How to Use Social Media Audience Analysis to Shape Your Strategy
Like a modern day bad love story, I know there’s a business out there where I fit the bill as their buyer persona.
Until that business and I find each other in some online happy ending, I’ll take solace in the fact that I belong to a larger demographic that many businesses are trying to target and use to shape their digital marketing strategy.
Whether business are mining social media for market research or basing their ideal buyer persona on good old experience and intuition, there’s no doubt that their digital marketing strategy depends heavily on targeting the right audience.
You may have quite the following on social media already, which begs the question:
What are you doing with all that user data at your fingertips?
Even moreso, what does your niche’s social media audience tell you about your digital strategy?
By extracting data from your social media profiles and doing some research on various social media channels, you can pivot your social media marketing strategy to fit the needs of users interested in your niche.
Social Channel Demographics
Many businesses feel that they’re wasting time marketing their products or services on all the social media channels.
While it doesn’t make much sense for a retirement home to market their business on Snapchat, there are still many social media channels that are under-utilised by businesses.
Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn and Reddit are heavily used by market consumers today.
Not only are they a good place to market your business, but the following you attain can give great insights about what kind of people are interested in your services.
Depending on where you’re present on social media, the users that follow you on these platforms have their reasons for doing so. The reasons are in the qualitative and quantitative data.
You just have to know where to look.
Mining Data from Your Existing Followers
People follow your business online for a reason. Either they’re interested in your products, generally like you, or just want to keep up with industry trends and news from the content you provide.
Social Channels like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have very good built in analytical features that enable you to understand your audience.
Each Social channel’s built in analytics can help identify trends on:
- Who your content is reaching
- Who is engaging with the most
- What content is performing best with which audiences
Checking Facebook’s profile analytics can tell you a lot about:
- Follower demographics
- Trends in likes and shares
- Best performing content
Using this data can give you a much better idea about which types of content are the most engaging and with that audience.
From this Facebook profile, we can see age demographics for Fans of this profile. The profile belongs to a SaaS business and the 25-34 age group fits in perfectly with our desired target demographic.
Even more telling would be to find out the engagement rates for our target demographic.
From this data we can tell that our engagement rate with our target demographic is much higher than our fan base, which is what we want.
Taking it a step further, we want to make sure we’re reaching target audiences from the countries we’re trying to target the most.
The profile (based in Poland) is doing well with it’s hometown audience in terms of engagement. As a SaaS company that services a wide variety of users worldwide, they could use some work on expanding their engagement rates with users from other countries.
Facebook’s analytical insights are a great way to find your reach, engagement rates, and best performing content with your Facebook audience.
Twitter is also much different than Facebook in that your content can reach audiences outside of your following with a more robust, hashtag-centred content distribution algorithm.
You also have somewhat even more actionable demographic data you can parse through to see if you’re reaching the right kind of people.
Twitter provides demographic data concerning follower:
- Buying Styles
- Income Brackets
Using the same profile for Twitter as we did Facebook, we can see that the audience interests for our users are in the target demographic we want.
This reflects the content frequently posted by the profile: digital marketing related topics aimed at business professionals with a main focus on technology, entrepreneurship, SEO, and advertising.
If you see that the interests of your Twitter audience don’t reflect your typical buyer persona, then it’s a great idea to create content that targets the niche interests of your audience by promoting hashtags and frequently retweeting content from more established niche influencers.
With concrete buyer personas for each tier of your product or service package, you can identify if the audience you’re engaging with paralleles your target groups.
YouTube’s audience analytics are more similar to Facebook’s in that they provide age, area, and gender in relation to content engagement metrics.
You can couple the demographic data with YouTube’s behavioural analytics to see what demographics are most engaged with your content.
These metrics can be provided for an entire channel or specific videos.
When gauging engagement for specific videos, be sure to mark the types of videos that particular demographics are engaging with.
For example, on-boarding videos should be viewed mostly with the demographics of your user base. If most of your users are from Canada, and the largest area of viewership is coming from Australia, then that would signal that you’re on-boarding videos aren’t reaching the right people.
So once you’ve compiled demographic data from each platform, you can save it in a spreadsheet as the quantitative data you have to blend with the qualitative data you’ll get from your social media market research.
Identifying Audience Trends with Social Media Market Research
So, you’ve got all the quantitative data you need from the in-house analytical features of the social platforms.
Great! Now you need to compile qualitative research about your audience to formulate a strategy.
Qualitative research for social media includes:
- Sentiment Analysis
- Keyword Contextualization
- Theme Categorization
Since you’ve already developed your target persona, you’ll need to cast a wide net into your market niche to understand how consumers feel and what they engage with on social media.
Whichever tool you use, make sure it can provide insights on a wide range of users from different channels, gender, country, and influencer metrics.
For our example, we’ll use Unamo Social Media Monitoring.
Targeting Your Audience
To get the qualitative data you need about your audience, you’ll need to monitor keywords that will pick up mentions about your niche that they’ll be talking about.
For our example, we’ll use digital marketing terms.
We use the asterisk as a way to pick up any mentions that have variations at the end of the word. For example, search engine optim* will pick up mentions for search engine optimization, optimized, optimised, optimisation.
It’s important to have the most relevant and specific terms as possible in order to get the most relevant mentions which you’ll base your qualitative data on.
Parsing the Qualitative Data
Once you’ve done that, you should get a healthy amount of mentions about your subject for the last few months.
Now we can see a few things from our initial search:
- Twitter has the most volume of mentions related to our search.
- Men talk about digital marketing online far more than women, except on YouTube.
- The overall sentiment in relation to our keywords is very positive, with the warmest sentiment coming from YouTube.
- The Influencers with the greatest reach come from Twitter.
- The most common terms appearing within the context of our keywords
Now we have our qualitative and quantitative data to pair together to formulate our strategy.
Creating a Strategy from Your Audience
Based on the followers we have across social media and the conclusive demographic data we know that:
- Most users are between the ages of 25-34
- They are in the technology / business sectors
- The peak of mentions about our topic occur between 5pm. and 10pm.
- The most commonly associated words with our niche mentioned on social media are tools, ow.ly, affiliate, influencer, advertising, and strategy.
- Highest engagement rates came from Twitter
- Our highest engagement rates with our content aggregated across all platforms are in relation to posts about YouTube marketing, video seo, local seo, and our own product updates.
From this, we can formulate a strategy around this data in hopes of driving up our engagement rates with our target audience.
What to Post?
From our data we can infer that posts revolving around technology and its relationship to business capture our audience’s interest.
Even moreso, posts with the highest amount of engagement across each platform are within this niche, but more geared toward organic search.
We can now brainstorm content ideas about video marketing and seo in relation to our business to target our users and increase our engagement.
Additionally we can supplement these topics with content about tools to use, video marketing affiliates, and influencer strategies to boost your video and seo content.
When and Where to Post?
In the U.S. our highest engagement rates came just after people got off work. In Poland, the same can be said, albeit in a different timezone.
Our highest engagement after Poland was in the U.S. in all combined channels; however, we had a higher rate of engagement on Facebook with the U.K. market.
Thus, we can stagger our Facebook content to fall into the most popular hours of content engagement in the U.K while our content posted to Twitter can be scheduled to appear in people’s feeds during their peak times.
From when to post our content and on what channels to understanding what types of content our readers enjoy the most, our new social media marketing strategy is tailored around a combination of aspects based on performance and engagement across all of our channels.
Each metric we’ve used to comprise our strategy is a different chapter, and by combining them together we can formulate a story on how to best engage with our users.
Monitor your engagement with your new strategy and compare it to your previous results.