Why You Should Pay Attention to Social Media Follower Demographics

Inbound Marketing, Strategy

Why You Should Pay Attention to Social Media Follower Demographics

Social media is often thought of as the “add-on” piece to most marketing campaigns. We’re going to do [insert campaign] and invite people to share [insert action item] using [insert hashtag]. That’s it. 

In reality, you should be looking at social media before you start any marketing efforts. Like you would get out your map and compass before journeying into the woods (talking pre-2000 here), you should pull up your social media follower demographics before you venture into your next marketing campaign. 

Your True North 

Before you put on your hiking boots, take a step back and think about your own social media usage. What types of business pages do you follow? My guess is that it’s businesses that you either patron frequently, or are very interested in going to in the future. You enjoy this company so much that you’ve taken the extra effort to go on social media to stay up-to-date with them, which to me would make you an ideal customer for this business.


Now let’s take it back to your business. If you’re like many businesses, you’ve never actually put your ideal buyer persona down on paper. You have an idea of whom you want to talk to and you target all of your marketing efforts towards them. This is basically like taking a map into the woods without a compass. You have an idea of where you’re going, but it’s easy to get turned around without actual data to guide you. 

You might be in the middle of the woods without your compass right now, but all you need to do is pull up your social media follower demographics and edit your course moving forward. Don’t be afraid to do a 180º turn. For instance, say you work for a car dealership and thought your target demographic was middle-aged men; however, when you pull up your follower demographics, you realize that 60 percent of your follower base is women in their 30's. This should be a significant signal that perhaps your marketing efforts would be better spent targeting young mothers, which will drastically change your marketing messages.


The Different Types of Directions You Can Use

There are many different ways you can utilize your social media follower demographics to guide your efforts. Some of the most important demographics you should pay attention to include age, gender, location, and interests.


When looking at the most popular ages of your followers, you are able to make better assumptions about what type of content to post and where to post it. If you have a younger audience, you might decide to create more content related to the most current social trend and to push that content out on Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. If you have an older audience, you might want to do more informational content such as blogs or informative videos and push that content out on Facebook and YouTube. By knowing the age of those paying the most attention to your business, you'll have a much better idea of what direction you should head in. 


For most businesses, gender can play a big role in the success of your marketing efforts. Depending on what gender you find is more inclined to follow your business, you should be tailoring your content and offers to them. For example, if you’re a sporting goods store that has a 70 percent male follower base, you wouldn’t want to use your entire marketing budget targeting young women in an effort to get them to come in to buy for their children. Why? Because according to your follower demographics, females just aren’t as interested in what your store has to offer as males are, and those males will soon become uninterested in what you have to say because your content isn't for them. 



Are you a multi-location company? The location of your followers should play a role in your marketing efforts. If 90 percent of your followers are near the location of three of your stores, and the other 10 percent is made up of followers near your other 10 locations, then this should signal to you that either 1) you need to increase marketing efforts in these uninterested areas so they become interested, or 2) you need to put a greater focus on the three popular areas to get the biggest bang for your buck. The people who are following your page are already interested in hearing what you have to say, so take advantage of their attention.


Knowing what your followers are interested in can have a huge role in the focus of your marketing campaigns. If you take a look at your Twitter and Pinterest analytics, both of these platforms give a general breakdown of what YOUR followers are interested in. If we go back to the car dealership example, if 70 percent of your Twitter followers are interested in technology, then your content should highlight the technology in the vehicles you sell. These follower interest charts can help you tie your product or service back to something that interests them, which in turn should get them to pay attention to you.

Test it Out, Analyze, Re-Test

As always, don’t be afraid to try out a few different things in order to get your audience engaged. Even though you now know who your actual audience is, you can’t know for sure what type of content they prefer until you try a few different things. If something you post generates zero interaction, try posting something similar a few more times. If there still isn’t any interest after a few tries, cut that type of content and move on to your next great idea.

Marketing is a journey and you need to be willing to take the tools you have in order to get to your destination successfully. Without those tools, you might get lost and never reach the sweet spot you're looking for.

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