WHY DEFINE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
You must define your target audience to know who sees what you have to offer as a solution to their problem. Let’s face it not everyone needs or wants your product or service.
Applying that to social media means you will not waste time producing content that is not what your target audience wants or needs. It drives platform choices and focuses post content.
SIDE NOTE: As you learn more about your target audience you may find you have more than one ideal customer. You will need slight adjustments in your marketing to reach each customer type. i.e. wording, content, graphics
HOW TO DEFINE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Step One – Research
There are two types of research: Customer & Market
Information to Look For
- What are they talking about?
- What problems do they have?
- Does your product or service solve their problems?
- What are their future goals?
- Similar Demographics
If you have customers:
- survey your customers
- ask sales or customer staff
- check your database
If you don’t have customers:
- check your competitor’s customers – Neil Patel discusses it in his article 25 Sneaky Online Tools and Gadgets to Help You Spy On Your Competitors
- check your competitor’s social media accounts for comment, questions, and conversations
If you have a large budget you can hire a marketing firm to do your market research. I am going to assume you do not.
Social Media is an excellent way to do your research.
- see what is saved on Pinterest
- see what hashtags are trending in Twitter & Instagram
- join Facebook groups
- join Twitter chats
These are a few of many ways to use social media to research. In Haley Hill’s video, she lists Top 5 Ways to Use Social Media for Market Research.
Step 2 – Build A Customer Profile
The best way to build a customer profile is with questions around these:
- Needs & Goals
HubSpot has an article with a list of 20 questions. Twenty questions to ask when making a buyer persona
I have a customer profile spreadsheet that I send to clients. It has questions like the following:
- Education Level
- What website do they spend the most time on?
- What is their problem and how does your product/service solve it?
Here is the link to the Google version of my spreadsheet. Customer Profile Sheet
Answer as many questions with as much detail as you can and consult your research finding in step 1.
Step 3 – write Your customer Personas
This is where you write a detailed descriptions of a real customer. It reminds you your customer is a real person and helps to bring that human element to your content. When considering any content or ads you should look at your personas before you make them.
“Jane Doe is a busy owner/operator of a real estate business. She is a 40 year old female and has primary responsibility of her aging parents. Social media overwhelms her but she know she needs it. She becomes frustrated when she navigates and posts. It is a challenge for her to keep up a current and professional Facebook page. She wants more time for herself and clients. Social Media are taking time from them. She wants short how to’s and tools to help reduce her time on social media.”
You could drill down deeper to have an extremely developed persona. This helps you to know when to make a small change in your marketing.
One of my other personas is Mary. A 30-year-old female that is married with 2 children. She wants to spend more time with her children. She is similar to Jane Doe in all the other ways. This one small difference will change the language and content I use to grab her attention. There is a lot out there on social media so you need to be mindful of grabbing attention.
If the steps 2 and 3 seem to challenging or time-consuming You can use PersonApp to help you develop your profile/persona. It is a hybrid of steps 2 and 3. If you are a small business this works fine.
Action To Take
- Do Your Research
- Build a Customer Profile
- Write Your Customer Personas
I hope this helps you define your target audience. If you have not set your goals it is time to do that as well. My blog https://www.jerrigailcreates.com/how-to-set-up-social-media-goals/ has all the info on how to get those done. Let me know if you use my sheet or the PersonApp tool.