How to identify your target demographic and create the ideal social media marketing strategy
The marketing strategy you employ on social media sites depends on a lot of factors – the most important of which is undoubtedly your target demographic. For example, the social media strategy used by a sports company like Adidas, which caters mostly to the younger crowd, will be vastly different from that of a premium hotel chain like Hyatt, which has older working professionals as its customer base.
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Identifying a target demographic, then, is crucial for every brand before they begin formulating a marketing strategy for social media. If you're just starting out on social media, here are the first few things you need to do in order to formulate an effective marketing strategy:
Identify your audience
Like I said earlier, no amount of advertising and marketing is going to pay off unless it's aimed at a specific audience. Identifying potential customers is the first step for any brand about to begin its marketing journey. The problem is that there are so many people with intersecting interests that it gets difficult to narrow them down to those who might be interested in your brand and those who won't.
You can start zeroing in on your potential customer base by asking questions like ‘What problems does my business solve?’ and ‘Who will benefit from it?’ These two questions alone will eliminate a large chunk of social media users from your target audience. Based on the answers to these questions, you'll be able to identify your prospective customers based on various parameters such as income, geographical location, and hobbies. By researching your competitor's customer base as well as your current customers, that list can be made even more specific until you finally have a target audience that can be catered to on social media.
After identifying your target demographic, you need to create a social media strategy specifically tailored for your prospective customers. This takes a few more steps, which are detailed below.
Identify your goals
It's important to establish both short-term and long-term goals before you begin marketing on social media. The strategy you employ will vary depending on whether you need to build awareness or increase sales. Creating a clear plan also helps you figure out if your strategy is working, which allows you to modify it as and when required.
Selecting the right social media site
If your business caters to working professionals, it makes more sense to market on LinkedIn than on, say, Snapchat. The age group your target demographic falls in also plays a crucial role in selecting the right social media site. A recent Olapic survey found that 90 percent of adults over 50 years of age prefer Facebook over other social media sites while Instagram is the most popular among younger users.
Posting the right content
Once you've selected the social media site(s) where your potential customers spend most time, you need to identify which type of content most resonates with your audience. Visual content (images and videos), for example, draws more engagement than text-based content while user-generated content (produced by actual product users on their own social accounts) has a greater positive impact on brand credibility than sharing content generated by brands themselves. There, too, distinctions can be made depending on the target audience – research shows that younger internet users prefer real people to be featured in images while older users prefer the product or service to be in focus.
Digital marketing on social media is only effective if the right strategy is employed in a proper manner. And while the above mentioned steps are the best way to get started, don't hesitate to experiment and tweak your social media strategy based on what is, and what isn't, working for you.