Social media has done more than just give us a way to connect with our friends and loved ones. Social media is also a powerful tool for corporate research. Social networks are so widely used, that they are the perfect place to research your target demographic. So how do you research your social media audience, and what do you do with this information once it is gathered?
Conducting Audience Research
When you are doing social media research on your customer base, there are two significant questions that you need to answer. You first want to know what platforms your particular audience is likely to use, and what problems can you help them solve.
The platforms that are likely places to find your target audience will differ based on your key demographic. Get familiar with the social media habits of your audience’s age group and socio-economic status.
Some older groups are more likely to frequent Facebook, while younger groups are likely to be found on Instagram. Some groups use multiple platforms to stay engaged with their networks. Once your audience is located, you need to craft a campaign that directly addresses their needs.
Social Media Advertising
The best way to get visibility for your offers on social media is to purchase targeted advertising specifically to your key demographic. Social media outlets have created demographic-specific advertising tools that allow laser-targeted promotions directly to your particular consumer base.
The key is to create promotions and offers that are appealing to your target audience. You may be offering a discount for your products or services, promoting an event or trade show that you will be participating in (event planners or trade show management companies can assist with arranging these functions), or merely sponsoring informative posts that give helpful tips related to your business.
Facebook has created an algorithm that allows advertisers to take advantage of their enormous database of users by letting companies hone in on their audiences by targeting them by demographic, hobbies and interests, and behavior on the platform. These ads offer a low-cost solution to traditional advertising.
Instagram is now owned by Facebook, so the same advertising tools that are incorporated into Facebook apply to Instagram. The layout and format of Instagram provide a unique opportunity to sponsor posts and place advertising in our audience’s feeds. Use relevant hashtags, creative captions, and consistency to make the most out of Instagram advertising.
Twitter has an approach that is altogether different than Instagram and Facebook. In addition to the demographics targeting options, Twitter provides promoted profiles and Promoted Trends to appeal to your demographic in a meaningful way.
When looking to advertise to your target audience, make sure that your “call to action” is clearly defined. You also want to keep in mind the nature of social media, and not come across as overtly corporate. This means that the tone of your overall promotion should be as social as possible.