Do you ever feel like searching for an audience online is like trying to fish in the dark? If you’ve ever felt frustrated trying to find or define the audience you should have on social media, this article is for you. We’ll be laying out what a target audience is and how to work out the types of people your business should be targeting. We’ll then sprinkle in some useful techniques for connecting with your freshly found target audience.
What is a target audience?
Audiences online are people who watch, follow or subscribe to particular profiles or content. A target audience is a specific type of group of people content is intended for. Think of it like your content is an arrow and the targets are groups of people. Where do you want the content to land?
Should it land in front of:
- Teens, young adults, the middle aged or the elderly?
- Men, women or non-binary individuals?
- Working adults, people in full-time education or those who are retired?
- Local individuals or people worldwide?
You can narrow your target audience even further by thinking about interests, habits, views and lifestyle:
- What do they enjoy?
- What kind of humour do they have?
- What is nostalgic for them?
- What is important to them?
- Is there something in particular they feel strongly about?
- What are their political views?
- What kind of background do they have?
- Do they have particular religious views?
You could also consider their:
- Level of education
- Relationship status
- Spending habits
The clearer the image you can conjure up of the intended audience, the more likely you’ll hit a bullseye. Less fishing in the dark, more hitting the mark!
How to find your own target audience
When you start trying to figure out who you should appeal to online, it all starts with your business. What products or services are you selling and who would these benefit or appeal to? For some businesses this will be a straight forward process, whereas for others it may not be as apparent straight away. For example, if you sell baby clothes your target audience will mostly be expecting parents. Don’t stop there. Instead, try to fill in as much detail about your target audience using some (or all) of the questions in the previous section.
For some businesses there will be multiple types of people you’ll want to target. See each type of person as a separate profile and complete the process for each target audience. It may help to draw an image and write the characteristics around it, so you can visualise who you’re making content for with each post.
If you’ve been online for a while, definitely consider looking at your current audience. What do the majority of them have in common? Are there any traits that consistently come up among your audience? What kinds of content get the most engagement from your audience and what might that say about them as individuals?
You can check out your audience demographics for social media platforms Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter using the analytics tool Minter.io. Track daily, weekly and monthly changes and see which specific posts are attracting the kind of audience you’re trying to target (or the opposite). You can also check out the engagement on your posts to help spot trends in what works for your current audience. Armed with this knowledge, you can craft content for the audience that will make a difference to your business.
Connecting with your target audience
Once you have a really clear idea of who you want to target with your social media content, it’s time to use that audience info to your advantage. With everything you post you should have your target audience in mind. This will help you connect with people who will make real growth in your business happen, instead of purely building vanity metrics for the sake of it.
Tone of voice
When writing copy for posts or sharing video or audio content, tone of voice is a key component for connecting with your audience of choice. Whether you choose to come across as professional, informal, comical, quirky or something else entirely, consider what your target audience will appreciate and vibe with. Remember that different words, phrases, slang and the use of emojis land differently with different demographic groups. Choose your words to reflect those who will be consuming them, so they can connect with your brand with ease.
Look at the use of emojis and the word ‘duh!’ by @inkbox on Instagram. Who do you think this type of copy would appeal to?
If you’ve chosen to connect with a worldwide audience, is this being reflected with your choice of language? Many large brands have multiple accounts on social media platforms in order to best connect with people from different countries.
Check out just a small handful of McDonald’s accounts, tailored to different countries with relevant languages to match.
Meme / office / pop culture
Does your target audience appreciate meme, office, pop or any other type of culture? Are there any popular, niche or cult fandoms that would integrate well with your brand? It’s certainly something you could consider if relevant.
Microsoft weaves office culture into its tweets so well you can almost smell the paperwork…
When to post
Based on your target audience, when are the perfect people likely to be online and seeing your content. Are they likely to whip out their phone on a lunch break or the commute to and from a 9-to-5 job? Do they spend more time online at the weekend while chilling out on a lazy Sunday? You can see the best times to post for your current audience on social media with Minter.io. Use this as a guide to view trends and reach the people engaging with your posts.
The original search and connectivity technique still has its uses in 2022. What kinds of hashtags would your target audience search for? What hashtags are they using and connecting with other people over? What might they search to find products and services like your own? Don’t forget that hashtags can be used to cultivate community. If you can integrate your content into relevant communities where your target audience already congregates, you’ve pretty much hit the jackpot with this technique.
Notice how @asos on TikTok uses more than one hashtag with each post. Using hashtags like #gymwear #styleinspo and #winterstyle help @asos connect with style savvy consumers.
The greatest thing about Facebook ads (that also work across Instagram and Messenger) is that you can pinpoint an audience down to the specific traits we outlined at the beginning of this article (and more). It’s incredible the amount of detail you can narrow down your target audience to when advertising with Facebook. If you’re looking to significantly grow your audience, want to build a following fast or if you’re wanting to push a product to a wider audience, this might be the route for you.
The algorithms are designed to show content to people they think will like it, so keep creating great content for a specific type of audience. Keep consistent, keep the quality up and keep crafting content for a clear audience.
Try Minter.io today →