Getting to know your audience“Know your audience.” Whenever a set of marketing tips are compiled, you can guarantee that this will be somewhere on the list. But just how easy is it to create a picture of your customers?

Given that you are tracking their virtual movements, you might think that it’ll prove difficult to make tangible their behaviour, but if you go about it the right way, using social media to gather key data and cues on your audience is actually fairly straight forward.

Before all that, however, you’ve got to decide what your business goals are for social media, which will define who you want to speak to. If, for example, your primary objective is to grow your business, you’ll have to think about targeting a new segment of customer.

With that in mind, Social Media Today has put together some tips on how you can really get to know your target audience:

1. Use Facebook Ads to gauge the size of your segment

If you’ve ever created an ad on Facebook, you’ll know that you can filter by place, interests and behaviour, and Facebook will return a figure for potential reach – pretty handy, that. So, if your goal is to engage twentysomethings, who are interested in your specialist subject, Facebook will be able to give you a good idea of your segment size. And with 1.55 billion monthly active users to its name, I’d suggest it’ll be a fairly accurate estimation, if not completely spot on.

2. Tap into Pinterest’s Guided Search tool

I don’t talk about Pinterest too often on the blog, but that isn’t to say that it is a tool that should be ignored. It’s especially good for getting a feel for your audience, with its Guided Search tool giving you the ability to see the most popular content connected to specific keywords and topics. Simply searching for keywords related to your product will generate an endless stream of Pins, which can be traced back to the Pinners who could well be worth following for future inspiration…

3. Glean insights from Pinterest Analytics

Under the ‘Your audience’ tab at the top of Pinterest Analytics you’ll be able to discover what topics your audience is interested in and what they are pinning, alongside a whole host of other usable data. Use this information wisely and you’ll be generating content that truly resonates with your customers.

4. Take a look at popular blogs

What blogs are popular with your target segment? What makes them so popular? What language do they use to communicate with their readers? These are the sort of questions that can give you some vital insight into what your target audience like to read about and the style of content that appeals to them. Check out the respective comments sections for some feedback on the blog posts, which you can then keep in mind when you go about creating your own content.

5. Search out influencers

Influencer marketing is only going to grow more prominent over the next couple of years, as more firms begin to identify the immense value in having their brand talked about by personalities that consumers already follow and admire.

If you’re a little reticent in going the whole hog at the moment, you can still gain an advantage over your competitors by observing and analysing what social media influencers are saying and doing.

A tool like Buzzsumo allows you to search for the people and blogs that are most active on a topic and those who are widely followed. You can then use their content for inspiration and to give you a better idea of the sort of tone that your audience responds well to.

What other tips do you have for getting to know your audience online?