Defining your target market and understanding your prospective customer is a fundamental step in developing a successful Twitter marketing campaign. It is the foundation of any business marketing strategy. You need to have a crystal clear understanding of who your target customer is, and every tweet you send out should be crafted with your target market in mind. If you do not know who your audience is, you won’t be able to communicate in a way that resonates with them, or build long-term business relationships with potential customers.

Understanding the person who really needs your product or service will ensure that you’re most likely to reach the right people with the right message, giving your content and marketing more clarity and focus, and ensuring you’re using your resources as efficiently as possible.

The better you understand the individuals and/or businesses you’re trying to reach on Twitter, the more successful you’ll be in connecting with them through your tweets. By targeting the wrong people, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time, energy and resources on people who will never become customers.

Who is Your Target Audience on Twitter?

Your target audience is a specific, narrow group of individuals who have tweeted, asked questions and/or participated in conversations or discussions surrounding your industry, product or service. These are the individuals that are likely to find your tweets interesting, meaningful and useful.

Your entire Twitter profile including your profile photo, header image and bio needs to be 100% customer-focused and created with your target customer in mind. To accomplish your Twitter goals, you need to create a compelling experience for your target audience and demonstrate that you have a strong knowledge of their problems, challenges and frustrations.

When you understand exactly what is important to your ideal target customer, their problems and challenges and frustrations, you’ll gain the insights you need to produce the type of content that will resonate with them. By succinctly addressing the needs, challenges and issues that are facing your target audience in your tweets, you’ll be more successful at developing a more targeted and engaged network.

Having a solid understanding of your target audience will provide you with valuable insights into your target audience. Developing this level of understanding will tell you:

  • if your target audience is on twitter.
  • what type of content will motivate them to become followers.
  • what will make your followers engage with your tweets, and take action on your marketing messages.
  • which of your products and services you should promote to your target audience on Twitter.
  • how to craft tweets that will motivate your ideal target customer to click through to your website and convert on your site’s goals.
  • how to turn your followers into customers.

How to Identify Your Target Audience

It is important to be very specific when describing your target market. For example, the following statement would be considered too generic:

“I sell iPhone cases with abstract art, so my target market is anyone that owns an iPhone.”

The problem is, not all iPhone owners are in your target market. There are many iPhone users who don’t care much about art. Those people are definitely not your target market. Even iPhone users who love art, but not the type of art you create are not in your target market. Having such a wide, unfocused target makes it extremely difficult to tailor a strategy for those who are really interested in your product.

A more meaningful statement would be:

“My ideal target customer owns an iPhone and has expressed an interest in abstract art.”

Knowing who your target market is allows you to spend your marketing time and resources more productively. Once you identify your target audience, you laser focus your marketing efforts to the people who are most likely to buy your products or services.

Producing content without taking the time to understand your target audience will end up costing you customers because your prospects will start to avoid your communications since they are getting more relevant information from your competitors.

Following are characteristics you can use to identify the demographic of your target audience:

  • Gender: What is the gender of majority of your current customers? Are most of them male, female or are they evenly split?
  • Age: What is the typical age of your customers? Are they tweens, teenagers, college students, young adults, 30-somethings, millennials, over 50‘s, etc.
  • Location: Are you targeting people locally, nationally or internationally. If you are targeting people internationally, what part of the world do the majority of your customers live? Are they scattered across the globe, or concentrated within a specific geographic region? If that is the case, you may need to focus on a local strategy.
  • Marital status: Are most of your customers single, married, living together or divorced? Knowing this information will allow you to cater to different segments with your site design and style.
  • Occupation: What is the occupation of majority of your clients? Is your product or service tailored to a specific industry? For example, are your clients mainly teachers, nurses, armed forces personnel, etc. Do you know what field your customers are in specifically? This can be important for your marketing. For example if you know that most of your clients are teachers, then you know to focus your ads on sites where teachers tend to visit.
  • Lifestyle/situational: What is the lifestyle of majority of your clients? Do they tend to be stay-at-home mothers, single parents, co-habiting couples, pet owners, married couples, homeowners, parents, urbanites, etc. You’ll need to gather as much pertinent information as you can about your customers so that you understand as much about them as possible.

