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social media how toDo you want to connect with the right customers on Facebook?

Are you using buyer personas to identify your target customers and fans?

With some detective work, you can determine whom you want to reach and how you’re going to engage them on Facebook.

In this article I’ll share five questions to help you identify and connect with your target customers on Facebook.

#1: Do Our Target Customers and Fans Align?

Buyer personas are an integral part of any successful marketing, whether traditional or social, because they clearly define your target customers.

find customers on facebook

Find out how to find your ideal customers on Facebook.

What type of people do you want to do business with? What do they look like? Where do they live and how old are they?

To create a persona for the customer you’re after, jot down the demographics and your additional notes that answer those questions. If you have more than one target demographic, you can repeat this exercise for each customer type.

Now, look at your Facebook Insights to see if the customer demographic profiles you’ve created match the demographic profiles of the people liking, sharing, commenting and following you on Facebook.

avatar icons shutterstock 207788788

Identify your target customer personas. Image: Shutterstock.

By way of example, a surfboard customization company, CTRLV, has identified three primary customer profiles for their business:

  • The young Australian male surfer, 13 to 25, who lives to surf and doesn’t live more than a mile from the ocean. His work fits around his surfing lifestyle, not the other way around. He cares about the environment, and lives and breathes surf culture.
  • The young Australian female surfer, 13 to 25, who is hitting the waves on a regular basis. She’s grown up with surfing and loves the surfing lifestyle. Her whole family surfs and so do all of her friends.
  • The Australian mom and dad surfers, 35 to 45, who are active in the surf schools and competitions and take the kids out for a surf on a regular basis.

A look at the company’s Facebook Insights reveals that their primary Facebook fan demographic aligns with their first two target customer profiles. CTRLV wants to reach avid young male and female surf culture enthusiasts, and they are—52% of their fans are in that target demographic.

Insights also shows CTRLV that their third demographic—moms and dads ages 35 to 44—make up only 8% of their fan base. This suggests that CTRLV may want to consider optimizing their page to appeal more to this demographic group.

facebook fan demographic chart

Check social media analytics to see if your target customers are also your fans.

Interestingly, when looking at which fans are most engaged, the 35-44 age group wins hands down. What does this mean? It indicates that the company may need to tweak their posting tactics in order to reach more buyers.

If you find that your buyer personas and fans aren’t aligning or engaging as you suspect they should, make adjustments as needed. That becomes easier as you answer the rest of the questions in this article.

#2: When Do Our Target Customers Use Facebook?

People’s lifestyles, interests and habits influence how, why and when they use social media. Understanding those influences and behaviors helps you avoid ineffective posting tactics (e.g., throwing up posts at random times and hoping for the best).

Going back to CTRLV, they know their primary target customers are surfing first thing in the morning and again in the late afternoon, depending on the tides and swell. These customers are most likely to look at Facebook when they’re checking the surf conditions or when they’re done surfing for the day.

facebook post insights

Check your post Insights to see when your buyers are on social media.

A look at CTRLV’s Facebook Insights reveals when their updates received the most engagement. In this case updates have done well in post-surf time slots, but not that great in prime surfing time slots.

When you compare your target demographic with the times they’re most engaged, you’ll find patterns that help you set up a publishing schedule that reaches the people who are most likely to buy from you.

#3: What Motivates Our Customers to Connect With Us?

It’s easy to look at your social posting through your own goggles. You know what’s interesting about your business, right? Well sure, but your ideal buyers may have other issues and concerns that aren’t obvious to you. If you want them to connect with you, it’s worth digging deeper to find out what matters to them.

With a little research, CTRLV found that their target buyers aren’t consumerists by nature, but are driven by other values: lifestyle, a passion for the perfect wave and community.

CTRLV tapped into that passion by highlighting the company’s support of surf community events and causes.

blank surfboards

Tap into your ideal buyer’s motivations, needs and dreams.

To find out what matters to your own target customers—and to get them to connect with you—do some ethnographic research. Follow conversations on blogs, in groups, communities and social media chats that relate to your product or service. Listen, then craft updates that cater to those passions.

#4: Where Do Our Customers Go for Answers?

You can get an idea of what news sources your ideal buyers rely on simply by doing a graph search on Facebook, or a hashtag and topic search on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Whichever platform your ideal buyers are using to find answers, you’d better be there too—front and center.

CTRLV’s ideal buyers are into surfing to such an extent that they get all of the surfer mags, read the surf blogs and check in to coastalwatch.com daily. It made sense for the company to focus on reaching out via surfing magazine platforms. CTRLV has guest blogged on a few magazine websites and so far the response has been terrific.

shark cull post

Know where your buyers are looking for information and make sure you’re part of that resource.

