Tailor to Your Audience

Article 4 min
Learn to use identification to understand your social media audience and tailor your content to their needs.

Your target social media audience is a group of people you have specifically identified and want to influence with your social media channels. These are the individuals your leadership wants to motivate, activate or educate in accordance with your organization's communication goals.

Your target audience can include more than just your target groups, but the main focus will be on those who are most likely to be interested in your content, products or services.

Common characteristics, including demographics and behaviors, unite your audience. Additionally, your audience may share common psychographic components like beliefs, attitudes, values and interests. Your audience will usually:

  • Follow your social media accounts,
  • Read, reply to your posts and engage in conversation,
  • Click links that you share and
  • Share your content with other users.

Typically, your audience will be more than just one group of people. It can be many, especially with the multitude of military social media accounts. Military social media accounts commonly target:

  • Direct military personnel,
  • Military families,
  • The American public and
  • Ambassadors, allies and other government officials.

Explore ways to identify your social media audience and how to target your content based on your audience's interests.

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Audience Identification Strategies

Identify Your Audience

When identifying your social media audience, the first place to start is by looking at and analyzing your social media channel's data and analytics. Each social network provides different types of data. For example, Facebook and Instagram track page data and analytics in the insights tab and Twitter and Instagram track data and analytics in their analytics tabs.

Determine Your Audience's Needs

You cannot get to know every targeted audience member individually, so you must identify their needs based on research on your existing or desired audience. Consider details like your audience's age range, location, when they are most active online and their reason for following you. This will help keep your social channel's voice and direction more consistent.

Test & Create Targeted Content

Identifying audience needs is all about understanding what your target audience expects from the content you share. When creating content for your target audience, you should create content specific to a persona. This is defined by one to two words and connects back to your channel's goals. The content you share should inform, inspire, honor or promote something or someone.

Once you review and analyze your content's available data and analytics, you understand what your audience likes. You should constantly test and iterate this to maximize your performance.

Monitor for Feedback

When disseminating messaging over social channels, it is crucial to monitor those messages for feedback from followers and other members of the public. By monitoring feedback on your channels, you can determine what is not working in your messaging and analyze ways to improve. This will help you better understand your audience's needs and build a stronger relationship by showing them you are listening. The best places to monitor feedback are in your mentions, direct messages, search queries and whatever data and analytics each social networking site provides.

It is also critical to differentiate between people who are upset and trolls who are just trying to cause chaos. Upset individuals are part of your target audience and have genuine feedback and legitimate concerns. Trolls are online bullies who want to upset others and spread disinformation and misinformation.

It is also appropriate to respond to trolls in some cases, but before you do, make sure you are in accordance with DoDI 5400.17. Suppose you notice bad actors are using your messaging to produce disinformation or misinformation. In that case, responding to regain control of the narrative and engaging with your audience is appropriate.

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