Any good book or course on business will stress the importance of getting clear on who your target audience or consumer is, but it’s very easy to get it wrong. When it comes to social media it’s so easy to make incorrect assumptions about your audience, and that’s why the insights pages on Facebook and YouTube are so invaluable. You’ll only be able to bring real value to your audience if you know exactly who they are and what their specific needs are. As you become more aware of the in-depth demographic of your followers, adapt your content accordingly to improve their experience. When you audience’s experience improves, you’ll get more back from them in terms of engagement, which your social media platform will reward by pushing your content to be seen by more people.
How to define your audience
Most people trying to market their products or services on social media have three audiences: there’s the audience you want, the audience you think you have and the audience you actually have.
- The audience you want
This is the group of people that you had in mind when you created your business. They’re your ideal target market. You probably know you haven’t reached this audience fully yet, but you’re working towards this.
For example: if you create trainers, you might aspire to have Nike’s audience. You have an idea of who this audience is based on Nike’s marketing and your own experience with the brand.
- The audience you think you have
This is the audience you are probably picturing in your mind right now. These are the people you have in mind when you share content to your social media channels currently. This idea is usually built up partially of the audience you want, and partially of the audience members that you are aware of who have engaged with some of your content.
- The audience you actually have
This is the audience you can only define through looking into your demographics. Most social media channels have an insights page which allows you to see who your audience is, based on information they have gathered through the platform. These insights let you know where your audience is based, their gender, their age and more.
The chances are that your actual audience looks quite different to the one you were picturing before you started delving into your demographics. The trouble with this is that if you are creating content for an audience that you don’t actually have, your results suffer because you’re not catering to the people that your content is getting in front of first. When your immediate audience doesn’t find value in your content, they are less likely to engage, and when your audience doesn’t engage, your social media content gets a seriously reduced amount of reach. This is why your results suffer.
If you feel like you are hitting a brick wall with your content, the first thing you should do is get into your social media insights and see who your content is getting in front of. Try to tailor your content to them so that they will engage with it. They’re the ones with the power to get your content seen by more people, so it’s good to get really specific about who it is you are creating content for.
Remember: your audience may look different across the different social media channels that you are using. Don’t assume that it will be the same across the board. Look at the demographics separately for each platform you use and use your findings to shape your approach on each platform.
How to get specific
When you have a specific demographic, you can make your content more focused and powerful. If you try to keep too many people happy, you end up not really pleasing anyone at all because your content is watered down.
Look at your insights and pick out the common traits across the largest percentage of users. What is their gender, age bracket, social class and level of education? The more specific you can be, the better. Then ask yourself: what is the problem they are looking for you to solve? Do they need to be entertained or do they need information? What type of entertainment or information? Or perhaps they need a particular service or product to solve an issue?
Try to build up a clear picture of who your audience is. Remember: the more specific you can be, the more helpful this exercise will be when you’re crafting content for your audience. When you build up an image of your audience, don’t pluck numbers and ideas out of your head. Instead look at the data that is available to you. Facebook, in particular, is a great tool for providing invaluable information which will help you reach the people who need your services/products the most. Use that information.
If you’re finding it difficult to pinpoint your audience down, try to see your audience as one person. Picture one person, give him/her a name and imagine that he/she is the most valuable person to your company. This is the person that is going to engage with your content and buy into your business. Now, repeat the exercise above, using the insights to fill in the details about your main audience member.
What to do with this information
Now that you have your audience pinned down, you can use this information to create content which is more valuable to them. If you’re doing a keynote speech, what should it be about? In what ways can you educate, inspire or entertain?
What is your elevator pitch, based on how you can bring value and help? An elevator pitch is one line that sums up what it is that you do. It can be really useful to create one to help you get more focused.
Here are some examples:
Matthew Hussey: Helps women have happy relationships
Nike: Help aspiring athletes achieve their goals
Ed Sheeran: Helps people with first wedding dances
When you can be specific about who your audience is, you can get specific about what your audience wants. It’s a sure-fire way to improve what you are offering so that you can provide more value to them. The more value you provide, the happier they are, the more likely they are to buy into who you are and what you have to offer. It’s a win-win!
If you’re struggling to create consistent content which your audience is engaging with, hit us up to see how we can help you take steps in the right direction towards building results through your social media use.
Black Rock Media is a Digital Marketing Agency based in Brighton, UK. www.blackrockmedia.co.uk