How to Research Your Audience Through Social Media


I was recently asked by a friend how to use social media to research and leverage an audience to better plan future product selection and promotions. It’s a great question so here are four tips anybody can use to research an audience through social media.

1. Use Facebook Advertising to research the size of your audience

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Facebook advertising is a marketer’s dream. Not only can you target people through a combination of demographics, behaviours and interests; you can also use it to research the size of your potential target market.

Did you know that 3000 - 3500 people living on the Sunshine Coast between the ages of 18 - 55 have an upcoming birthday (within the next seven days)? Or, 5000 - 6000 people in Buderim share an interest in Property? How about the 40,000 people in Queensland over the age of 50 who are interested in first class travel?

Through Facebook Audience Insights this data is readily available as part of the campaign creation tool used when placing an ad.

2. Search hashtags on Instagram to gauge the volume and commentary around ideas

Instagram is a great visual research tool that you can use anywhere and anytime to gauge the volume and commentary surrounding ideas simply by searching for a hashtag or location through the app. If you search #buderim you'll find there are 46,759 public posts of the area and upon closer inspection you’ll see that one of the main draw-cards of the area is Buderim Forest Waterfall, also known as ‘Serenity Falls’.

You can also research your potential client accounts or followers to see the conversations they're having and who they’re following (that’s if their profile is public or you’re connected to each other). You can even talk to them directly; similar to running a small focus group. 🤯

3. Use Instagram Stories to engage with your followers

Instagram Stories is a great feature to relay a message directly to your customer. It allows your audience to engage privately with your business and provide valuable feedback that’ll be useful when it’s time to make decisions that impact your audience.

An example of this is when our team recently purchased a new van for April Ford. We couldn’t decide on a colour for the interior so we posted a poll on Instagram. Not only did we receive feedback on the interior colour, but also an influx of direct messages in support of the van purchase and future business growth. Safe to say, the feedback was a pleasant and welcomed surprise!

4. Google Trends & Google Alerts

Expanding beyond social media, Google has some great free resources that showcase global and national trends; they even allow you to be alerted when certain search queries align.

For example; if you search the term ‘indoor plant’, you'll see how this search term has increased substantially over the last 15 years and more noticeably in the last 3 years.

Click here to view Google Trends.

Click here to view Google Alerts.

Whilst we love sharing social media marketing products and services with our clients, we also love using social media as a research tool. It’s amazing to see trends constantly forming, evolving, and occasionally fading off the radar when their time is up. 🤓

See you next week. Team April Ford 💕

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