How To Use Social Media To Find Your Target Audience


Good morning, Internet fans. Ryan Perry here, Simple Biz Support. Today is Wednesday, the 23rd of March. It is Social Media Wednesday. This is a weekly show that Sarah Giometti with Provaro Marketing and I put on weekly to talk about social media. We do it live on Blab and repost it on YouTube for replay. And we’re using the Blab platform because there’s more engagement from the audience that we really like. This week, Sarah, we are going to talk about how to use social media to help define your target market.

Sarah Giometti: We are. And I think we’ve probably talked about this before in a past episode, but it popped up in talking with a client yesterday, and I thought it’d be a great topic to revisit, especially for newer businesses, smaller businesses who are trying to figure out who their target market is. Social media is a really great place, and Facebook specifically is a great place to see if you’re on track with who your target market is. So checking to see if it’s valid, if there’s enough people to target because if you get too narrow and there’s only 200 people, it’s probably not a good target market. You need to take some qualifiers out.

SG: The beauty with Facebook, with their data, is it’s some of the cleanest data in the world because people are kind of self-informing. They’re self-giving up the information and so it’s not biased, whereas if you did a survey of your customers, you can get some biased answers. People responding to any survey, usually they’re on either end of they love you or they don’t love you and not really in the middle, so you’re getting some biased answers. This is really just people interacting. You’re seeing who they interact with. They’re willingly putting up what their job is. Facebook, a while ago, connected with big data to merge some more information. So you can really get a good feel and picture of who your target market is. If you’ve got some parameters, you can see if there are enough of them.

RP: Okay, perfect. And part of that is I think you kinda touched on it is the fact that when people are on Facebook, if they like something, they haven’t been guided to like that as an example. If they like a TV show, an artist, if they like a specific page, if they put in their college education, if they put in their place of work, date of birth, all of that information, somebody is not going, “Hey, how do you feel about this?” or “What do you think about this?” This is information that they’re freely, like you said, providing to Facebook, and I think that’s what you mean by clean data.

SG: Correct, correct. There’s no bias. There’s no leading to get answers. Facebook’s data is coming from just everyday usage of Facebook by over a billion people using it. And that’s why it’s clean ’cause it’s just what you’re doing on Facebook, hate to break it to you if you’re not aware of this, it’s being tracked to some extent. And I know, it’s a shocker, but it’s beneficial for business owners who want to advertise on social media because it can help you dial in… And I use it all the time to figure out like when I was trying to figure out my target market, you can add/remove so many parameters that you can see if it made it too small, if it made it bigger. You can really play around with it to dial in who your dream target market is. Doesn’t necessarily mean who’s showing up for you right now, but if you can dial in who your dream target market is, it’s a lot easier to go, “Okay, this is where I’m headed,” and you can tell people, “This is who I’m looking for,” and then they’ll start showing up as clients in your business.

RP: Okay. If they’re not currently following you, how are you going to collect this information?

SG: Well, you gotta kinda know who your target market is already. We’ll use a shoe store as a generic one. Are you men’s and women’s? What age range typically shows up in your store? Or who’s typically buying? So you’ve gotta be able to know… Or what’s the price point? Are your shoes $20 or are they $200? If they’re $200, then you can probably figure out approximately what their household income is. And if their household income is above a certain level, more likely than not… And of course, nothing is ever for sure, but more likely than not, they’re probably college-educated, if they’re on the higher income scale. If you’re selling $200, $300, $500 shoes… They’re not always college-educated or they’re self-employed with a successful business. So you can start dialing in all these different parameters. Maybe they’re a homeowner.

RP: You’re right. But when you say dialing in these parameters, what do you mean by that?

SG: Instead of being broad… I forget the…

RP: No, I mean specifically within Facebook, what do you mean? There’s no dials on Facebook, so how do I dial in these parameters?

SG: They’re all little fields. So if you go into Facebook ad platform, and you can start typing in to create a custom audience. And so you start typing in… You can add… It starts off broad. We’re in the United States, so we’ll use that.

RP: Right. Do you know, is it… I forgot. Is it or do you remember what the URL is to get to…

SG: I don’t know ’cause I always just go in. I think it’s

RP: Alright. Keep on talking. I’ll double check it.

SG: So you’ve got… Once you get into that screen, it starts broad, United States, 18 to 65, and that’s it. And so you can narrow it, and then… And all genders. So first off, you start off with the basic demographics, age range, gender, and if you’re not a national company, narrow it down to your geographic location. So we’re in Sonoma County, we would do probably within 50 miles of Santa Rosa to start for a local thing. And so now you start seeing on the right hand of the screen, you’re going to see kind of like a speedometer with a red, yellow, green, and underneath that, it’ll show you the number of people that are within… Every time you add something, that dial will change and the number will change. And so you’ll see the broad will be several million people, then you start narrowing it down with, say, just women, just women 25 to 45, you’ll start seeing that dial drop down. And then there’s other demographics you can put in there, and there are all different fields in there, so Facebook kinda leads you through.

SG: And you can just play around with it because you don’t need to do anything, you don’t need to pay for this, but you can look at education level, homeowner status, are they parents, are they not parents, are they married, their relationship status is in there. You can also put in there if they like certain topics, if they’re interested in certain topics. So are they interested in what you offer? And watch on the right-hand side, watch the number ’cause you don’t want to get too small and that means you’ve put too many restrictions on it, but it helps you figure out just kind of like how many people are in your geographical area for your target market for you to market to.

