Segmentation is not a new marketing term. Marketers segment their audience all the time to send personalized emails, understand buyers' preferences and customize content.
In fact, audience segmentation is the backbone of modern marketing approaches like account-based marketing.
However, for social media marketing, audience segmentation is not important but a necessity.
According to Statista, around 3.6 billion active social media users will be present in 2020. The number is expected to cross 4.1 billion in 2025.
Targeting the right social media platform and audience segment for your business is not an easy task in this mammoth user base.
Therefore, bifurcating your targeted audience into separate groups will help you design an effective marketing funnel in 2022.
This post will help you better understand social media segmentation, its benefits and unveil the process to segment social media audiences. Let's get started.
What is Social Media Segmentation?
Social media segmentation means breaking your audience demographics between different social media platforms. It provides information about different groups of people using social media platforms. This information enables you to target the right audience base to promote your business online.
Social media audiences can be grouped based on common similarities like age, income, country, etc.
Why Segment Social Media Audience?
As of 2022, 92.1% of US companies with over 100 employees have expected to invest in social media marketing. This number has constantly been going up in the past 10 years—
Since many marketers are using social media for marketing purposes today; thus, audience segmentation is essential to connect with the right audience.
Segmenting your audience will leverage you to target qualified leads and convert them faster. Besides this, social media segmentation can help:
Connect with valuable customers
Segmentation breaks your customers into different groups. This approach allows you to zone out groups that are at the top and bottom of the conversion scale. So, you can target the customers that matter most to you.
Improve marketing ROI
When you spend your marketing budget to produce content and ads for only valuable customers, they will convert faster within your budget. This, in return, will improve your social media marketing campaign ROI.
Better customer satisfaction
Knowing your audience will help you generate personalized social media content. You can produce more helpful and relatable topics for your audience. And this will help to satisfy customers and make them loyal to your brand.
You can create a customer-centric brand image using social media segmentation. When you know your customers, you can better create marketing strategies for them.
For example, if you sell accounting software, you can produce helpful content for your targeted audience after understanding their needs and pain points.
Uncover new opportunities
Audience segmentation helps you discover new business opportunities. You can develop new products or services to grow your business after breaking your audience needs into different groups.
How to Segment Your Social Media Audience?
Segmentation is important to provide better customer services, utilize your marketing resources, and increase sales. Thus, before customizing your social media marketing strategy, you should segment your audience as follows:
1. Build buyer's persona
A buyer's persona is an effective strategy to know your audience. It is a semi-fictional characterization of your potential customers. This helps you identify high-value leads and produce social media content for them.
Suppose you have a call center software that helps users cut downtime for inbound customer support calls to win more leads. In that case, your ideal buyer will look like this:
25-34 years old, business owner, making $50-75k, wants to improve customer support and generate more leads.
Here, you should create a buyer persona based on factors related to your business. For example:
25-34 years old, business owner, making $50-75k, who believes in automation and wants to grow his or her company in the next ten years.
Now, the last part of a buyer's description is totally irrelevant to the context of call center software.
Getting too deep into your buyer's identity will only confuse you further. Therefore, stick to the basic factors that your business needs to create an effective social media marketing strategy for your buyers.
2. Drive data from different social media platforms
Consumers use different social media platforms to express their particular feelings. They present themselves differently on each social media platform.
For instance, Facebook is more of a platform to make new friends and share your personal interests. Therefore, people share personal photos and stories more on Facebook.
On the flip side, LinkedIn is a professional place where users try to portray themselves as experts. Thus, the same user will interact more professionally on LinkedIn compared to Facebook.
Here if you check Neil Patel's Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, you will see how people behave on both platforms. On Facebook, he shares his childhood memories and family photos.
In contrast, his LinkedIn profile is all about his work and achievements.
Therefore, you need to set different criteria to understand your audience on different social media platforms. Based on your business requirements, you should use different tactics to segment the audience on each social media platform.
