Building a brand presence on social media can be one of the most exciting and frustrating processes that a digital marketer can undertake. Before a brand takes steps to promote themselves across social channels, they must first understand their audience.
Often, the idea of trying to unearth and formulate a brand’s audience profile can seem daunting. The internet can feel too vast to traverse, with too much noise and distraction. However, as a brand, your goal is to reach out and attract customers seeking your specific type of services.
Thankfully, there are a multitude of ways a brand can easily begin the process of audience exploration.
Native Analytics. There’s a lot you can learn just from the data you pull from each channel’s native analytics. The demographic reports you can pull offer vital information about sex, age, income levels, locations, interests, and much more. These data points will help you frame the profile of your average user, and also offer insights into a potentially wider customer net.
Understand Each Channel’s Unique Audience Profile. We know that typically LinkedIn is great for B2B companies, Facebook tends to skew towards older millennials and Gen X-ers, Pinterest has a large female user base, while Instagram and Snapchat cater to a much younger demographic. Once you figure out which channel your audience favors, you can begin to build your channel hierarchy using this information.
Know and Follow Your Competitors. Best way to figure out who your audience is, is to follow your competitors. If you offer similar products or services, chances are your audience will cross over. Since these people have already shown an interest on some level, you can take this as an opportunity to learn more about them, including getting an understanding of who they are, what types of content they respond to and how to best attract them.
Keyword Tools. A good Keyword tool such as Adwords or SEMRUSH will help you understand the behaviors of your audience, give you visibility into what your competitors are doing and allow you to position your brand in front of the right people.
Test, Monitor, Repeat. After you’ve compiled your research, you’re ready to put your audience profile to the test. Set goals, but be flexible while you’re assessing your channels, content and audience engagement. Although your audience profile is informed by data you’ve gleaned from trusted sources, you might be surprised to find significant outliers – people who you never conceived would be a target customer or user, but clearly have an interest in what you have to offer.
One final thought: While it’s important to take an analytical approach to finding and understanding your audience, it is also critical to keep in mind the fluid nature of social media. Brands must accept and adapt to the constant change of social channels in order to stay competitive.