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How to Find Your Target Audience on Social Media

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Social media is everywhere these days. From TikTok to Instagram to Facebook, there are so many platforms your brand can take advantage of. However, to be successful on social, you need high-quality content. How do you get there? By getting to know your target audience.

In this guide, we’re going to get down to the nitty-gritty and show you how to find your target audience on social media. We'll also show you how to reach them. After we're done, you'll be getting new followers in no time!

Table of Contents

What Is a Target Audience?

“Target audience” is a marketing term used to describe who you’re hoping to reach. It's the group of consumers your product or service is designed for. Your target audience could be based on demographics, like age, gender, race, sexuality, income level, education, religion, or location. 

Your target market could also be interest or behavior-based, like “goes on hikes”, or “loves romance novels." In fact, this type of target audience can often be more accurate, since demographics rely to some extent on assumed prior knowledge about how those demographics will act, while interest or behavior is based on the action itself.

Either way, you’ll end up with a subsection of people that you believe your product, service, or content appeals to the most.

The Benefits of Knowing Your Social Media Target Audience

It's not enough to create content and slap it on your social platforms. After all, not all content will help you get the results you're looking for. Instead, you must create content that speaks to your target audience.

You can do this by developing content that's tailored to your audience's unique interests and publishing it on the platforms they actually use. Creating tailored content inspires your audience to engage with your brand even more, boosting your results.

How to Find Your Target Audience on Social Media

Finding your target audience can be a challenge, especially if you haven’t given it much thought before! Here are some simple strategies and tools you can use to get started. 

1. Define your target audience and compare that to your existing audience

The first thing you need to do is outline who your target audience is. Likely, your business has already established who your product or service appeals to. If not, you can help define your audience by asking a few questions like:

  • “What pain point is my product/service trying to solve?”
  • “Who did we have in mind when we designed our product/service?”

Once you have that down, check out your current customers. For online-based companies or companies with a strong web presence, use an analytics tracker like Google Analytics to see what customers are visiting your site. For brick-and-mortar companies, do some first-hand research by visiting the store and examining sales data.

Then go to your social channels. Using their analytics platforms or an aggregate platform like Sprout Social, you can see who's visiting your social media accounts. See where your target audience overlaps with existing customers and social audiences. 

2. Find where your target audience is most active

Your target audience might not be on the same platforms as your brand. Many brands have Facebook pages, but that might not make sense if your target audience is 18-20-year-olds. You might have a TikTok, but similarly, that wouldn’t be the place to reach 50-55-year-olds. 

But make sure to get the actual data! A marketing and business data platform, like Statista, can get you the actual numbers for different platforms among different groups of people.

You could also explore a tool like Sparktoro, which takes something your audience is already interested in, like “Beyonce," and populates a list of what your audience is likely to be reading, watching, listening to, and following, along with the platforms they’re likely to use. Cool, right?

3. Find out what people are saying about your brand

Once you have your audience outlined, you want to know what they and others are saying about your brand. The first step here is to Google your brand. What comes up? What doesn’t come up? Then, Google your key leadership members, spokespeople, or influencers. What comes up for them? 

Next, try doing a site search of popular social platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, or Reddit. Simply type “ [your brand name]” into Google, and you’ll search Facebook for any mention of your brand.

If you want to get a little fancier, or simply sift through all the information out there faster, you might want to try a social listening tool. A platform like Awario can track your brand mentions across social media and the web. A tool like Repulsate can use AI technology to measure sentiment across social platforms. 

4. Do some competitor research

Now that you’ve dug into how people are viewing your brand, take a look to see what your competitors are doing. Who is their apparent target audience? What platforms are they using? What does social listening turn up about their brand? Is the sentiment towards them more or less favorable? 

Once you’ve done some research, you can adjust your social audience and strategy based on what you find. If your competition is all over Instagram but you aren’t, you might decide that you’re missing out on a large audience on that platform. Or, you might see that they only have a few followers and little engagement, and decide that Instagram isn’t worth it. 

Then check what type of content they're posting. Videos? User-generated content? Are they partnering with influencers? Learn from their successes!

If their videos are doing well, start making some. If their influencer generates a ton of likes, go find your own influencer. See how your social feeds compare and then act accordingly.

5. Test your content on social media

Once you’ve identified your target audience, and done all the background research, it’s time to start testing content. There are a few ways to test social media content.

You can test out different types of content, social copy, or post timing. You can try running an A/B test, where you test two types of content and see which performs better, or a larger multivariate test. 

Use a social media analytics tool, like the above-mentioned Sprout Social or native platform analytics to see which posts are gaining the most engagement.

Testing your content can also help you determine if you've found the right target audience. If the new content you post is getting more likes and shares, you're probably on the right track.

You can also take a look at your website metrics (such as traffic) to see if your content is inspiring people to learn more. This type of testing and measuring is simple with tools such as Google Analytics.

Examples of a Social Media Target Audience

There are so many brands out there that successfully market to their target audiences. Here are a few examples of brands getting it right.

1. Nike

Nike knows that its target audience is the athletes of the world. That's why their Instagram is chock full of images and videos that showcase their products being used by athletes from all walks of life, including everyone from skateboarders to basketball stars.

2. Huggies

The Huggies target audience is mamas that have sweet babes to take care of. As a result, their Instagram content features everything from quotes from moms to inspiring videos showcasing motherhood.

3. Taylor Guitars

Taylor understands that their target audience has an affinity for guitars and playing them. That's why they showcase high-quality images of guitars on their Instagram feed, as well as helpful how-to-play tutorials, and more.

Reach Your Peeps With Cohley

A target audience is key to successful social media campaigns. Define that audience, find it, and learn what they like and where they hang out on the web. With that information, you have the tools necessary for creating awesome content that appeals to your people.

If you need a hand in creating quality content that inspires your social audience, check out Cohley. We partner with brands to shape their content strategy across platforms, no matter what your goals and needs. We generate content ideas, find ways to expand, and build content partnerships.

To learn more about how we can support you, schedule a consultation with us today!