3. Use dedicated analytical tools
Usually, when people think about social media segmentation, they think of getting expensive tools to analyze their audience. But that's not correct.
Using the native social media analytical tools, you can easily filter your audience for free. Most social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn provide built-in tools to analyze your audience.
For example, Facebook has a feature for businesses to filter their messages based on demographics, geographical, and other factors. Likewise, Linkedin allows you to filter your search results based on industry, company size, and others.
So, based on the social media platform that you are targeting, you should use native and free analytic tools to know your audience. However, if you have a significant marketing budget, you can get paid for analytical tools like Social Status to better understand your audience. You should get tools that can help you find potential buyers' email addresses, monitor the website's visitors' behavior, and so on.
4. Create social media groups
The main objective of social media is to form a community. It is a platform for like-minded people to connect and share their thoughts. Therefore, you should use this basic feature of social media to better know your targeted audience.
Many social media platforms allow you to create groups related to your business niches like Facebook and LinkedIn. Opening social groups will leverage you to know the general perspective of people about your brand, like—
Besides this, you can start discussions on your social media groups. This will help you get deeper into your audience's minds and learn uncommon facts about them.
Also, if you plan to launch a new product or service, you can host surveys or polls in your group to find out what people think about your new product. You can become a more customer-centric brand with social groups.
Today, many popular brands have created their own communities on social media for smooth interaction flow with their audience. For example, HubSpot has created different community groups targeting separate needs of their users on Facebook, such as HubSpot Certified, HubSpot Updates, and many more.
5. Target multiple social media platforms
You can't simply segment your audience on one social media platform and rest. This will only give you a partial view of your audience. You need to expand your research area to get accurate results.
You need to go through all the social media platforms that you are using to promote your brand to segment your audience. Using native tools, you can easily segment your audience on a particular platform. This might take some time, but the end result will be highly effective for your marketing strategies.
For example, if you have a fashion clothing brand that you promote on Facebook and Instagram. In that case, you should separately segment your audience on both platforms.
After that, you should compare the needs and requirements of people on both your targeted platforms. This will help you understand how people behave and interact on two different social media platforms.
To do so, old-school Excel sheets will work the best. In addition, you should create a separate Excel sheet with audience data collected from your social media platforms. This way, you can easily refer to your research whenever you plan to launch a new social media marketing campaign.
6. Post at the different time frame
Social media allows you to connect with users around the globe. This will help you promote your brand across the borders.
However, to target customers in different time zones, you must first understand their differential needs and requirements. The best practice is to post content on your social media channels at different time frames. You can produce content for a time zone-specific audience suiting their needs.
7. Re-evaluate your social media segmentation
Segmenting your social media audience one time will not be sufficient. Consumers' needs and preferences change frequently based on seasonal, market, and other demographic factors.
Therefore, you need to constantly evaluate your social media segmentation data so that you can create a dynamic social media marketing plan.
8. Test your marketing strategies
This point is not directly related to social media segmentation. However, since you are segmenting your social media audience to make your marketing strategies standout; thus, frequently test them.
When you see your content performing well that you have designed based on your audience data, this will indicate the success of your segmentation.
To measure the performance of social media content, you can check the number of likes, shares, and comments. You can also use third-party tools to measure your social media performance.
Let's Start Social Media Segmentation Now!
After understanding audience segmentation closely, you must be fully charged to segment your social networks. That's a good thing.
However, you should not be in haste in segmenting your audience. Instead, you should first create proper bifurcation pointers to divide your audience. That's because unclear audience grouping can complicate your segmentation process.
If you follow all the eight tips discussed above, you can easily segment your social media audience. So, carefully read the post, or you can refer to other posts on this website to map out a dynamic social media strategy.
Yash Chawlani is a Digital Marketing Consultant and co-founder of Marveta, a result-oriented digital marketing agency. He specializes in SEO & Content Marketing and helps various B2B & SaaS companies out there with his top-notch marketing strategies. You can get in touch with him via LinkedIn.