How to Find Your Audience on Social Media

So many businesses are on every social channel without understanding if their core audience is there. I see it all the time.

There are a ton of social platforms. They range from “everybody’s-on-it” to “bright, shiny and new.”

So I get why people might fail to pick the right social sites for their business.

But there’s actually big drawbacks to having an active presence on too many social media platforms. You can find yourself:

  1. Spreading the brand too thin, or doing too much poorly.
  2. Overcommitting resources to low-ROI channels.
  3. Missing opportunities in high-ROI channels.

To avoid this, it’s the marketer’s responsibility to analyze each channel for:

  • Demographics — does the audience makeup match your target audience?
  • Internal resource alignment — is your staff active on the channel?
  • Business goal alignment — do business objectives match the platform’s purpose?
  • Competitive presence — are competitors active on the channel?

Ultimately it comes down to determining your social media ROI on a channel-by-channel basis.

You can do this for the social media channels you’re currently using and new channels that you’re considering.

Great! … Now how do you evaluate if your audience is using a social media channel?

What Social Networks Are Most Popular?

A data point: a 2018 survey by Pew Research tells us this about how many adults in the U.S. are using different social sites:

  • 68% use Facebook
  • 35% use Instagram
  • 28% use Pinterest
  • 27% use Snapchat
  • 25% use LinkedIn
  • 24% use Twitter

Alexa’s website ranking data gives complementary insights that tell a story of how long people spend and how many pages they visit on the most popular websites.

Check out the daily time spent on these social sites from the U.S. top 10:

  • 8.5 minutes on YouTube
  • 15 minutes Reddit
  • 10.75 minutes on Facebook
  • 6 minutes on Twitter
  • 5.75 minutes on Instagram

Together, this info  narrows down the top social sites you’re probably looking at for your business:

  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

In this article, I’ll help you find where your audience is among the top social media sites.

Is My Audience on Facebook?

Facebook is about family and connecting with people.

We share our family photos to keep aunts and uncles in the loop.

We join private groups to cultivate communities around similar interests.

With 2.2 billion people worldwide, good chance is your audience is on Facebook. But there’s a caveat.

When you’re deciding if a social channel is right for you, consider the longevity and future of the channel.

Organic reach of Facebook Pages is dead.

There’s an opportunity for marketers to reach their audience with Facebook Ads and Facebook Messenger chat.

In fact, Facebook Analytics was launched at the f8 Developer’s conference this past May. The platform gives a lot of insight that helps businesses understand how users are interacting with a brand and its advertisements. More on Facebook Analytics below.

What are the demographics of Facebook?

Use Facebook IQ tool to see audience, advertising, and industry insights.

You can slice and dice the audience and people data by region, behaviors, conversations … go crazy.

Here are the U.S. demographics of Facebook as viewed in aggregate.

Age and gender:

  • 54% women
  • 46% men
  • Majority are 18-44 years old

Job industries:

  • 33% admin services
  • 22% production
  • 11% arts and entertainment
  • 7% veterans
  • 5% education and libraries
  • 4% cleaning and maintenance
  • 2% IT and technical services
  • 2% installation and repair services
  • >1% farm, fishing and forestry

Relationship status:

  • 48% married
  • 30% single
  • 17% in a relationship
  • 4% engaged

Education:

  • 62% college
  • 30% high school
  • 8% grad school

How do I find my audience on Facebook?

Facebook Ads has a big reputation in the digital marketing industry for its fine-grained audience targeting.

You can find your audience on Facebook by running ads targeted by job title, region, behavior and interests.

As if to combat any hesitations by businesses in the wake of the latest personal user data harvesting scandal, Facebook launched the business-friendly Facebook Analytics at the f8 developer conference this past May.

Check out the Facebook Analytics demo preview to get a feel for the platform:

What marketers get within Facebook Analytics includes:

  • Daily users
  • Growth metrics
  • Channel breakdown
  • Activity by hour
  • Automated insights
  • Machine learning identified conversion funnels
  • And demographics data by segment:

Is My Audience on Reddit?

Reddit is about connecting with like-minded individuals.

People share, vote, view and comment on content posted to interest-based, public community groups.

The most popular content in any community floats to the top.

