Defining Your Target Audience For Social Media As An SME

Social Media Marketing has become the next best thing for all businesses. Some studies suggest up to 80% of businesses are looking to increase spend in Social Media this year, and many of them are considering their top priority over traditional forms of advertisement.

But with over one billion active monthly users on Facebook alone, it may be easy to connect with millions of people, but how easy (and important) is it to connect with the right people?

Quite often, we find that our clients say to us they have paid for Advertisements on Facebook and “it didn’t work”, so they stopped. They also feel it was hard to engage their user base once they got past their core customers, whom they knew personally, and felt like the extra “Likes” or “Followers” were not worth much to them (in tangible, real transactions).

We tend to find there was two primary reasons they were not being successful in expanding their reach:

  • They had not defined their target audience
  • They are not using the data available to understand their customers correctly

Let’s talk through these issues, why they matter, and how you can better make use of your social media through having a clearly defined target audience.

Why does it matter?

Business development

To develop new business online, you must first have someone you want to develop business with.

The more specific the better, generally – but by using the techniques shown below, you can define your specific areas of interest and look to target specific companies and prospects online to ensure you reach the right people.

If you’re looking to use your online presence as a way to do business and generate more customers, that’s the first reason it should matter to you.

Sales process

What is your sales process without a prospect? How do you go about finding and making a sale? I am not just talking about your online presence, but when you are looking to expand your business, who are you looking to do business with?

That would probably be one of the first questions you ask yourself going into business, probably the one after you ask yourself “What am I equipped to do for people?”, the next question would be “Who do I want to work with/for?”

When you are looking at your sales process, you will be surprised to see how much more effective it is when you truly know who you’re going to target, and how your target marketing and your marketing aligns with your sales process.


How are you going to market your service, if you have not yet determined who it is you want to reach?

Marketing is about generating attention for your business. One of the first steps in any marketing process is to determine who it is you’re looking to grab the attention of.

This helps in a variety of ways, from giving you an insight into how best you can convey your message and which channels you can effectively market your services to defining the specific problem that you’re looking to solve, but it should be fairly obvious that the first essential step to any successfully market campaign is asking “Who are we looking to do business with?”

Advertisement spend

When we, as copywriters are writing advertisements, the most valuable piece of information? The target audience, who the client is wanting to reach.

Generally, the more defined your target audience, the higher your chances of a positive return on investment within your marketing spend.

How do I define my target audience?

Customer research

What are your current customers most problems and how do you best solve them your product or service?

What are the emotional buying points of your service (trust, authority, to save time, values)?

What is the problem that your service or product solve?

You should be consistently doing research into your customer-base, your industry and brainstorming with your team on how you can more effectively serve your clients. Any successful business continuously puts themselves in their customer’s shoes and ask “what’s my benefit?”

Buyer persona

I need to do a full blog covering buying personas, but HubSpot summarise a buyer persona as:

“A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better.”

I couldn’t put it any better myself. Defining several separate buyer personas can be a great idea if you have several separate niche markets you work within; but the idea remains the same, the more specific and detailed you are, the better your results.

Here are some great tips on defining your target audience:
  • Look at current customer base
  • Choose specific demographics to target, consider: age, location, education level, income level, industry/occupation, ethnic background, gender
  • Consider more specific behavioural tendencies: personality, attitude, values, interests, hobbies, lifestyles, behaviour
  • Look at who your competition are working with and targeting

Great, and now what?

Consider how you can convey the principles of your target audience’s values in your work? This can be an amazing insight for local companies. What do your ideal audience want to see in your brand online?


Ad-copy, graphics and your advertisements in general will all depend on who it is you’re looking to target. Thinking about the emotional buying points of your product and service and the best benefits to your client base, and how it solves their problem specifically from a unique and fresh perspective – that is marketing gold.

Your advertisements need direction. Use your target audience’s behavioural habits, their interests, demographics, job, personality type. Everything you know about them – step into their shoes and think about what would capture their attention?

As well as this, you can use targeting within your advertisements to specify the job titles, demographics, interests and personas of the people you want to target that match your specific audience. Again, the more specific the better, and if you have several audiences? You can have several separate advertisements that cater to each of them, and are directed at them through targeting them across Facebook, Google and other pay-per-click marketing platforms – with separate ads depending on each persona!


Using your audience’s needs and thinking about the problems that your service is trying to solve will help you tremendously when it comes to content.

The reason you write blogs and articles? To gather attention, and showcase your expertise. Step-by-step guides, unique perspective and information that will help your audience with their pain points (for example a plumber might put together a guide on how to fix a tap, while a mechanic may put out a guide on how to change a tyre).

By fully understanding your audience, you can relate to them in a more prolific way. It’s astonishing if you take a look the perspective of your client and thinking “What problems would I be searching about if I was looking for advise in (your industry).”

[Read More: You can also use keyword research tools in order to help you establish your content strategy]


The importance of defining your target audience, as you can see, is paramount. First off, without it you cannot have a strategy, you just can’t. And I spent the first half of the article talking about why it matters – that’s because defining your target audience is the first step of any successful marketing strategy. Without defining your audience, you are literally throwing paint at a wall and hoping that it sticks.