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The importance of knowing your target audience (what generation are you speaking to?)

Knowing your target audience – and engaging with them in the appropriate manner and via the appropriate medium – isn’t just a cornerstone of social media marketing, but a key element of marketing generally; it’s also the bedrock of business success. Failure to understand or engage with your audience – whether on social media or elsewhere – can be the downfall of a business.

You can take this argument further: identifying and understanding your audience’s demographic makeup, their desires, needs and habits isn’t something you do after the fact – it should be a core element of the earliest stages of your product or service proposition. Some of the most successful and innovative businesses got where they are by identifying a gap or a need within a particular target audience, and offering the right product or service to fulfil that need.

Social media marketing in the digital age is about engaging with your audience, and a number of factors can play into that. What social media channels do you use to talk to your audience? Many businesses focus their social media content on the two platforms that dominate the market space: Facebook and Twitter. But if your audience is, for example, largely comprised of working-age professionals then you might want to post longer thought-leadership blogs via LinkedIn.

If your audience is younger, then consider sharing content on alternative social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest. As another example, video game companies get a lot of mileage out of YouTube—sharing trailers, gameplay videos and behind-the-scenes insights into the game development process; YouTube’s latest statistics show that the platform reaches more 18-34 and 18-49-year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.

Understanding your audience base allows you to target your social media marketing efforts in other ways too; for example, the time that you share your content. Is your audience primarily stay-at-home moms? Working professionals who are best targeted during commutes? School kids? Geographic considerations also play into this. If you run a local business and your target audience is local, then it’s straightforward. But if your audience is spread across the nation – or even across the world – then you may need to think more strategically about when you post or re-share content on social media to reach the largest possible audience.

Digitals tools available to us today make it easier than ever to understand the demographics of our target audience. Information from internal customer data and social media analytics tools can give strong insights into your audience. The key is in using this data to inform the entirety of your social media marketing strategy; including not only your choice of social media platform(s), but also the tone and form of your content – from witty tweets to in-depth white papers.

Call us today to gain a better understanding of your target audience and reach them when and where they are active.

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