Great marketing results hinge on getting your target audience right before you begin.  Spending time  thinking about who you are trying to sell to, and why, is the most important step you can take before planning or launching your advertising or marketing strategy.

Clue – it’s not everyone!

We all want huge sales numbers and often we believe that reaching people as many as possible is the key to higher sales.  [Insert ‘you’ve got it wrong’ buzzer sound from game show 😉].  In order to create a message that makes sense to a huge and varied group it would have to be super generic. 

A generic message or communication just won’t have the same impact on each individual as a personalised one.  You’d rather get a handwritten personal card than a printed round robin wouldn’t you? 

You should aim to create content that talks personally to the person who receives it.  You’ll get a far better response when your content refers specifically to that person and their pain points. 

Ultimately, we’re all quite focused on what we want or need.  You want your content to shout out ‘Hey You’ with a giant pointy finger right at the individual, to make the stop and notice.  Wishy-washy generic content comes across as a sales pitch on social media.

So, focus on quality over quantity.  Split that huge audience up and use your social media account to speak to a few segments in a way that makes sense to them.

Why should I spend time on this?

Ultimately you will save time in the long run and get far better results from your investment.

Defining and understanding your target audience will lead all your marketing and advertising activity.  Every decision you make will take you one step closer to your goals, if you keep your audience in mind.

It will help you decide:

  • What type of content to create and share. What are their needs and how can you help meet these through your content?  Social media content should aim to help, inform or entertain your audience.
  • How to write your social media posts or advertising copy. What tone to use, which words, which pain points to speak to?  Are they in their early twenties or 55+, fun or serious, time poor etc?
  • How to build your audience for successful Facebook advertising campaigns.
  • When to post – when your audience are online and most primed to engage with your type of business and content/
  • Which creatives would appeal.
  • Which social media platforms to utilise. If they are business leaders, engage with them on LinkedIn or Twitter for B2B, if they are new mums looking for support, find them on Facebook or Instagram.

Once you’re clear on who you are talking to and you can visualise them, you’ll find inspiration as to what you can find or create that will appeal.  

Where do I start?


Who actually buys your product?  Amongst which demographics or types of people are they most popular and why?  What feedback do you have from your customers about the problems your product or service has helped solve?  Are they typically from a certain area or of a certain age?  What attributes do they have in common?

Use your customer data and look for trends and create one or two groups which represent the most common attributes they have in common.

Facebook Audience Insights

Via your business manager you can look in more detail about the type of people who follow your business page.  If you have enough followers you will see detail of other pages that they follow and their demographics.


Look for evidence of who might have pain points that your product can overcome.  Your ideal customer has a problem that your product or service can solve.

Check out your competitors and who they are speaking to on their website and social media.

If it’s a new market, check your assumptions before you act on them.

Be Realistic

Get some feedback from friends, family or ask on your social media to help you to be realistic about who might really want what you offer.

Be Brave

You won’t lose sales if you narrow your audience, if anything you’ll get more sales as your efforts will align.  Tighten up on the detail e.g. narrow down age ranges you want to target and the types of people who will really buy.

Test it

If you want to break into new audiences make a few assumptions (thoughtful ones!) and test it.  Jump on hashtags they’ll use, speak to this group, make content for them and see if you get engagement from posts or ads.

How should I create an audience avatar?

Call them user personas or customer avatars, ultimately you want a one-pager on each audience segment. 

Use your imagination to create a character.  Describing in detail, their wants, needs, pain points, habits and behaviours as well as their demographics and location.  Imagine what a typical day in the life of that person looks like during the week and at the weekend. 

Create a character or two for each segment that describes in detail a stereotypical member of that group – the average representative.  Imagine one person that represents the group and get into the detail.  How old are they, what do they do, where do they live, what are their hobbies, when are they online and which social media platforms to they use?

What next?

Once you’ve developed your audience personas you can start to plan your Facebook advertising or social media marketing strategy.  It will help you to answer:

  • When might they consider your product or service and why? When should I post?
  • What type of ad creative and copy will appeal?
  • What hook should I include to get them to engage/act?
  • What type of content would they respond best to?
  • Which social media platform would they use most often in order to come across your content? (and when?)

Answering these questions will give you the what, where, when and why answers that you need to guide your marketing decisions and help plan your strategy.

How can we help?

If you want to discuss developing a social media or Facebook advertising strategy in more detail get in touch.  For more free tips and advice sign up to your newsletter below.


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