RP: So if you’re actually going into the ads, won’t I have to buy these ads?

SG: Nope, nope. You can go in there and play with this and then just leave it. You don’t have to buy ads in order to get this information.

RP: Okay. So once I actually narrow it down, I feel I’ve got a pretty good idea of who my target audience is, I’ve got 20,000 people that are locally, so I feel that’s a solid number that I can market to, what do I do with that information?

SG: Well, now one of it is buying Facebook ads. So now that you’ve figured out what this custom audience is, you can save it, too. So you can save that audience that you’ve created in Facebook and use it for your advertising to create compelling ads and target those people. You can also use that and look at… There’s Pew researches, one that does a lot of information about where people hang out online. So now that you’ve figured out, especially the demographics, gender, age, the basics like that, you can then do some Google searches for Pew research data, and they’ll tell you where… Based on the research that Pew has done, they’ll tell you where these people are hanging out online, so it’ll help you kind of determine where you should be as well.

RP: Right. So you’re saying you can find the information on Facebook, target your audience. You can then use Facebook, you can actually run ads targeting that specific group. You can also boost post targeting that specific group. But then additionally, if you know… And I think as a business owner, this is probably a good tool just for you to work in your business to really clarify and have a solid understanding who your prospects are. Then go, “Okay, what other social networks, such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter are these demographics actually on?”

SG: Yep, yep, ’cause then that’ll help you determine… Facebook gets to cover the gamut. It’s got pretty much… With over 70% of the online adults on Facebook, it pretty much has everybody, but you want to know where else your audience is. And so knowing your target market and having that defined, then yes, you can go find other research and other data to see where your target market is hanging out online. Are they on Pinterest? Are they on Reddit? Are they on Twitter? Where do they typically spend their time?

SG: Now that you have your target market, another way to figure out where your audience is online, if you’re an established business and you’ve been around for a while and you’ve got a customer base you can tap into, instead of doing a survey, you can survey them on where they’re spending their time. Simple questions of asking them, “Where do you go to find out blank. Home remodeling. Where are you researching that? Where do you spend your most time?” And kind of gauge from your existing clients where they are. Because if your existing clients are in a line with your target market and who you want to do business with, finding out where they’re hanging out might help you also have a clearer picture about where to find more customers online.

RP: Alright, perfect. And then I found that link. It’s actually… I did type in, and it automatically redirected to business. I think just… Yeah, business. So they’ve changed their URL, but they put a redirect in, so that’s okay.

SG: Good, good.

SG: Very important to make sure you have a redirect when you’re changing URLs.

RP: It is. Alright. So the goal is then is to go to, go through the ad service that they have in there, and actually really just narrow down who you feel your target audience is. Or like you stated, maybe that’s not where you’re at today, but it’s the target audience that you want to attract. So if you’re actually thinking about your business, not necessarily where you’re at today but maybe in three to five years, put that target audience in, get narrow but make sure there’s actually enough people there to market to. Or you may have to rethink about your strategy as far as who your target audience is. Then take that information, save it on Facebook. That way, if you want to do some boost to post, if you want to do some target ad marketing, you can do that.

RP: And then additionally, check out where those people are actually… What other social media accounts they’re on, such as Twitter, Reddit. And I spent a lot of time researching Reddit yesterday, which was kind of interesting. And I love the idea, especially if you already have a decent following, is just asking people, it’s part of the engagement of social media, “Hey, where else do you play?” I think that’s a great idea. Especially if you go, “Oh, you play at Instagram? What’s your handle? I’ll follow you.” I think that just creates good will and trust among you and your clientele or prospects.

SG: Yeah. And you can also find out when you’re asking people where they’re playing online is you can find places for you to find content for your social media activities. So if you’re asking them… If you’re a contractor and you ask them where they look for home remodeling, you might find some websites that you weren’t aware of that have really great content that you can utilize for your own content strategy. So there’s a lot of ways that this could really benefit you with not only building your business and dialing in your target market, but just your greater online strategy could benefit from doing a little bit of this research and work.

RP: Alright, perfect. Unless you got any last-second tips or ideas, I think that’s the end of the show.

SG: Oh, the other one was this also could be really good if you’re thinking of going in adding a new service or product, if you’re thinking of going into a new market. So you’ve got another product line that’s going to be a different market, this is also a great way to see if before you put a lot of effort into creating the product for this new market, to see if it’s even valid. So it could save you a lot of time and money on the front end prior to spending a lot of time and money and then realizing that it’s a dud.

RP: Right. Alright, that’s a great idea. Alright, Sarah, as always, I appreciate the time and energy that you put into the show. Next week, we will be here same place, same computer, same monitor, the whole nine yards, talking about a different, unique social media topic. If you have an idea or something you’d like for us to cover on the show, feel free to leave a comment below, and we will do our best to get that into one of the future episodes. Sarah, take care. I hope you have a great Wednesday, and I will see you tomorrow, I think.

SG: Later today, actually.

RP: Later today, even better.

RP: Alright everybody, that’s it for today’s show. We’ll talk to you later.

SG: Bye.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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