This post on The Inertia website resulted in more than 350 shares on Facebook. The other really cool thing about this is that CTRLV can now clearly see that their audience is on Facebook. Check out the number of shares to other platforms—hardly any!

Understanding where your ideal buyers go for more information helps you develop additional content aimed squarely at them on the platforms you know they love.

#5: Who Are the Influencers Our Customers Follow?

Aside from media, your ideal buyers look to particular leaders for inspiration and information. Do you know who those people are? Are you connecting with those heroes and influencers?

To find the most important influencers to your audience, look for hashtags and Facebook pages on a particular topic (graph search is a good place to start). You can also look at Twitter lists, groups and communities. Be a fly on the wall within a social media page or community and see who stands out. Who are the everyday influencers and who are the heavyweights?

Once you’ve identified the heroes your ideal buyer looks up to and follows, you can start following those influencers and interacting with them too.

layne beachley surf board

Find out which heroes and influencers affect your customers.

In CTRLV’s case, finding influencers was easy. In the surfing community the heroes are the sports stars and the up-and-coming stars, as well as photojournalists and filmmakers who focus on surfing.

This year, CTRLV connected with a number of key influencers including women’s surfing champion Layne Beachley. Sharing that connection (and others like it) on Facebook attracts their primary target audience to their Facebook page and encourages likes, shares and comments.

Over to You

Research doesn’t have to be difficult, costly or time-consuming, but it’s vital to your success in business.

Asking and answering these five questions streamlines and focuses your marketing efforts. It doesn’t matter if you’re working solely on Facebook or handling accounts on multiple social networks—each platform has the analytics you need to find your way.

What do you think? Have you defined your target customers? How are you reaching them on your social networks? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

User avatar photo from Shutterstock.
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  • Facebook is most difficult to get the real peoples like you. And if you are using ‘Page’ instead of profile, it get worst. Other hand, Facebook reduce your reach by its so called algorithm. Instead, If I give same time on G+ or Twitter, more peoples will join you.
    But I will surely try the above tips. I couldn’t understand the Graph search.

  • Glenn Wilde

    Once again I find that Cas has been able to take an often difficult group of concepts and explained them clearly and plainly. The reason why our business is using her right now is that she found us on Facebook.. and we didn’t know we were looking!

  • Hey Glenn, thanks so much for your comment! That made me smile!

  • I am not sure if you still need to set your language to US-English to get Graph Search to work but it’s worth a try. Good luck!

  • Anna

    I really like this this little strategy how to find the ideal customer and that you also refer to other networks. But after this algorith it is really hard to reach the amount of fans you have especially for a company that just started to work with Social Media this summer. Do you have tips to overcome this bad situation?

  • Social Media 4 Lead Generation

    What about using the powerful features of FB Power Editor instead like the Custom Audience, Targeted Group or Lookalike audience. Federico – #sm4lg

  • Hi Anna, as you rightly point out, these tips for organic reach are just the tip of the iceberg. I’d suggest using Power Editor and formulating an ad campaign that focuses on driving people to your website content. Driving people to blog posts or other valuable content on your website then enables you to retarget people who didn’t opt in on your website, on Facebook. You can also set up a lookalike audience on Facebook to capture people who share similar interests to your fans. I would never rely soley on one strategy or the other, but judicious use of ads that don’t sell directly but do give people access to valuable content is a good strategy to compliment what you do organically on your page. What doesn’t help is throwing out posts that appeal to a broad audience. You’ll just be wasting your time and money. Hope that helps!

  • Yes! As I said to Anna, this is a great compliment to a solid organic strategy. Thanks for your comment.

  • Luke Tuckey

    Hi Cas, beautifully wrote and a great insight on how to understand the demographics of your Facebook audience!

  • Thanks for your comment Luke! It’s also about getting inside your ideal customer’s head and finding out what makes them tick. It’s actually a really fun exercise to do and very helpful for providing focus.

  • Excellent post Cas!

    Just got back from spending 2 days at CreativeLive where Nathan Latka of Heyo spent a great amount of time going over Facebook Insights and all the opportunities we have in our analytics. Was really fascinating.

    Love your final tip of discovering the influencers and interacting!

  • Hi Allison, agreed. Nobody wants to read boring content. It has to be relevant to the audience and hit a nerve. If it doesn’t, no one will share it or resonate with it.

  • Hey Mike, thanks heaps for your comment. It’s amazing how many people overlook that last tip. Glad it was helpful for you.

  • Brilliant post! I’ve been looking for more information about extending reach and identifying my audience on Facebook but couldn’t find much out there. This post have given me some actionable items and even introduced me to Facebook Insights (this thing is awesome)! Also I REALLY need to look into this Open Graph search thing.

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  • You’re welcome Glen!