Finding your Social Media Target Audience

Two people standing in front of charts of social media progress.

Whether you are a small business, an international corporation, or a social media influencer, understanding your target audience is essential for success. However, what exactly are we referring to when discussing a social media target audience? Is it the demographic(s) you want to attract? Or is it the demographic(s) that are actually following your profiles and interacting with your posts?

Of course, in the best cases, the people you intend to attract with your content would also be the ones that are actually following your profile(s). However, that is not always the case. And that is not necessarily a bad thing if you are growing your following, increasing your engagement and post interaction rates, and raising awareness of your brand. At the end of the day, you want to understand who is actually consuming your content and how to increase the number of people doing so.     

In this article, we are going to discuss a number of key issues concerning your target audience for social media. First, we will explain what a target audience for social media actually is and then go through the steps relating to how to find your target audience on social media. This revolves around who actually is following and interacting with your content current as well as how you may want to expand your target audience to other demographics. We will then move to looking at social media marketing as it relates to growing your target audience. This will focus on the different forms of content optimization you can use to grow your target audience in line with your ultimate goals, whether it be boosting sales, increasing brand awareness, etc.

What is a Social Media Target Audience

Let’s first define what your social media target audience is before moving on to how to find your target audience on social media. Your target audience relates to the people you are trying to reach with your posts and activity on social media. Generally, the content you create will be geared to a specific demographic that can be large or small. Your target demographic can be defined by one or more characteristics such as location, age, gender, interests, etc.  

Companies and influencers typically think closely about their target audience, since they want their content to resonant with a specific group of people. Thinking about the characteristics and interests of your target audience helps to better focus your content in order to get the attention of those you want to attract. This is important to make sure your content is relevant and is addressing the type of topics that help you sell your products or make people aware of your brand.

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How to Find Your Target Audience on Social Media

So, how do you actually find your target audience on social media? There are really two issues, as we already alluded to above. The first is what is your actual audience is in the “here and now.” The second is learning about the audience you want to attract, or how to expand your following into other demographics. In this section, will go through the steps of social media target audience research, both in terms of learning about who is currently following your profiles and engaging with your content, as well as how to discover other demographics that might be suited for the topics you post about. 

In reality, it is relatively easy to find out who is actually following your profile on individual social media profiles. Most social media networks provide you with basic demographic data that helps you better understand who is currently following with your page. For example, you may be interested in learning more about your social media target audience in terms of age for Instagram. You can simply look at your Instagram Insights to see this type of demographic data. If you see that most of your followers are in the 25-34 year old range, then that most likely is your target audience for that age demographic. 

If you are active on multiple social media networks, it may be helpful to use a social media tool. In understanding how to find your target audience on social media, you should take into account that you may be attracting different demographics for different social media channels. For example, you may find that your followers are slightly older on Facebook than they are on TikTok. While this may be or not be the case for your own profiles, it is important to conduct a thorough social media target audience analysis that not only helps you understand who is actually following your profile, but also whether there are differences in your follower demographics related to individual social media networks. 

A man working on his computer to create new social media posts.

The second issue has to do with learning how you might grow your audience. This could be by attracting more followers from the same demographics that already follow you, or it could mean that you want to expand to other demographics. In reality, you may want to do both. At this point, you might be wondering how to attract a larger target audience on social media to your profile(s). Fortunately, there are ways that you can go about improving your content that revolve around advanced social media analysis. 

Once you know the characteristics of who is currently following your profile and interacting with your content, you can use various social media content optimization tools to grow your following. There are several ways to approach this process, which we summarize in a previous article that addresses social media content optimization. However, for our purposes here, we will highlight a few of the different things you can consider. 

Let’s discuss an example related to social media target audience research for a company that wants to compete in the sneaker industry. You probably already have a good idea of who your target audience is, but perhaps there are other demographics that you are missing out on. Undertaking a social media competitor analysis as part of your optimization process can be helpful in helping you understand how to do more to attract a larger audience, especially if you are analyzing more established profiles. In this case, you can use a social media tool, especially one that can analyze an unlimited number of profiles, to study the larger sneaker companies such as Converse, New Balance, Nike, Reebok, and Under Armour across various social media networks.

A woman working on constructing a social media post on a phone with a chart behind her.

As we have shown before, finding the best posting times for various social media networks is an important facet for improving your social media performance. Finding the best time to post is an analysis that uses not only your own profiles’ data, but also that of your competitors. In this sense, it can help you understand when the overall target audience for your large competitors are online and when you should consider posting. There are some things to take into account when conducting these analyses, and it may make sense to do a separate analysis for each social media network such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or Twitter.

There are other types of ways that you can keep on eye on trends or other interests in a particular industry. Monitoring the hashtags and keywords in terms of both of what is being used and which keywords and hashtags correspond to high post interaction or engagement rates can help you understand the various topics that are important for a specific target audience, whether it is large or small. You should keep in mind that you can look at data across social media networks or focus solely on one network. Along these lines, you can also adjust the output to show only the hashtags for a particular timeframe and/or network according to your needs. This includes conducting hashtag research for Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.  

Of course, various social media platforms may have different target audiences as well as different content formats that you can post. The performance of content, as well as what type of content is being posted, is also important in understanding the preferences of your target audience. For instance, you can analyze what types of content formats perform the best according to a specific metric. 

Additionally, you can also look at individual posts either on multiple social media networks or a single social media network and see what performs best across different metrics. The point here is that you should be able to use profiles with larger audiences than your own profile to better understand what type of content is helping them attract their followers.

As you can see, posting times, content format types, and trending keywords/hashtags can be important data points for studying your social media target market. In this scenario, you can see how a business looking to expand its audience across different demographics can benefit from these types of analyses. As you attract more users using the insights you discovered, you can also see how the demographic makeup of your following changes over time. 

Important Tip: Don’t Forget about Managing your Community!

Finding your target audience for social media platforms starts with researching who is currently following your profiles. From this starting point, you can engage in competitor analysis and implement content optimization techniques in order help you grow your followers and observe how your target audience may change. However, learning about how to effectively reach your target audience on social media is just one aspect in creating an effective social media presence. In this sense, community management is also an important part of making sure that the audience you want to attract continues to interact with your content and follow your profiles. 

You should be on the lookout for a community management tool that has features that can help you better organize and more efficiently respond to various messages and comments. Showing your audience that you are engaged and active is an important aspect in keeping them around. This, of course, requires a significant time commitment. Therefore, it is helpful to have tools to help you interact with your followers, especially as your community grows across several social media networks. 

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Summary: Finding and Understanding your Social Media Target Audience

As we covered above, finding who is currently following your profiles is only the first step when it comes to discussions about your target audiences. You also want to find ways to grow and maintain your community to increase reach and impact. This process can take some time and effort, while requiring research and a strategy. 

If you are looking for a social media tool that helps you analyze not only your own social media performance but also that of your competitors, then you can try Fanpage Karma’s free 14-day trial. In addition to these advanced analytical tools, Fanpage Karma also offers industry-leading community management features that employ AI technology. There are also publishing, research, and social media monitoring features available.      

You are also welcome to sign-up for Fanpage Karma’s free weekly webinar to learn more about social media management and how to use social media tools to your advantage.

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