A business can get ROI on Reddit from traffic and from user feedback and beta users.

A link that becomes popular on Reddit can send massive traffic spikes that are great for sales businesses.

And visibility in groups that are big on conversation can be a renewable resource for early and late-phase product feedback and getting testers.

What are the demographics of Reddit?

When I spoke to Reddit this past February, they were kind enough to share these key user statistics:

A Reddit-collected survey in 2016 gives us some interesting insights into the employment, age and gender break-down of redditors.

Age and gender:

  • 33% women
  • 63% men
  • Majority are 18-25 years old

https://i.imgur.com/EId9ABj.png

https://i.imgur.com/3qr7y04.png

Employment:

  • 58% student
  • 29% employed full-time
  • 18% employed part-time
  • 11% not employed
  • 3.5% self-employed

https://i.imgur.com/paKhOEm.png

Income:

From Statista.com we see the household income of Reddit users skews high:

  • $100k+: 35% of Reddit users
  • $80-100k: 29% of Reddit users
  • $70-80k: 32%
  • $60-70k: 23%
  • $30-60k: 24%
  • Under $30k: 18%

How do I find my audience on Reddit?

There are a bunch of tools that help you find subreddits, Reddit’s communities.

Try out:

Is My Audience on Instagram?

Instagram is about the visual experience of life and being inspired.

And Instagram users (800 million monthly) are pretty open to inspiration.

What this means for businesses — 80% of Instagram users are following a brand on the image-and-video-centric platform.

Instagram isn’t likely to drive much traffic to your website. It’s predominantly a branding channel, with some exceptions for products and shopping.

What are the demographics of Instagram?

This 2016 data from Pew Internet Research Center evaluates to the percent of online American adults using Instagram.

Age and gender:

  • 68% of women
  • 32% of men
  • 59% of 18–29 year olds
  • 33% of 30–49 year olds
  • 18% of 50–64 year olds
  • 8% of 65+ year olds

Education:

  • 37% with some college experience use Instagram
  • 33% who graduated college use Instagram
  • 27% with a high school diploma or less use Instagram

Income:

  • 38% of Americans that make less than $30,000 use Instagram
  • 37% of Americans that make more than $75,000 use Instagram
  • 32% of Americans that make $30,000–$49,999 use Instagram
  • 32% of Americans that make $49,999–$74,999 use Instagram

Here’s an infographic of Instagram user demographics from SproutSocial.com:

How do I find my audience on Instagram?

If you want to get your content in front of Instagram’s 500 million users, Instagram has the same ad targeting system as its sister company, Facebook.

You can select your audience from the same demographic and psychographic options in Facebook’s ad system. Just include Instagram as your placement.

Demographic targeting categories for Instagram and Facebook:

  • Education
  • Financial
  • Home
  • Life events
  • Parents
  • Politics
  • Relationship
  • Work

Interest targeting categories for Instagram and Facebook:

  • Business and industry
  • Entertainment
  • Family and relationships
  • Fitness and wellness
  • Food and drink
  • Hobbies and activities
  • Shopping and fashion
  • Sports and outdoors
  • Technology

Behavior targeting categories for Instagram and Facebook:

  • Anniversary
  • Automotive
  • B2B
  • Charitable donations
  • Consumer classifications
  • Digital activities
  • Expats
  • Financial
  • Job role
  • Media
  • Mobile device rser
  • Multicultural affinity
  • Purchase behavior
  • Residential profiles
  • Soccer
  • Travel

Community-based curation is coming to Instagram. The Explore area will surface popular content by topic in interest-based channels.

Influence your inclusion in channels with hashtags.

Remember that branding is the biggest ROI driver in Instagram thing. Instagram gives people the opportunity to see into the everyday life of a person or company.

Use Instagram to give your brand a voice and show the people behind the business. Instagram is  helpful for making that a reality.

Is My Audience on Pinterest?

Pinterest is about learning with visuals. Pinterest’s business inspiration page puts it this way:

“They’re actively seeking helpful, inspiring ideas. People use Pinterest to plan for what’s important in their lives, whether that’s easy dinner recipes, home renovation tips or the perfect pair of shoes.”

What are the demographics of Pinterest?

