7 Ways to Find Your Target Audience on Twitter
Are you struggling to identify your target audience on Twitter? Do you have a vague, mostly qualitative idea, but fall short when it comes to reaching your engagement drivers, future customers, and lifelong brand advocates?
How to Build a Social Media Calendar
So do most brands. Most of us aren’t reaching all the people who would be interested in our content and/or product. We have an overall idea of the demographics active on Twitter (21% of U.S. adults use the network, most of whom are ages 18-49 and have attended college at some point, according to the latest Pew Report), but find it challenging to match our brand with the audience likely to become customers–because we don’t really know who we’re looking for.
Here’s how to find your target audience on Twitter in a clear, analytical progression.
1. Find Out Who Your Most Engaged Users Are
Finding out who your most engaged users are on Twitter means finding out who mentions your brand handle the most, and responds to the owned content you pump out from your brand handle most frequently.
It also means you must be prepared to:
A) Pivot away from who you want your target audience to be, and towards who they really are, depending on what you find out in your analysis, or
B) Totally reformulate your content calendar to target your ideal audience, if this audience is not following/engaging with you today, or
C) Both continue serving content to your engaged-but-not-ideal audience and create a parallel content program to better target the users you are trying to reach
Action Item: Once you’ve found out who your brand’s most engaged users are, come up with persona types and characteristics, using these engaged users as a basis. Take stock of how closely these personas map to your larger marketing department personas. If they don’t match up, it’s time to do some retooling of your social strategy.
2. Find Out Who Engages with You On Other Channels
This is the next step in building out your social personas, i.e., identifying your target audience(s). You need to evaluate who is expanding your brand reach on channels outside of Twitter, like Instagram and Facebook.
Action Item: Find out who is using your owned hashtag and interacting with your brand on other social channels you are active on. This will give you an expanded view of not only who your target personas are, but how they feel about your brand, and the content they would respond well to across all your social channels. It may even give you some ideas about how to repurpose media from one platform to another.
3. Search Your Top Hashtags
Take this analysis a step further by finding the hashtags most often used in tandem with your owned hashtag or brand handle, then search those hashtags on Twitter to source ideas for your content calendar and to better understand who your target audience is and what they care about.
Action Item: Let’s say your handle is @lifetimefitness and your owned hashtag is #lifetimefitness. Find out which hashtags and terms are most frequently used in tandem with either @lifetimefitness or #lifetimefitness. Then search into these terms, like #cycle or #selflove, to identify more potential members of your target audience and understand the trends they’re talking about and brands they’re interacting with.
4. Determine Age, Gender, and Geographic Location of Earned Conversation
Use a listening solution to find out specifically who is talking about your brand: their age, gender, and geographic location.
Action Item: Once you’ve run this analysis, incorporate these traits into your social marketing personas and do research into which content is most appealing to your specific age group–gender–geographic location blend.
5. Find Your Audience’s Time Zones
To understand your target audience best, and publish content on a schedule that will hit them at the right times, you have to understand when your audience is active on Twitter.
Action Item: Once you’ve run this analysis, modify your Twitter calendar to publish content at the times when your audience is active on the network.
6. Find Out Who Follows Your Competitors
Running analysis on who follows your competitors has three benefits:
A) It helps you understand how/if your competitors’ audiences overlap with your own
B) It helps you identify the Twitter users you need to target and steal away from your competitors
C) It encourages creative thinking to make this market share grab happen
Action Item: Run regular competitive analysis, and set metrics around targeting competitors’ followers. Commit to learning as much as you can about your own brand reputation and current audiences through this analysis.
7. Put It All Together
Now it’s time to put everything you’ve learned together, and build content accordingly.
Put together a plan to present at your next marketing meeting. It should include three categories:
A) A data-based Twitter target persona, which maps back to your larger marketing organization personas
B) A short analysis of your target persona typical behaviors
C) A plan and content calendar for how you’ll to target these personas and shift behaviors to meet business goals
D) A short competitive snapshot of your Twitter competitors and what you’ve learned from competitive analysis
Want to take the next step? Download the 2017 Social Media Planning Template and Checklist to start taking action today!
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I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.