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Who is Your Audience?

Thursday, Dec 4th, 2014.

With so much happening in social media these days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything that’s out there. But it’s important to take a step back and think in broader terms about your social media plans. In particular, who are you actually trying to reach with your digital brand? In other words—who’s your audience?

The easiest way to start defining your audience is to look at some basic demographics. But we’re talking more than just age, gender, or ethnicity; you need to focus specifically on what potential consumers line up with your brand. For example:

  • What is your ideal audience’s annual income? Do you need to reach people with significant funds to put toward your product or service? Or is it more readily accessible for people without large amounts of cash? Also, who would be in charge of purchasing what you’re selling?
  • Is your product or service targeted at a particular gender? What about other demographics like age, marriage status, or family size?
  • Where is your target customer located in the world? Are they from your city, or halfway across the world? Are you trying to reach them through an online store, a brick and mortar location, or both?
  • Who are you going to try to reach in the future? This would be an audience you’re trying to build, future customers you want to cultivate.

Once you’ve got a good handle on who your ideal audience is (and who they might be later on!), you’ll want to think about where you can find them online and what message you want to send.

Can you narrow it down based on their likes or dislikes? The type of media they use? Their particular values or lifestyle? These are things you’ll want to know before you start breaking down which particular social media outlet on which to focus your attention. Some things to consider:

  • Facebook users tend to skew younger, which means they’re less interested in luxury goods and more interested in fast-moving consumer goods. Engagement also tends to be higher on Facebook than on other social platforms. So if you have a product or service that’s hip and targeted at younger folks, this is a platform you’ll want to use.
  • Twitter attracts those particularly interested in bite-sized, up-to-the-minute news. If your business is likely to be in the news often, or if your target audience cares about current events, Twitter could be a good fit.
  • LinkedIn thrives on networking, connecting businesspeople to other businesspeople in their own field and related ones. If you’re looking to attract attention in the B2B world or establish professional cred, LinkedIn is for you.
  • Pinterest is the place for visual content, especially regarding food, drink, and recipes. It also seems to be a haven for parenting and family advice, and its users are predominantly female. If your business or service fits into any of those categories, you’ll want to have a presence there.

Understanding your audience—not just demographics, but also their interests and needs—will make it much easier to target your marketing approach to the appropriate social media outlets. So do some brainstorming and determine who you want to hear your brand message!