Blog Post

How to Identify Your Target Audience on Social Media

02/07/2023 - Sierra Ducey

In 2022, internet users worldwide used social media for an average of 147 minutes every day. As the amount of time spent on social media platforms continues to increase, it’s more important than ever for advertisers to hone their paid social strategies and successfully reach their target audiences.

When it comes to creating paid social media strategies, advertisers fall within one of two buckets:

1.Those not utilizing paid social media.

If you’re interested in incorporating these channels into your marketing strategies, keep reading, as we’ll outline how to find and target your specific audience through paid social advertising.

2. Those using paid social strategies.

This blog post will serve as a great outline for checking in on your tactics and targeting practices to ensure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.

Your brand has likely been using an organic strategy for years. While this method of advertising certainly has a place and purpose for brands, continuous platform updates combined with oversaturated channels and shortened attention spans among consumers have likely made it increasingly difficult for you to actually reach your target audience. For example, Hootsuite reports that the average Facebook page sees 0.07% engagement and reaches about 5.5% of follower counts.

Fortunately, implementing paid social media campaigns in addition to organic posts can help combat these challenges. Paid social media advertising boosts your brand by getting it in front of the eyes of your ideal target audience. And that’s the catch — setting up paid campaigns can’t be a blind guess with a handful of money. As with every other tactic in advertising, even the biggest budget for a campaign only pays off if it reaches the right audience.

While it is tempting to move fast to keep up with ever-evolving trends, it is more important to strategize, identify a social media advertising target audience, and build a solid foundation for optimal growth.

Understanding Social Media Targeted Advertising Platforms

Planning paid social media campaigns involves navigating a lot of options, and even the most experienced advertisers can get lost in the weeds. When choosing a platform for your targeted advertising campaign, consider the benefits and core audiences of each to ensure the best results for your brand. Below is a breakdown of the most common social media platforms and their targeting capabilities.

Facebook and Instagram

  • Use second-party data to reach your audience based on interests, location, behavior, demographics, and connections.
  • Connect with people who have already shown interest in your business, whether they’re a loyal customer or people who have used your app or visited your website.
  • Reach new people whose interests are similar to those of your best customers.


  • Retarget users who visited your website on LinkedIn.
  • Create lookalike audiences with CRM or account-based targeting.


  • Target your desired audience based on location, language, demographics, events, conversations, devices, keywords, interests, and more.
  • Create a custom audience based on CRM, website, or app activity.


  • Create audiences from your customer lists, people who’ve visited your site, or people who have already interacted with your content on Pinterest.
  • Reach new people who behave similarly to one of your existing audiences.
  • Select topics related to your ad to reach people with similar tastes.
  • Target by keywords, demographics, and devices.
  • Choose where you’d like your ads to appear on Pinterest.
  • Reach even more people by automatically targeting your ad to people searching for similar keywords or interests as the ones you selected.


  • Find users based on browsing behavior across groups of communities.
  • Target users who subscribe to or visit specific communities by device or geolocation.
  • Serve or suppress content to users based on a CRM list.
  • Leverage 400+ segments with a third-party audience.


  • Target based on demographics, internet operation, and interests.
  • Add, exclude, and replace your custom audience.
  • Create lookalike audiences.

While every social channel has unique benefits, finding the right combination to reach your specific audience is essential. At Digilant, our media strategists can help identify the best social media strategy based on your brand and audience.

How to Identify Target Audience on Social Media

The key to identifying target audiences is to be as specific as possible. The more intentional you are at this step, the more time and money you’ll get back over time. Here’s how to get started:

1.Create and refine persona identifications.

Take a step back and think about your audience in general. Determine who fits your brand’s target demographic — their qualities, attributes, behaviors, and characteristics. Then, take it a step further by identifying their purchase drivers with these questions:

  • What information are they looking for and why?
  • Where do they go for information?
  • What conversations are they having?
  • Who do they trust?

This information will serve as a guiding point for your overall social media targeted advertising strategy. As you refine your strategy and potentially add more channels, these profiles will help keep your goals on track. They will also ensure you’re creating a streamlined experience and prioritizing consumers’ needs no matter how they interact with your brand.

2. Look to competitors for inspiration.

Competition can provide great information about what is and isn’t working. You can begin gathering information from competitor websites and advertisements by asking the following:

  • What types of people are they targeting?
  • What are they doing right?
  • What is missing?
  • What benefits are they emphasizing?
  • How often are they posting?
  • What content seems to work best?
  • What is their tone?

3. Shape goals by identifying key benefits.

Once you’ve established audience personas (and taken a few lessons from your competitors), think about what solutions your brand can offer to resolve your audience’s main pain points. This will not only help curate messaging, but it will also help determine the overall goal for paid social media campaigns.

Ask clarifying questions to make sure your goals are aligned with consumer needs. Are you looking to generate brand awareness or conversions? Are paid social campaigns a good opportunity to launch a new product or offering? Is this a good channel to increase your first-party data by driving form sign-ups? Determining your goals early on can help keep your advertising strategies on track and generate higher success rates.

Additionally, don’t forget that the best way to reach and connect with your target audience is to ask them specifically what they want. Don’t shy away from surveying consumers — it often provides an authentic approach to advertising that resonates with your target audience and allows more room for trust.

Ready to Improve Your Social Media Advertising Strategy?

It’s important to always circle back to the big picture: consumer experience. Consumers want personalized, timely, and authentic content. The only way to successfully deliver that is to have a full picture of the consumer journey and consistently ensure your social media targeted advertising is effective, accurate, and holistically delivering on brand values.

Want more insight on how to find your social media advertising target audience? Connect with our Digilant team to learn how we can help your brand meet its specific goals and needs.

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