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How to find and target your audience on social media | B2B Marketing

Tom Bracher explains the concept of ‘audience intelligence’ – a social media marketing strategy to help you find the audience you want to reach 

In recent years we have seen a plethora of new content that’s dedicated to reaching a specific audience – as marketers feverishly look to create fun, engaging and insightful content that resonates with their audience.

For many brands and agencies looking to reach their audience ahead of competitors – this can be equally problematic. It’s important to realise that the audience content is targeted towards does not necessarily increase – nor does the time many audiences will be able to dedicate to discovery and engagement as far as digital content is concerned. 

Many social media platforms, such as Facebook, have looked to tackle this issue by ensuring that certain algorithms encourage relevant content to be displayed for users; filtering out the stuff they’re not keen to read. For many businesses it’s a struggle to break through this imposing content noise.

Enter audience intelligence – a

social media marketing

strategy that ensures you are fully equipped with all the relevant insights to seamlessly navigate through the overly saturated content space, thus reaching the audience you’re most keen to engage with.

Content tailored to ensure its relevance to an audience is far more likely to be read – and what’s more, audience intelligence will fill you in with the questions your audience are asking – so you’re absolutely certain you’re providing the relevant answers. It’s that simple.

The basics of audience intelligence

All you need to kickstart your audience intelligence journey is to have a vague understanding of who your general

target audience

is.

This is a quick win that ensures you won’t be having to sift through huge amounts of irrelevant data. You’ll be able to move on to the next step with ease if you’re aware of your general audience. Audience intelligence tools let you organise and navigate through the noise, honing in on the audience you’re keen to start engaging with.

Audience intelligence takes this further, to the point where you can segment audiences even further allowing you to focus on specific audience demographics, behaviors, preferences and even emotions.

Once you have the brief understanding of your audience – you can start to incorporate social listening tools (an in-depth form of

social media marketing research

), free analytics tools such as Google Analytics and analytics tools provided by the major social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook – to discover the audience segments that are reading and sharing content that’s relevant to your brand.

You can also pinpoint and make a note of topics being discussed and audience groups engaging in relevant discussions (some of which you might not already know).

The insights collected from audience intelligence tools can heavily influence the progress taken by entire companies and organisations, from new product strategies, research and insights to creating a new narrative and theme that results in highly engaging and appealing content.  

How to find your target audience using social media

With the help of audience intelligence, brands and agencies can now connect with a dedicated audience through so much more than just basic demographics.

1. You can detect specific behaviors that are consistent among your audience members to help segment them further – helping you to create content that’s tailored to suit these specific groups and encourage further engagement.

2. You can also look into certain preferences your audience has – such as using social listening tools to gauge what content is being shared consistently by specific micro-influencers. This gives you a better idea of what your audience wants to read about and what inspires increased discussion surrounding your brand.

3. You can also gauge sentiment from audience intelligence with analytical tools of today able to extract the emotional context of tweets and other social posts online.

This gives a clear indication of how your audience feels about a certain topic, or even a new product update, which is vital information to have should you wish to report and improve on any new product campaigns.

When we come across a certain topic that’s trending on a major scale – such as politics for instance – audience intelligence tools takes note of these trends and provides the variety of audience insights you need to ensure your new marketing or product strategies are tailored effectively and will resonate with your target audience.


Passion networks:

This term is used to describe audience segments built through identifying unique passions – are a fascinating example of how audience intelligence segments a general audience. Audiences can be divided based on their specific passions, including the likes of politics, sport, tv & film, fashion and technology.

How to use audience intelligence for segmentation

We’ve mentioned it quite a lot already – but 

segmentation

 is the next level to audience intelligence and also where it starts to get really interesting.

1. You can break down audiences that you might once have seen as incomprehensibly monolithic, focusing in on more than just age, gender and location and instead focusing on specific psychographic details – helping you better understand what your audience really looks like.

2. You can begin to understand audience segments in many different ways – and you can start off by reading up on previous studies carried out by audience intelligence experts, or by taking large social media followings of certain brands into account and studying how these audiences engage with each brand.

3. You can start to look at what impacts their behaviour, what motivates them and what their preferences are.

This then creates a new branch of sub-communities to segment your audience further. With this information you can start to refine your messaging and connect with each sub-community.

As well as dividing your primary audience in this way, audience intelligence also helps you define each sub-community.

Once you have your audience segmented, you can hone in on their behavioral aspects, including their geographical location, identify micro-influencers they engage with online and the products, trends and ideas that are shaping their preferences.

With all this information considered, you can begin to create 

personas

 that play a vital role in the creation of your newly inspired ad campaigns. With audience intelligence tools you can personalise your campaigns to effectively connect with each audience segment.

There’s no doubt that – with the advanced nature of many target audience platforms in the modern era, the opportunities for brands to reach their desired audiences have sky-rocketed. It’s one thing knowing your audience – and another thing entirely when you can segment them, understand them and ultimately, connect with them.


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