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“Everyone is not your customer.” – Seth Godin 

Some of our recent articles have covered how social media can be a great tool for reaching and connecting with your target audience, but this only works if you know who your target audience actually is. 

It is good practice to focus marketing efforts towards the people who are most likely to purchase from your business. This refining tactic can result in spending less money to reach the right people and achieve a higher ROI. Defining your target audience on social media enables your business to effectively market your products and efficiently communicate with the people who need them: everybody wins. 

We’re here to help ensure your brand is reaching the right people online. 

Defining your target audience starts with answering clarifying questions about your ideal customer:

  • What are their characteristics?
      1. Age: 34 vs 37 may not make a big difference, but different decades or life stages can. Think about who your product or service is best suited for. Will you be trying to reach teens, seniors or somewhere in between? But don’t be fooled, Gramma might have more use for that Alexa than your teenager.
      2. Location: Consider your business’ physical location(s) and where your products and services are available. If you run a cleaning service in Red Deer, then you’ll likely only be taking clients in areas where you’re willing to travel to. However, if you have a product that can be shipped internationally your target locations could be vast and many. Best to double-check, even Californians wear toques. 
      3. Gender: is your product/service specifically catered to men or women? While this can make a big difference in the structure and implementation of marketing campaigns, but you might be surprised to learn that women have a keener interest in your industrial safety workwear than you thought. 
      4. Occupation: for some businesses, core customers may come from all walks of life, while for others they come from a specific sector. Knowing what they have in common or not at all is key! 
  • What else are your customers interested in?

It’s obvious you want to target people that are likely to be interested in what your business has to offer, but business is more than just your product or service. You’re entering a social relationship and social media enables organizations to express their values and connect with customers who are looking for brands that align with their own values. If you discover that a large portion of your audience values giving back to the community, you may want to highlight that your company also contributes by corporate donations, fundraisers, or volunteering to lay common ground and further deepen the relationship. 

  • How do your customers learn about products or services, and how do they prefer to communicate?

Is your business stuck in the past, relying solely on the lengthy process of luring potential customers to a brick & mortar to possibly make a sale? Social Media can not only speed up the buyer’s journey but also improve the purchase experience. Now, you can reach people outside the showroom, connect instantly during key life moments, and target variable customer segment needs, all with the quick tap of a ‘Message’, ‘Learn More’ or ‘Shop Now’ button.

  • How is your business different?

Analyze your direct competition. Find out what they do and how it is or is not working for their customers. Take a close look at what your business does and how it is or is not working for your customers. What is the difference? Why do their customers choose them, and why do your customers choose you. Use this information to triple-down on your advantage, and eliminate what’s holding you back. 

If you’re struggling to answer some of these questions, try taking a look at your existing audience by using Facebook and/or Instagram Audience Insights to find patterns – you might be surprised. Further, don’t hesitate to reach out to existing customers and learn more about why they choose you over the other guy. By encouraging open communication with your core customers, you may learn new things about your target audience that helps you not only to improve your products and services (or even to create entirely new ones to better meet their needs!) but also connect more broadly and deeply to enhance the relationship. 

Answering these questions is just a start, there are many more things you can research, learn and analyze about your prospective customers. 

At AYS we conduct in-depth research about all our clients, including their core customers, audience segments and their competition. This helps us to clarify our marketing campaigns, our advertising objectives and social media goals to help improve your customer relations and increase your return on investment.