Segmentation is not a new concept for marketers. We use segmentation to send personalized emails, build buyer-specific pricing models, and understand the behavior of our most loyal customers.
It’s also a valuable tool for generating more leads on social media. While posting more frequently and posting different types of content to encourage engagement with your audience, segmentation can bring additional benefits such as:
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This post will show you how to apply the principles of segmentation to social media, outline the benefits for your business, and provide tips on accurately segmenting your social media audience.
What is social media segmentation?
Social media segmentation breaks down and organizes your audiences based on common characteristics such as demographic information, behavioral habits, and geographic locations. This makes it easier to create ads that are more geared towards the interests of a specific audience.
Segmentation is important because it increases your marketing success. When you know the key characteristics and wants of your target audience, you can focus more on your brand message and create hyper-targeted advertising that directly addresses the interests of your target audience. Then, when your ads are tailored to their interests, customers are more likely to engage with them and take further action.
Let’s go over eight strategies for segmenting your social media audiences.
1. Understand your audience.
As with any marketing strategy, understanding your target audience is key to accurately and relevantly segmenting social media. Without knowing who your customers are, what they want, and how they like to be marketed, it will be difficult to come up with other strategies that will help you succeed in your process.
To get to know your target group better, you can create buyer personalities from your analysis and research data. Buyer personalities are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers that allow you to focus your time on qualified prospects, attract quality customers, and create content that best suits their interests and wants.
You can think of it this way: if the data you’ve gathered shows that Facebook is bringing you the most engagement, dig deeper into who your target audience is and create a buyer personality that gives a broader understanding of who they are. These renderings you created relate directly to our next tip, as many social media platforms come with targeting tools that you can use to market specifically to your various segmented audiences.
2. Use native social media targeting tools.
When most people think of social media segmentation, they think of paid targeting options. However, for both low and high budget marketers, there are organic targeting options on different platforms that you can use to talk to your different audiences.
For example, Facebook allows companies to target their messages to users based on demographics, interests, and geographic location (as shown below).
There are also built-in targeting tools on LinkedIn that allow you to filter and segment by industry, company size, and more (see below).
3. Create target groups.
Social media is all about community. Building communities of people who share common interests is an easy way to segment your audience and gain valuable insights. You can choose to keep the group open (anyone can join) or closed (a moderator must approve new members), and everyone has benefits.
Open groups are a great way to gather information about how a more general audience feels about your brand. In this forum you can hold discussions and ask open-ended questions, e.g. B. “What are your greatest challenges?” or “What makes excellent customer service?” You can also test new ideas with your viewers or discover new content ideas that they would find interesting and relevant. The advantage here is that you have a large group to exchange ideas with. The disadvantage? You may not know your industry as well as you need to be.
Closed groups can be useful here. You approve the admission of each member to the group and can choose the most qualified candidates. Perhaps it is a group of customers whose opinions you value, or a list of people who have attended an event you host. Regardless of the admission requirements, this can be a great way to get specific, helpful feedback from a group that you trust. However, you may not get as many responses as you would in an open group discussion.
Various social media platforms have group functions, in particular Facebook and LinkedIn. On Facebook, you can create a group that is relevant to your business and the interests of your target audience and can be public or private, as mentioned above. The same goes for LinkedIn, but you should only choose to use it if your target audience is professional, business-minded people.
4. Create audience lists.
Most marketers are familiar with list building – we do this every time we send out a new email campaign. But did you know you can use lists to have more productive social media conversations? On social networks like Facebook and Twitter, users can create lists of friends, followers, people who attended an event, and more.
On Twitter, your lists can be divided into specific categories, such as: B. where they are on their buyer’s journey. Whenever these people on your lists are tweeting, you can view them all on a specific channel to get an idea of what kind of things they are tweeting about and what they enjoy. With this information in hand, you can create more targeted ads that will suit your segmented audience’s preferences.
If you’re a HubSpot customer, the lists you use for your email can actually be the same as your social watch lists. You can set up a stream for each of your buyer personalities, such as: E.g. a stream for leads talking about your brand or for customers in a specific industry. You’ll spend a lot less time filtering through the noise and a lot more time having relevant, targeted conversations.
5. Post at different times of the day.
As marketers, we know the importance of timing in marketing – especially on social media. Once you’ve created accurate, relevant buyer personalities, you will likely find that your followers are spread across different geographic regions. This means that your followers in the central United States go to bed while your followers in Australia prepare to wake up.
By differentiating your publication times, you can generate engagement with a larger part of your audience, as followers from all over the world have the opportunity to engage with your posts.
An added benefit of this is that your target audience can see multiple posts. You can think of it this way: if you post three times for three different audience segments throughout the day, each of those segments can also see the posts intended for the other. Three more ways for them to interact with your content and three more ways for them to get conversions.
6. Use multiple networks.
Once you master the different ways you can segment your specific audiences, more people will be interested in connecting with you through social media. If you don’t already have multiple social media accounts, you may find that one of the best ways to deliver relevant content to specific audiences is to create multiple social media profiles, each with a specific purpose.
For example, if you’re a clothing brand, your target audience is likely to be dispersed across ages. While you might hope to reach everyone on one platform, the more likely you will reach your younger audience (ages 10-19) on TikTok and your older audience on Instagram.
In addition, on each of these different platforms, you should consider creating multiple accounts that focus on different aspects of your business or the needs of your different audiences. At HubSpot, we have more than five different Twitter accounts to deliver content that is relevant to each segment of our target audience. For example, @HubSpotAcademy is a channel through which marketers can learn how to become a better inbound marketer, while @HubSpotSupport is a channel through which our customers can get help using the HubSpot platform. Both Twitter accounts are relevant to anyone interested in HubSpot, but most relevant to their respective segments.
Remember, any social media account should still serve a larger audience. So work on building your total audience from one account before trying to create more. If you do decide to start building more accounts, make sure people can easily distinguish their purpose (e.g. customer support, marketing materials, your annual event, etc.). Otherwise you will create more work for yourself.
7. Optimize your processes.
If you use multiple platforms or just want to streamline your processes, there are various social media tools that you can use to create and publish ads that are created for your segmented audiences.
Falcon.io is one of those tools. It has an all-in-one social platform for creating paid and organic ads, managing customer loyalty data from all of your accounts, and even creating custom and similar audiences for further segmentation (see image below).
8. Test your strategies.
While this tip isn’t directly related to grouping your target audience, the success of your segmentation depends on how well you’ve created your groups. Social media testing can help you determine how your content is performing with your target audiences, to see if you’ve segmented your audience accurately, and to perfect your strategy.
For example, let’s say you’ve found your millennial audience to be the most active on Instagram. They know they are there and can start creating content for them. However, what if you want to better understand their preferences? Maybe you want to know if you prefer Instagram Stories or Instagram Reels? By doing an A / B test on these two types of content, you can better understand how to communicate with these segmented groups.
Talk to your different target groups
Unless you’re a niche company, you likely target a large audience. Within these target groups there are likely to be other different communities with different preferences and desires.
Figuring out how to customize your message so that it speaks individually to all of your different customers can be difficult. However, the eight tips above will help you carefully segment your social media audience to get more relevant conversations – and ultimately, more conversions.