Age and gender:

  • 70% women
  • 30% men

Data from Pew Internet Research Center from 2016 says this about the age of online American adults using Instagram:

  • 36% of 18–29 year olds
  • 34% of 30–49 year olds
  • 28% of 50–64 year olds
  • 16% of 65+ year olds

Education:

And of America’s digitally savvy adults:

  • 34% of adult college graduates use Pinterest
  • 34% of adults with some college experience use Pinterest
  • 22% of adults with a high school diploma or less use Pinterest

Income:

According to Pinterest for Business, 40% of Pinterest users have an income over $100k a year.

How do I find my audience on Pinterest?

With a business account on Pinterest, you have access to insights and targeting tools like Pinterest Analytics.

Pinterest Analytics offers access to information on your most popular pins and metrics about the people who engage with your business and the other things they like.

More on profile metrics, audience metrics and website metrics in Pinterest Analytics here:

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You can use Promoted Pins to reach who you want to through targeting based on:

Is My Audience on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is about networking for business and career.

Businesses can use LinkedIn for branding along with talent acquisition.

If being connected to the businesses community is important to your business — whether it’s for prospects, partnerships or hiring — join the ranks of 270 million LinkedIn users and 18 million company pages.

What is the demographic of LinkedIn?

We turn to Pew Research Center’s 2016 report of American adults using the internet for LinkedIn demographics.

The following stats report how many online adults in each category use LinkedIn.Age and gender:

  • 31% of men
  • 27% of women
  • 34% of 18–29 year olds
  • 33% of 30–49 year olds
  • 24% of 50–64 year olds
  • 20% of 65+ year olds

Education:

  • 50% of adult college graduates
  • 27% of adults with some college experience
  • 12% of adults with a high school diploma or less

Industries most represented on LinkedIn:

  1. Finance
  2. Medical
  3. Education
  4. High Tech
  5. Manufacturing

Income:

  • 45% of adults making over $75,000
  • 32% of adults making $50,000–$74,999
  • 21% of adults making less than $30,000
  • 13% of adults making $30,000–$49,999

How do I find my audience on LinkedIn?

Say you want to increase your visibility to the right LinkedIn audience. Consider joining any of the 200 million LinkedIn groups.

LinkedIn groups might be organized around interest on a topic, sharing a credential, or belonging to the same company or industry.

Here are some tools for helping you find communities on LInkedIn you’ll love:

Is My Audience on Twitter?

Twitter is about being involved in a conversation as it happens, in real-time.

Since Twitter is about behind-the-scenes or everyday conversations, sports players and celebrities have big followings on Twitter.

And since Twitter is a high-interaction channel, it’s becoming a top option for customer service online.

What is the demographic of Twitter?

SproutSocial has made an infographic out of the 2016 Pew Research Center data about Americans online using Twitter:

https://media.sproutsocial.com/uploads/2017/02/twitter-demographics.jpg

Age and gender:

  • 25% of women
  • 24% of  men
  • 36% of 18–29 year olds
  • 23% of 30–49 year olds
  • 21% of 50–64 year olds
  • 10% of 65+ year olds

Education:

  • 29% of adults who graduated college
  • 25% of adults with some college experience
  • 20% adults with a high school diploma or less

Income:

  • 30% of adults who make over $75,000
  • 28% of adults who make $50,000–$74,999
  • 23% of adults who make less than $30,000
  • 18% of adults who make $30,000–$49,999

How do I find my audience on Twitter?

Twitter is always working to surface popular hashtags and content. Use the tool Hashtagify.me to uncover hashtags that bring your content greater visibility.

Plug in hashtag ideas for related suggestions:

Another Twitter tool for user research is Followerwonk. Search the bios of Twitter users so you can find people with like interests to converse with.

Next Steps Once You’ve Found Your Audience on Social Media

To figure out where is your audience on social, look at where your competitors are and what their interaction is like there.

Then find active communities for your topic. Each social media site and each community within it has fundamental principles for how its users should interact with the site.

While you should probably own your business profile on every account, you can be selective about where you put energy.

Wherever your business has a presence on social media today, it might be time to evaluate which platform is worth you investment.

You’re better off having a low-maintenance social strategy than a confused one.