Social media is a vast landscape, bringing together people from all walks of life and supporting all kinds of conversations.

While social platforms have had their fair share of bad press, few can argue that these digital platforms have revolutionised communication, society, and commerce in the 21st century.

Let’s focus on that last aspect — commerce. If you are running a business — selling products and services — you need to have a social media strategy, and this means finding your social media target market.

Defining this target market is similar to drafting your company’s buyer personas. You are attempting to nail down a set of individuals who share similar needs and characteristics, and you are deciding how best to reach these individuals, wherever they are found on social media.

Understanding this target market will help you to develop your brand guidelines in the future.

Here’s how to find your target audience on social media

1. Identify and create buyer personas

Before you even begin to target buyers on social media, you need to know who these buyers are. It is likely that you already have buyer personas related to your business, and you use these personas to personalise your marketing efforts. Now, you need to refine these personas for social media.

Think about how social media is used, and then think about what your users want to see when they go online. Maybe they are looking for products to purchase directly, or they may be in search of guidance and support. Whatever it is, you need to decide what to deliver to each persona and how to deliver this.

2. Find out where your audience is most active

Facebook remains the leading social media platform in Australia, garnering an impressive 68% market share as of June 2021. However, this does not tell the whole story. While Facebook is certainly popular, most users are active on more than one social platform. Perhaps even more importantly, they are using different platforms in different ways — for example, using Instagram to follow aspirational and lifestyle-based accounts while using LinkedIn for more professional activities.

Deciding where to find your audience, and how best to target them based on the platform they are using, is key to your strategy.

3. Look at your competitors

There’s nothing wrong with taking a look at what your competitors are up to. Choose a competitor who seems to be experiencing success in the market, and then investigate how they are using social media. You don’t need to copy what these competitors are doing online, but you can certainly gain some inspiration.

Pay particular attention to how they are connecting with their social media target audience. It is likely — if they operate in the same field as you do — that this target audience will be very similar to your own. Examine the kind of messaging they are using to foster connections, and take a look at which channels are proving the most fruitful for them in terms of engagement.

4. Survey your customers

No one knows what your customers want better than your customers themselves. Of course, a social media strategy is largely about bringing in new leads and customers, but it’s still important to gauge the experience of the customers you already have.

Find out how they would rate your performance on social media: do they think you are doing enough to engage with customers across social platforms? Are you using the right kinds of platform to achieve this engagement? What would they like to see you doing differently? Seek out quantitative scores as well as qualitative feedback, and then draw upon this rich field of data as you refine your social media target markets.

5. Search Facebook groups

We’ve already touched on Facebook as being a leader in the Australian social media landscape, and this is also a useful resource you can use as you define your target market. Use tools such as social search engines, Facebook’s own directory, or even just standard search engines like Google and Yahoo, to find relevant Facebook groups.

Explore these groups to find out more about who makes up your target audience and what you can do to reach them. Defining your target audience is largely about getting to know your customers on a personal level and better understanding their likes and dislikes. Facebook groups are a great place to do this.

Refine your social media strategy, get to know your target market

By refining your social media strategy and targeting key buyer personas, your digital marketing initiatives become far more streamlined and far more effective.

Finding the faces behind the social media profiles - finding your target market | MyWebAdvantage

Get started with identifying — and reaching — your social media target market