Learn the Language of Your Target Audience

If you want to win over your target audience, you need to understand how they speak so that you use language that is familiar to them and match their tone. Identifying the words and phrases commonly used by your ideal target customer is very important because those are the keywords you’ll be using to search for your target customers. It is also what you’ll use to create an experience for them and tailor your profile to them.

Using the same language that your ideal clients use is important for the following reasons.

  1. Your audience should be able to relate to whatever you are tweeting about. The specific language will depend on the age group that you are targeting, the profession and interest. If the keywords you use to optimize your profile do not match the terms that your target customer uses in searches, they will not be able to find you. For example, let’s say you’re a plastic surgeon. If you are using words like rhinoplasty to optimize your Twitter profile but your target customers are using “nose job” to search for your services on Twitter, they will not find you in their search.
  2. What you put on your profile and page must resonate with them when they find you or they will not feel that emotional connection that is so important in a prospective customer. They will feel that you cannot help them because you don’t understand their problems and challenges, and they will keep looking for someone else who they feel does.

To understand the language of your target audience, start by listening to the language used by your current customers in their tweets. Pay close attention to the how people phrase their wording when they’re posting and having conversations about your industry. Consider how they ask and answer questions.

One other way to identify your audience’s language is by looking out for hash tags that are currently trending which are related to your keywords on Twitter. Look at what how people phrase their words to understand relevant topics, words and phrases. Use this language in your posts and when you are engaging in conversations so that your prospects can identify with you.

How to Search for Customers on Twitter

Here are a number of tools that you can use to identify your target audience on Twitter.

The Twitter Search Engine

If you want to be proactive about finding your target clients on Twitter instead of trying to attract them to come to you, the first place you should consider is the Twitter search engine to search for keywords or phrases that describe your product or service. Twitter allows you to effectively monitor conversations that contain your target keywords. Whatever product or service you market, there is likely someone tweeting about it right now on Twitter. Do a search to find people who are talking about your industry, field, or company.

You can use Twitter Search to search all tweets for your particular topic and return tweets matching your search in chronological order. If you are interested in a specific topic, you can discover all of the people interested in it.

The Advanced Search tool enables you to exclude certain words or phrases, do a local search, and search for tweets to and from a specific person. The advanced page has an option to search “Near this place.” You can simply enter your town and get a real-time stream of all the people tweeting from your location or near it.

NeedTagger

NedTagger one of the most powerful Twitter apps that you can use to find customers and prospective customers on Twitter.

You can use it to:

  • Acquire new customers by identifying people expressing purchasing intent, asking questions relating to your products and services, or content you produce.
  • Identify prospects complaining about your competitors, their products and their brand;
  • Manage your online reputation by flagging questions and complaints related to your products, services and brand.

Find Customers by Industry

The following tools allow you to search for people by location according to the industries they serve. These tools use the info in peoples’ bios to locate specific users. For example, if you are targeting for web design professionals, you would simply type in the keywords “web design” or “web designing”.

Local Tweeps

LocalTweeps (localtweeps.com) allows you to search for your customers and prospective customers at a granular level. You can search by City, ZIP and/or keyword post and even browse local events and specials.

Finding Customers by Location

If you have a location-specific business, such as a plumbing, restaurant, or store, you’d typically want to find local users in your area. The following applications allow you to search for prospects by city, county, and even state. You can search by map or simply by typing in your city’s name and selecting a radius around the area:

Nearby Tweets

Nearby Tweets sllows you to search for people within a specific area and filter the results by keywords. For example, if you’re a plumber in Los Angeles, do a search for people around Los Angeles who have sent out plumbing related tweets.

Twitterholic

Twitterholic  will allow you to locate the top influencers in a particular town. To find users, visit the website, enter your Twitter username in the “Check out Your Twitterholic Ranking” box, and click the Go button. You are presented with Twitter stats about yourself, letting you see how you’re ranked in your area, as well as who’s ranked above and below you. The names are links: Right-click on them to view their Twitterholic stats.

Twitonomy

Twitonomy allows you to identify and reach out to key influencers in your niche. For example, if you’ve identified a key influencer and want to reach out to him, Twitonomy gives you the opportunity to use detailed statistics to learn more about the person. You can find out key information about the influencer such as:

  • What he tweets about.
  • Does he reply to tweets?
  • How often does he tweet?
  • What are his favourite tweets?
  • What time of day or day of the week does he tweet?
  • Who does he retweet?
  • Who is he following?

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