The following is based on a recent talk I did at the #EpicHootup in Norwich. Included are the slides and a text overview from the talk.
You really need to get to know who your audience are, not just guess. The closer you can align your marketing message with your audiences needs, the more effective it will be.
Researching our market used to be very ad hoc: the odd survey or straw poll, perhaps, we would even call a few existing customers to discover their interests. The problem was that we had no way to analyse this.
With the advent of “Big Data” some of the large corporations can now use this huge amount of data to get a real understanding of who it is that they are talking to in any particular sector, and now even small businesses can now get in on the act too.
Who would like to survey 36 Million people in the UK for free?
Luckily, Facebook allows us access to some of this data too.
Facebook even provides some great tools that will give us an insight into who our customers are and what they are interested in. We just have to take the time to look.
Facebook Graph Search
We can use Facebook to do research even if we don’t have an audience of our own yet. Using Graph Search means we can see what our audience likes, you just use the normal search bar on Facebook to perform comparison searches.
Note: ensure your language is set to English(US) if Graph Search is not working for you.
Let’s say we are a new charity. We can look at other charities, in this case Cancer Research UK and understand the profile of their audience.
We can see what other pages people liked that like them, the books they like, movies and even what interests they have.
Through this we are able to develop a picture of our potential audience, who they are and what they value.
For example we can see that many of the people who like Cancer Research UK also like walking!
List the associations you find that are of aligned to your business in a spreadsheet for use later on.
Now Let’s Add Some Numbers
Facebook’s Ad tool is great for this.
We continue as though we are going to create a new advert. Select our target region, the UK, in this case.
We filter by those that like Cancer Research UK and Walking. This tells us that we have a target audience of over 4 million.
This is both powerful and useful because these are people that have volunteered this information and they are real. The results aren’t fabricated or from a poll of 50 random people.
You repeat this for all the interests, books and movies, for example, or other factors you may want to consider. Through completing this process, you will know which subject matter is most important to your audience.
But we can add another layer of data, which can be even more useful, over this using our next tool.
Facebook Audience Insights
Once we know which are our top subjects we can then apply a further layer to ascertain the age group we want to target, what their likely job role may be and even how active they are on Facebook, which is actually especially important.
As we can see, of our 4 million people that like both Cancer Research UK and Walking, 69% are women and 46% are aged 25–44.
Just this data alone would help us tailor our marketing more effectively.
Going further, we can see that 41% are married, 70% went to college and 20% work in sales. All of this helps us refine our marketing message and align ever closer to our audience.
In the next slide we can see that we have a very active and engaged audience, which means if we get our content right they are more likely to engage and share it than the average Facebook user.
Now you know who it is that you are talking to and the subjects that interest them, it’s time to create and curate some content.
Let us know how you get on using Facebook’s tools to get a closer insight to your audience.