How to Reach Your Target Audience on Social Media as a Purpose-Led Brand

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The social media landscape can be a daunting place when you’re trying to find and connect with your audience online.

Do people still use Twitter? Can we still call it Twitter, or just X? Has TikTok been banned? Should a purpose-led brand even be on either? Below, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to demystify the path to meaningful digital engagement and reach your target audience on social media.

First, a quick mental exercise: Consider the title of the 2023 Oscar Best Picture winner Everything Everywhere All at Once. When approaching digital engagement, this kind of mentality often sweeps people up and sends them spiralling in multiple directions, diluting their efforts and failing to squarely connect with the right people.

Instead, we prefer to approach it this way: valuable content, targeted to the places where your audience hangs out, shared at strategic times. Yes, this analogy is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but we bet you won’t forget it!

Wondering where to begin? For purpose-driven brands, having intimate knowledge of your audience is essential for producing authentic content that reflects your values, connecting and building trust. So, first, let’s talk about how to achieve that.

Why is Finding Your Target Audience Important?

In content marketing, your target audience is the specific group of people you want to reach online. Identifying your target audience is the crucial first step—because you need to know who your content is for, what these people want and expect from you, and where to find them. These are the followers who, through meaningful engagement and valuable content, you can convert into customers and loyal brand advocates.

The more specific your target audience is, the more it will help you down the line when you’re choosing social media platforms and creating content. If you’re trying to be everything to everyone, all at once, you’re going to dilute your efforts and messaging. Our course on understanding and defining your audience is a great primer for honing in on who your people are.

When identifying your target audience, you’ll want to answer questions like:

  • What is your primary demographic?
  • What are their pain points or the problems they’re trying to solve?
  • What kind of lifestyle do they lead?
  • What are their values (this one is key for purpose-led brands)?

You’ll want to create specific audience personas for your brand, to ensure you have a clear idea of how to talk to your people, what kind of content they’re interested in, and where they spend their time online.

Now that you know who your target audience is, let’s go find them on the internet!

Finding Your Target Audience on Social Media

Be selective when it comes to expending resources on social media. Despite what our instincts might tell us, more is definitely not better in this case. For instance, there’s no sense in adapting your Instagram Reel for TikTok if only a sliver of your target audience spends time there.

Instead, find out where your people hang out, and then focus your efforts in those spaces. This specificity displays a deeper level of understanding and commitment to your audience. It says: We know who you are, we care enough to find you and speak to you specifically, and we’re willing to put in the effort to connect with you on a human level.

To find your people, you’ll want to revisit your personas or target audience. From there, take a look at the demographic stats from the most popular social media channels and see what aligns with your audience. The Pew Research Center has a useful chart that details the most popular online platforms and breaks down their usage by categories: Age, Gender, Race & Ethnicity, Income, Education, Community and Political Affiliation.

Once you know where the bulk of your audience spends its time online, go see what they’re up to. Check out your competitors’ profiles and pay attention to the kind of content that engages their audience. This is a good time to begin noting the types of content that resonate with your people. Which hashtags do they use and engage with? Which other accounts are they tagging?

Visit all the platforms that the research is pointing you toward, and see which is the best fit for your brand and the resources available to you.

Not everyone has the capacity to pump out hilarious TikTok videos, and that’s OK—stick to the platforms where you can create content that feels authentic to your brand and your purpose. The number of platforms on which you have a brand presence will depend on the resources and staffing available to you.

Once you figure out where to post, timing your content can affect its visibility. Buffer has a handy cheat sheet that outlines optimal times to post on various platforms, plus more in-depth info for each one.

Facebook: 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. on weekdays
Instagram: 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. on weekdays
LinkedIn: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekdays
TikTok: 2 p.m. on Mondays, 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, 8 a.m. on Sundays
YouTube: 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Fridays
X: 11 a.m. on Monday and Friday

Once you have a firm grasp on who and where your people are—and when—content creation becomes much easier.

Creating Valuable Content for Your Audience

If you’re a purpose-led brand, like a B Corp, you contribute to the world in a way that extends beyond making money and doing business, and this should be evident in the way you communicate online.

Jumping on a social media trend can be a great way to increase your visibility, but you still want any content you publish to stay true to your roots, mission, and values. The messaging and content that you put out—whether it’s an Instagram meme, a YouTube storytelling series, a piece of blog-based thought leadership or a LinkedIn tutorial—should always be in alignment with your core values.

Social media is a great avenue for sharing your accomplishments and advertising your services, but you also need to provide value for the people who are following you. After you’ve done the work defining your personas, you’ll be able to answer the questions: “How can we help our people?” and “What do they need from us?”

Many artists do monthly tutorials; coffee shops might show you how to make one of their signature drinks at home; fashion brands demonstrate how to style their latest clothing line. Your local purpose-led content-marketing agency offers insightful and actionable blog articles and courses. What can you do for your audience?

Also: is there any content of yours that has been particularly successful? Is it something that could translate into a series? Weekly tips, monthly tutorials, morning jokes—this type of recurring content breeds familiarity and builds trust with your audience.

When your social media channel becomes a two-way street of give and take between you and your audience, this deepens the connection and creates more of a conversation than the feeling of being talked at by a brand. Our messaging course takes you on a deeper dive into how to create effective content on social media for your real, human customers.

Let’s Find Your People, Shall We?

When approaching your social media strategy, keep the words of Forge & Spark’s CEO Shannon Emmerson in the back of your mind: “There is room in entrepreneurship for community, passion and purpose.”

When you narrow your focus to only numbers—how many followers do we have, how many likes did that get, how many people shared that post—it’s easy to lose sight of your true mission. Your goal as a purpose-led brand is to connect with your audience on a more human level, communicating authentically and reflecting the values at the core of your business.

If you’ve done the work to understand your audience, to find out where they’re the most active online, and spent the time to create authentic content that provides value, the numbers and engagement will follow.

Your people are out there, we promise! We’d be thrilled to lend a hand with helping you connect—let’s make it happen.

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