To optimize your social media marketing efforts, it’s important to know who your customers are and which social networks they spend their time on.

Identify Your Ideal Customer

One of the first questions I ask is, “Who is your ideal customer?”

Some of the answers I’ve received include women, people who have to eat to survive, bosses, employees and people looking for work. While these answers may be true for you, too, they won’t help you find your audience because they don’t help you prioritize where to spend your time.

Determine Your Audience Size

Once you have a good sense of what your audience looks like, you can use Facebook Ads Manager to estimate the size of your audience.

For example, if you want to reach women in Maine who are interested in nutrition, you can find out that 62,000 people on Facebook match that audience.

Some quick market research will tell you if your audience is big enough.
This is also good business information, because if your audience is too small, you may need to change your offering to expand your audience. On the flipside, if your audience is too large, you might want to target a narrower niche to start.

Survey Your Customers

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you have customers you can survey. As part of your survey, ask your current customers the following questions:

  • What social media sites do you regularly use?
  • What websites do you visit for information on _______ (for example, remodeling ideas, pricing strategies or whatever is appropriate for your business)?
  • Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones?
  • Do you regularly read blogs? If so, which ones?
  • What people do you follow or pay attention to online?

Research Online Behavior

What do you do if you’re just starting out, your customer base is too small for meaningful results or you’re expanding into a new category? In cases like these, or simply to supplement your surveys, you can research online behavior.

Find and Connect With Your Customer

Once you get the results from your survey and have reviewed the demographics of the available research, it’s time to put that knowledge to work across different social media and digital marketing platforms.

Connect with this core group on any platform to jumpstart your online networking there and provide social proof that you’re well connected and someone worth knowing.