Insights & News

Eight Basic Tips to Manually Locate Your Target Audience On Social Media

© Flickr: art_es_anna, Creative Commons 2.0 Generic

Are you launching a social media program for your company? Resist the temptation to demonstrate your commitment by setting up an account on every social network. It isn’t important to be everywhere. It is important to share unique content on each relevant platform with the right people. So, assuming you don’t have a fancy pay-for-play tool to monitor the social landscape, how do you manually find your target audience?

Understand generic online activity for your target audience

There is no need to reinvent the wheel by trying to bring your target audience to your social network of choice. Find out where your target audience is already speaking to one another.

  • Gender. If your target audience is gender specific, it is important to understand where they are already communicating online. This infographic, for example, illustrates that as of March 2012 Facebook users were 57% female, Twitter users were 59% female, Google+ users were 71% male, and 82% of Pinterest users were female.
  • Age. Understand where people of various ages are generally living online. This infographic from May 2012 contains specific age data for all the big social networks. Can you believe that 25% of Pinterest users are between 45 and 54 years old?
  • Interests. Social media sites are inherently different and therefore attract different segments of the population. LinkedIn is most likely to attract corporate professionals and job seekers, whereas Pinterest is more likely to attract women interested in creative projects.
  • Actively seek new data. Always be on the lookout for newer data. Social media is still growing rapidly, and what is true today may be different tomorrow.

Conduct manual searches

Manual searching takes some time, but walking through the data will help you get a sense for what kinds of conversations are happening in your industry, about your brand and about your competitors Ask yourself: How much is your brand being mentioned? How about your competitors? Are people talking about your industry in general? Is that chatter primarily positive or negative? You will likely note that relevant conversation is present on some social networks over others.

  • Manual web search. Do a manual Google search for your brand name, key words, and competitor social activity and mentions. Take special note of social media conversations that rise in search.
  • Blogs. Conduct a blog search to see if your brand or competitors are being discussed in blog posts. Also take note of influential blogs within your industry by searching industry keywords.
  • Forums. Use Google’s discussion search feature to find forum threads that mention your brand and competitors.
  • Audit social networks. You don’t need to get crazy here, but do some manual searching on social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) to get a sense of discussion volume.

Bonus tip: set up free alerts

You aren’t going to catch every brand mention during your manual auditing. You also won’t catch future mentions. Be sure to set up daily alerts using a tool like Google alerts to see mentions as they happen.

What tips do you have for manually finding your target audience? Tweet us @brgliving and let us know.