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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Austin

How to target and grow your audience

It always feels rewarding to garner social media engagement, but some friends and followers are more meaningful to your brand than others. This is your target audience. What exactly does that mean?

Christina Newberry, writing for Hootsuite, explains: “A social media target audience is the specific group of people you want to reach with your social channels. They are the people who are most likely to be interested in your content, products, or services. They are likely united by some common characteristics, like demographics and behaviors.”

To be clear: all social media engagements are valuable. You always want to turn heads and get noticed on social media, but you can’t be all things to all users. Some are just not that inclined to take the relationship all that much further (at least for now), while others are interested in the expertise, goods, and services that your brand has to offer.

You want to speak directly to your target audience, those who are most likely to be your customers- maybe that’s first-time homebuyers, Gen Z professionals, or family caregivers, for example. You want to make them laugh, address their needs, answer their questions, and offer insights into their issues. Your posts and blog posts are a great way to do this.

Finessing your niche helps you to reach and grow your target audience. Here’s what you need to know.

The power of analytics

Analytics is the process of pulling data from your social media accounts so that you can analyze the impact of your social media efforts. Christina Newberry and Karolina Mikolajczyk write: “Social media analytics is the process of tracking, collecting and analyzing data from social networks. With the right tools, analyzing your social performance can be a breeze.”

There are various tools, some free and some paid, that you can use to drill down into your analytics. Facebook and Instagram have their own tools for analytics, as does TikTok. You can then create a range of reports targeting different outputs, again depending on which tools you use. Learn how many users read and engage with your posts and content and some basic demographics about those users.

As you analyze this data, you will often see important patterns. For example, Millennials actively engage with content about real estate sales during the summer months, while Gen Xers were interested in an article about helping parents with Parkinson’s disease (PD) as they age in place. This gives you important insights into your social media followers. Millennials are shopping for homes where they’ll raise their kids, while Gen X’s are caring for their aging parents.

Now that you know more about your audience and their habits and interests, it helps you figure out what kind of content they are most receptive to and how to promote engagement with them.

The power of content

There are certain things we all respond to on social media. We all love pets and Friday and we all agree that Monday is hard. When you position this kind of content, it usually tends to get laughs and engagement. But it doesn’t necessarily grow your audience. What does, though, is when your target audience shares a powerful piece of content that makes them feel seen and understood. Perhaps one of your friends or followers belongs to a niche group or user community. If your content gets shared there, it can have a big impact for you and for the group.

When you can tell Millennials that you know the housing market is stressful right now, and you’ve got a couple of tricks to help them buy in that community with the good school district, they are all ears and shares. It’s stressful to be in their shoes. If you can tap into that, they will tell their friends, and you stand to grow your target audience.

If you can assure those Gen X’s that PD is stressful but that your caregivers can help provide structure and stability to their care routine and help them with their beloved parents, they are going to let their siblings, cousins, and friends know.

Working your niche helps you reach your target audience with content that is meaningful to them in both of these cases. They are then likely to share that content with others they know, helping you grow your target audience. It’s a win-win.

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