Are you reaching the right people on social media? When it comes to finding your target audience on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, there is more to it than you think!

It is all very well setting up a page for your business on Facebook and setting up an account on Twitter, but have you really thought about who it is you are trying to connect and engage with? After all, do you really want to waste your time trying to market women’s perfume to a middle-aged guy with a beard? No. Didn’t think so.

It is worth taking some time out to narrow down who would be interested in your product or service, and making up an avatar or a customer profile of your perfect customer.

Ask yourself some questions

What is it that makes your product or service unique?
Is there anything special about your product or service that would appeal to certain people?
Of those people who would be interested, how likely are they to share your information?

Think about who these people are, what are their likes and dislikes, where they may work, what age range they are, where they hang out, what do they read online, and how they tend to use social media. Once you have built up a profile, you may discover some less obvious people that you can include in your customer bracket. Keep your customer avatar or profile up to date, and add in any extra information as time passes that you find relevant.

Extending your reach

Word of mouth is your most powerful marketing tool on social media, so you have to not only think about your ideal customer, but also those who may be associated with them. Connecting with people who are engaging with your target audience can also be worth your while researching to further extend your reach.

For example, if you manufacture a range of dog harnesses specifically for use during training, then you will obviously want to reach dog owners who are, or are thinking about, training their dog. But you should also target places like pet shops, veterinary clinics, dog training groups, and multi-trading stores and garden centres that sell pet supplies and equipment.

Does your target audience have any key influencers? These could be anyone on a local, national and international level that your customer base listens to. It would make a lot of sense to share interviews, posts, articles and news reports about them on your social media site. This way your target audience will see that you share the same interests as them, will appreciate you sharing the information, and will be more inclined to trust you and your opinion and therefore be more willing to buy your product and service in the future.

You can quickly and easily find articles to share through keyword searches using free monitoring tools such as Google Alerts, Social Mention, Board Reader and Delicious.

Be where your customers are

After you have spent some time profiling your ideal customers, you will have a pretty good idea about where to find them. The thing is – you have to be where they are if you want to be discovered. If you find that the majority of your target customers who would be interested in your new range of fashion shoes hang out on Pinterest, but your main focus is Twitter, then it is time to shift your focus, don’t you think?

To help you find the people you are looking for, you can make use of some tools on the different social media sites.

Finding Nemo on Twitter:

Try using to look up key influencers in your business sector. Look at their follower list and see if there is anyone worth connecting with on there.To better engage with the community, research trends in your sector through Twazzup. This is a hashtag search tool and you can look up influencers, recent tweets, content and related keywords and hashtags. To use Twazzup you need to be logged in to Twitter to be able to access the information though.

Twellow, of course, is an obvious and popular tool to use. It has been called the Twitter equivalent of the Yellow Pages, and you can use it as a business directory. If you are looking to establish yourself as part of a community or interest group, then try Just Tweet It. This is sorted by interest, so you will be sure to meet with like-minded people through here.

Don’t forget to search by hashtag to find interesting people or events. You may even find an event happening near you that you were unaware of, and it could be a great opportunity for some local networking.

Where’s Wally on Facebook

To find people to connect with on Facebook, try to search for interest pages or fan pages from within your industry. You can browse other fans there too. Connect with some key influencer’s in your field, then browse and connect with their followers and friends.

You may be able to find some people you already know through putting your email address in the ‘find people’ tool. This will search your address book to find people in there with a Facebook presence. Also keep an eye on the suggestions that Facebook put into your news stream. There may be some very relevant people or pages that pop up there!

It is worth doing regular searches for new contacts at least every month. This helps to keep your contacts updated, and also shows anyone new on the scene that could be useful for your business.

Desperately Seeking Susan on Pinterest

Pinterest is a far less ‘chatty’ social media site than Facebook or Twitter, but it still manages to attract over 70 million unique visitors with thousands more singing up each day. You can engage with other Pinterest users by tagging the in any pin by using “@username” within your descriptions.
This is a useful way of engaging with individual customers on a one-to-one level, but also a good way of drawing in industry vendors and strategic partners too. This will all go towards building your profile and good standing on Pinterest, and encourage others to follow you.

Don’t forget to take some time to go and ‘like’ other users pins. This is a great way to encourage others to interact with you, and makes you come across as more personable and approachable.