When it comes to digital marketing, it can be difficult for small and midsize businesses to compete with their larger competitors, particularly if those larger competitors have been around longer than your business. While you may be investing money in inventory and staffing, your larger competitors might be investing in online marketing to increase their brand recognition with the intention of snuffing out newer entrants in their industry…newer entrants that just might include your company.
So, how can you compete with organizations that are more established than your brand and those that have deeper pockets than you do? The answer is simple. And it’s through the use of social media.
When it’s used effectively, social media can level the playing field smaller businesses compete on with their larger, more recognizable rivals. Whereas larger organizations may have more resources to invest in traditional and digital marketing overall, social media gives you the opportunity to engage with the members of your target audience and convince them why they simply cannot live without your goods or services on a personal level.
With a well-defined, expertly executed social media marketing strategy, social media can do a lot of your online marketing for you. And the great thing is, it can do the brunt of your online marketing without you having to invest anything more than your time, which can yield an extremely high return on your investment.
While a level playing field and a high ROI may sound great, you won’t be able to enjoy any of the benefits that social media can produce if you don’t know how to find your particular audience on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Of course, you can’t find your target audience until you know what your target market is. This makes identifying your target market the first step towards finding your target audience.
To define your target market, you must answer some key questions. These questions include the following at a minimum:
- Are my ideal clients male or female, single or married?
- Do my customers have children?
- How old are the members of my target audience and where do they live?
- What is the average income of my target market?
- What do my ideal customers like and dislike?
- What characteristics do the members of my target audience have in common?
Once you’ve answered all the possible questions you can possibly ask to define your target market, you may realize you have more than one ideal customer, or multiple target audiences. Understand – that’s perfectly okay! You now have to create an ideal customer profile that represents each of your niche markets.
The key here is to be as specific as possible as you create your client profiles. The more detail you can add to your profiles, the better prepared you will be to fine-tune your social media marketing efforts once you’re up and rolling.
Believe it or not, you’ve already completed the hardest parts involved with finding your audience on social media if you’ve made it this far. Now, it’s time to dive into the comparatively fun parts of this activity.
Step three towards finding your target market on social media is to identify the social media platforms the members of your target audience use most frequently. While you may be tempted to open accounts on every social media site to cast as wide a net as possible, it’s not advisable to do so.
Remember, your goal isn’t to make your goods or services appeal to everybody. Your objective as a business owner is to make whatever you sell appealing to the people who are most likely to buy it. And those people are the individuals who comprise your target audience.
With that in mind, it makes no sense to waste your time engaging in social media marketing on platforms the members of your target audience don’t use as often as they use others. Instead, you need to focus on the social media sites your target audience favors over alternative platforms.
Many studies have been done on how Americans use social media, and the Pew Research Center has produced many of them. Since 2005, when only five percent of adult Americans used a social media platform, the Pew Research Center has studied social media adoption in the United States. By comparing details about your target audience to data collected by institutions like the Pew Research Center, you can determine which social media sites you should use for your business.
Here are some recent findings from the Pew Research Center which can help you identify the social media platforms that the members of your target audience use frequently:
- 68 percent of American adults use Facebook, 35 percent use Instagram, 25 percent use LinkedIn and 24 percent use Twitter
- 62 percent of American males use Facebook, 30 percent use Instagram, 25 percent use LinkedIn and 23 percent use Twitter
- 74 percent of American females use Facebook, 39 percent use Instagram, 25 percent use LinkedIn and 24 percent use Twitter
- 81 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 years-old use Facebook compared to 78 percent of 30 – 49 year-olds, 65 percent of 50 – 64 year-olds and 41 percent of 65+ year-olds
- 29 percent of adult Americans with a high school diploma or less use Instagram compared to 36 percent who have some college and 42 percent who’ve graduated from college
- 30 percent of urban residents use LinkedIn, 27 percent of suburban inhabitants use the same platform, and 13 percent of rural residents are LinkedIn users
If you’re having trouble finding your audience on social media despite having identified your target market and all the social media studies that have been conducted, you may want to take a look at what your competition is doing. If you sell goods or services that are similar to a successful competitor or two, investigate the social media platforms they use as well as the messaging they employ to generate interest in the things they sell.
If you’re still unable to find your target audience on social media, don’t give up! Just pick up the phone or contact our digital marketing agency online. GoingClear Interactive offers a full suite of digital marketing services that can enable you to find, engage and connect with your target audience on social media and through other marketing channels. Learn more about our digital marketing services now.