Before social media can be truly successful, it must be directed to engage a certain group of people. This is true for all forms of social media. You may be a user of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even have been an avid used of the now defunct Vine. Whichever social media you prefer, to have a successful, prolific account, you need to build a growing, dedicated base. This base is your target audience.
Think about it like this: If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? If an advertisement is posted to a Twitter account no one follows, was it even posted? You may have posted it, but you might as well not have. Having a target audience helps you avoid posting into oblivion.
Identify Your Target Audience
What do you want out of your target audience? Young people? Old people? Athletes? Are they readers, writers, gamers, companies? Who does your company or page require the attention of to flourish? You should identify your target audience before you even begin your social media account. What are you looking for? Parents with children? Gen X’ers? AARP members? Nothing can be done until you know who your audience is. Choose them first, and everything else will follow.
Once You’ve Chosen Your Audience
Now that you have chosen your audience, you need to acknowledge one simple fact: Different groups of people are more likely to be found on different types of social media. For instance, Millenials are more likely to be on Twitter and Facebook, but people over the age of 35 are more likely to use LinkedIn.
Facebook, the largest social media platform in the world, is usually a safe bet to start with. Three out of four people who use social media at all have a Facebook profile. Facebook helps you find your audience easily. Facebook has a convenient “Graph Search” which allows you to search users by their interests. Your audience will be easy to target, because Facebook also has convenient buttons that will allow you to invite people to like your page once you’ve found them.
How To Find Similar Target Audiences
There are studies that check where people go on the internet that will be beneficial for you. One of them, the Pew Research Center, has conducted studies and laid all this information out in an easy to understand way. These are not only broken down by platform, but als by age, gender, education level, race, and more. Your target audience will fall somewhere into this spectrum of information, and it will be easy to determine what kind of social media account, or how many social media accounts, you should make.
If all of this seems a little extensive, there is one last thing you can do: See what social media your competitors have used successfully, and employ those as well. If they have made them work, you can too!