The term big data is ambiguous and overused.
I prefer to talk about audience intelligence.
We have more information about our customers, fans, and target audiences today than we could ever hope to understand.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data out there and the number of places it’s coming from.
However, with a little focus, knowing where to look, and what tools to use, these audience intelligence insights will rock your world.
Getting to know your social media audience better will change your business. It will save you time, increase your revenue, and improve your career.
My goal today is to make this process easier for you and show you the clear benefits of monitoring relevant data about your social audience.
So where should you focus?
Facebook and Twitter have been busy improving and updating their analytics and insights, which is helpful for marketers. As two of the largest, most known, and well established social networks, they are a great place to start.
There are also countless tools out there to help you understand the audience you are reaching and how they talk about your brand.
Here are a few tips to get you started!
1. Decide what you want to know
Just digging into data on your Twitter audience can be interesting and enlightening however, if you aren’t sure what you want to know, you might get lost in a rabbit hole.
There are countless ways to slice and dice the information to tell a different story. It is really helpful to you want to answer or hypothesis you want to test.
What you want to know will help to guide where you look for the data as well.
If you want to know more about the audience who already engages with your content on your social channels, the audience insights in Facebook and Twitter will be invaluable.
Or if you want to know what your audience is saying about your most recent marketing campaign or about your new product, social listening will get you the answer those questions.
Not sure where to start? Here are four initial questions/hypotheses you can investigate through audience insights and social listening:
- Who is most likely to engage with us on Twitter and Facebook?
- What was the response to our most recent marketing campaign?
- What are customers saying about our product on Twitter and Facebook?
- Which social channel is gaining the strongest response from our audience?
2. Dig into audience insights provided by social channel analytics
The audience insights provided by social channels is great to understand the demographics and interests of your audience.
In Twitter’s analytics dashboard, you can now see information about:
- Your followers
- All Twitter users
- People who’ve engaged with your content
- Tailored audiences (people you manually select to track—such as your email subscribers, website visitors, or folks who have downloaded your mobile app)
You can even compare one audience to another to see the difference between all of your followers and the people who engage with your content, for example.
Twitter gives you the following audience information: top interests, occupation, household income, marital status, homeownership and buying style.
If you want to know what brand partnerships or event sponsorships make sense given your target audience, reviewing their top interests is a great starting place.
You’ll find much of the same type of information in Facebook’s audience insights as you can see in Twitter.
It is worthwhile to compare your Facebook audience demographics to your Twitter audience demographics as your audience on each channel may be very different.
While Facebook’s People tab in your page Insights is helpful, I love the Audience Insights in the Business Manager. This tool helps marketers to learn more about their target audiences.Here you can dig into demographics, page likes, location, and Facebook activity of a given audience.
Pro Tip: Compare your page audience to all active users on Facebook. This is a great way to see where your audience over-indexes compared to Facebook as a whole.
For example, priceline.com has more Likes from the 35-44 age bracket, but much less in the 18-24 age group (when compared to Facebook users). Knowing that I can create content more tailored to a 35-44 audience.
Or if I want to increase my engagement from the 18-24 set, I know I need to create content specifically for them and use paid promotion and targeting to reach that set.
3. Use social listening tools to answer questions about your audience
Social listening is a wonderful way to answer questions you have about how people are talking about your brand, your products and even your competitors.
Many of the social listening tools will take a large number of social posts and visually show you trends and common themes. It’s a quick way to see a high-level view of what your audience is talking about.
We recently ran a campaign promoting Las Vegas on Facebook. Through social listening, I can see which properties were more popular with our audience.
I can take that information to build future campaigns specifically highlighting those properties. I can look at the exact posts about the Bellagio, for example, to see what users like most about that property.
When I dig into the “Bellagio” topic deeper, no surprise that the fountains are a big draw. But I didn’t know it’s a popular destination for wedding anniversaries.
Knowing that, I could create a campaign about spending your anniversary at the Bellagio.
These steps only scratch the surface of what you can learn about your audience, but it will help you to understand what resonates with your audience.
The better you understand your audience, the people talking about your brand and the people engaging with your content, the more effective you will be at reaching them and moving them to action.