Social media targeting helps advertisers reach their audiences on social media with relevant and impactful marketing messages. Once you know who your ideal consumer is, and where to find them on social media, targeting is easy and makes your brand’s advertisements highly effective.
What is social media targeting?
Social media targeting is the ability to display adverts and posts to specific audiences chosen by the advertiser or poster. The consumers who make up a target market share similar characteristics, defined by demographics such as gender, location and age as well as criteria based on their consumer behaviour. Your brand can also combine a number of these factors to narrow down your audience.
“A target market is, at its most basic, simply the market or submarket (such as a segment) at which the firm aims its marketing message(s).” (Cahill, 1997)
Why is social media targeting so powerful?
With targeting your posts become more affordable, efficient and effective at generating customer leads. Saving money on marketing and a better return on investment are the most obvious benefits of social targeting — especially for small businesses with frugal marketing budgets.
Targeted marketing is far more cost-effective than mass marketing as firms are not wasting time and money marketing to people who will never be a customer. Instead, the target audience is specific consumers who are most likely to become customers.
The main important points to always keep in mind while advertising is to define the audience we are targeting.Always target your audience with a clear purpose, and develop the type of content that will achieve our purpose and interest our target audience.
How to Find Your Target Audience on Social Media?
Identifying your target audience is the foundation of your marketing strategy. This entails understanding who your ideal prospects and customers are, who are your competitors as well as the core pain points that your product or service solves. Creating a target audience is essential for knowing where to focus your sales and marketing efforts.
Steps to Finding Your Social Media Target Audience
1. Identify Your Ideal Customer
The first step in creating your social media marketing strategy is to create buyer personas. Instead of focusing on large groups of people and companies, creating buyer personas helps tailor your message to an individual person.
Factors your brand can use to target the ideal audiences
Social media platforms each offer a selection of these targeting factors:
- Age. This is important to understand because customers in different age groups will respond differently to how your product is designed and marketed. This option is available to be set up on Facebook or Instagram.
Set age restrictions
- Gender. Depending on the types of products you sell, gender can play a role in how your audience reacts to your messaging. If your product is targeting a gender-specific audience, you can let Facebook or Instagram know about it.
Tip: Even if your offers target both genders, you could create gender-specific Instagram ad campaigns to see if women and men respond differently to ad creative that matches their own gender.
- Language. If you’re advertising in a particular language, you might want to only target the people who can understand your ads.
Target based on language
- Location. This is targeted by country, region, city, metro area, postal or zip code.
Target based on location
- Interests. Reach audiences based on the topics they are interested in. Some social media platforms offer hundreds of interests to choose from, so pick carefully.
Focus on specific audience interests
- Keywords. For networks like Twitter, keyword targeting means reaching users that tweet specific keywords, while platforms like Pinterest target according to the words people use in searches.
- Behaviors. Base behavior targeting on online and offline habits like mobile device use, travel patterns and digital activities like online gaming. For instance, you could segment your audience by those who are planning to travel or those who have just returned from travel.
Target based on audience behaviours
Here are a couple of examples of the behaviours you can target:
- Mobile Device User – target Android or iOS users
- B2B – target users based on company size, their industry, and their seniority at their job
- Expats – target people who have left their home country to go live somewhere else
- Purchase Behavior – target users based on their purchase habits and expenditures
To master behavioral targeting and learn about all its possibilities, check this guide: Reach Your 100% Perfect Audience With Facebook Behavioral Targeting.
2. Find out where your audience is most active.
This means researching the online behavior of your social media target audience. Pew Research performs many valuable studies, one of which breaks down the demographics of the different social media networks and shows which matter most based on your target audience.
Figuring out where your audience is will help you prioritize which social media platforms you want to focus on. Then, you can adjust as you go. For instance, if a post works well on one platform but not the other, you can adapt. Or if the people you’re targeting aren’t interested, but another group is, you can change your target audience.
3. Look at your competitors.
Always keep an eye on your competitors and how they use social media. What are they doing that drives engagement? What are their shortcomings that you can exploit? What types of content are they promoting? Use the social media tools available to make your life easier.
The importance and benefits of targeting are really huge to ignore. Use targeting to attract the right audience. Professional targeting of targeted advertising allows you to show your ads to users who are really interested in your product. As a result, there are more sales, and profit indicators are steadily growing.
Popularization of the brand in the network. Promote not only the company’s product, but also share new products, talk about interesting promotions and offers, the principles of the company and its life in general. Consumers appreciate the openness of the brand and follow the activities of such companies with special interest.
Focus your efforts on the right social media platforms and posts. Social media is an important place to engage with your target audience and learn more about them.
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Written by: Iryna Oleksiuk