Social Targeting and How to Harness It for Your Business

by J.B. Maverick

2 min read

Social targeting lets you develop a profile of the typical social media user who buys your business’ products and services. Then, you can target future social media marketing efforts to others who fit the same profile. In essence, it is a much more focused and scientific method to do what marketers have been doing for decades: targeting ads to those most likely to be receptive to them.

Consider the commercials that air during a football game on TV. Historically, football audiences have skewed heavily male so advertisers focus on products that appeal to men. This results in an interminable stream of ads for Rogaine, Viagra, and beer. Flip the channel to one with a predominately female audience, such as Lifetime Canada, and you’ll encounter a much different slate of commercials.

The big social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, allow for similar targeting of your audience, only they offer tools that let you focus much more specifically than advertisers of the past. Moreover, with tracking tools, you can gauge the return on investment from your social media marketing campaigns in real time and make adjustments on the fly to improve results.

Developing a Profile

Social targeting begins with developing a social media profile for your most likely buyer. This is called social discovery. The process begins with answering broad questions, such as how old are buyers, do they skew toward a particular gender, and is there a certain geographic region where they’re likely to be found. Next, identify more specific attributes that apply to your typical buyer. For example, if your company sells nutritional supplements, consider targeting users who mention health and fitness in their social media profiles.

Target Buyers With Promoted Posts

Your business can pay to have its posts promoted on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. Not only does this put your posts in front of a larger audience than would see the posts organically, but it also lets you control the audience profile that sees your sponsored posts.

In addition, you can track a host of metrics, including engagement levels, when you advertise on social media platforms. This tells you how many users like, share, or retweet your post, how many click-throughs you receive to your website, and so forth. By tracking results extensively, you can narrow down your buyer profile further, and make future campaigns even more effectively targeted.

Track Hard Metrics With Google Analytics

Social media marketing platforms let you track engagement levels, and in some cases, such as when you’re using Facebook’s Buy feature to sell products directly on the platform, you can also track hard metrics such as sales numbers.

When using social media to drive traffic to a sales page on your website, you need a service such as Google Analytics to track where your sales are coming from. Google Analytics is a fantastic resource because it is free to use, and its tracking capabilities are extensive.

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