyer persona and your preferred channels, you can start to answer “how to find your target audience”. For that, you need to track who talks about the demographics and interests you identified in your buyer persona. How? With social listening.
Opt for a reliable social media analytics tool with a social listening feature. For example, Keyhole lets you set trackers on specific keywords and sends you notifications on all the conversations around them on your selected social media platforms.
You can see the stats in comprehensive graphs like the above and check the top posts with your target keywords and the profiles drawing the most engagement on those topics.
Accurate and real-time social listening also lets you identify groups where your targeted social media demographics interact. Collect and add these data to the personas you made for more precise audience targeting. You can also identify new demographics by tracking pages where your audience interacts regularly.
Next, we suggest you identify your top competitors and examine their social media marketing strategy thoroughly to get further details on your target audience.
Keyhole offers a competitor analysis tool that lets you set trackers with your top competitors and who’s responding and engaging with their posts. You need to find where your competitors are most active, who their top followers are, and what hashtags they use. This will give you a clear idea of how to reach your target audience.
For example, we created a between Hershey’s vs KitKat competitor report that shows metrics such as total followers and total engagement from December 2023 to January 2024.
Our competitor analysis also dug out their top and follower growth during that period.
5. Send surveys
While numbers are crucial to grasp your target audience’s pulse, nothing beats direct communication with your existing customers to see what exactly draws them to your brand. This way, you get first-hand accounts of your customer’s characteristics and patterns, which you can use to identify similar crowds you need to target with your social media marketing.
You should conduct regular surveys with questions to collect data on location, age, marital status, and profession to update your target audience profiles. The questionnaires should include queries like:
- Which social media platforms do you use the most?
- What content topics interest you the most?
- What type of content would you like to see us posting?
Such surveys provide a qualitative view of your audience’s preferences so you know exactly where your efforts should be.
Now that we know ways to target audiences, here’s a reminder — it can’t be a one-time operation. Audience demographics, interests, and pain points change rapidly. So, your pursuit of understanding your target audience has to be regular and diligent.
You need an automated social media tool like Keyhole that feeds your strategy with real-time audience insights. From competitor reporting to hashtag analytics, our platform offers everything you need to be on top of your potential customer’s likes, dislikes, and challenges.
So what are you waiting for? Start your free trial with Keyhole, set your trackers, and get to the core of your target audience on social media today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Finding your target audience on social media helps you tailor your content and marketing efforts, saving time and resources while reaching the right people who are more likely to convert into customers or followers.
Start by understanding your brand and product. Conduct market research, analyze competitor audiences, and utilize social media analytics tools to identify demographic, geographic, and interest-based information about potential customers. This will give you insights into who your target audience is and where they spend time online.
Create relevant and compelling content that appeals to your target audience's interests and pain points. Utilize targeted advertising to reach specific demographic groups. Engage with your audience through conversations, responding to comments, and sharing user-generated content. Consistency and authenticity are key to building a strong connection with your target audience.