How to research and locate your audience using social media?

February 16, 2016 - 4  min reading time - by Emma Labrador
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Social media and SEO are deeply linked. As an indirect ranking factor, social media can really boost your traffic and brand authority. But do you know who your audience is on social media? Do you know where your customers are located ? Social media can be a great tool to communicate more largely with prospects and customers and increase your visibility if you know how to optimize your marketing efforts. It is important to connect with your target audience on the right social media. Here is a handy guide on how to research and locate your audience using social media.

#1 Identify your customer

Knowing your ideal type of customer is essential to orientate your marketing strategy. You need to create persona, fictional characters of your ideal customers based on different features. Make them as clear as possible to get the finest data about your customers. Then it will be easier to find people on social media answering these criterias.

#2 Determine your audience size

Now you better know your audience, you need to size it. Tools like the Facebook Ads Manager can help you determine how big is your audience. SocialMediaExaminer created a great guide to use it. This tool will also help you know if your audience is too small or not. In that case, you will need to expand it by enlarging your audience attributes. In the other hand, if your audience is too large, you will need to resize it to optimize your results. Obviously your entire audience might not be on Facebook. It will depend of which market you target, your audience age, behavior, city, income, etc. But this can still offer a relevant overview.

#3 Survey your customers

Running a survey is a great opportunity to better know your audience. If you own your business and already have customers, you can ask your existing customers a few questions to gather further insights about their social media habits. For instance, you could focus your questions on social media they regularly use, people they follow, if they often read blogs and which ones, what websites do they visit for informations about your business activity, etc… Google Form offers great features to collect feedbacks as it creates graphs to summarize answers.

#4 Find and connect with your customer

If you are currently focusing on this step, congrats you are almost done! Once you have collected the results from your survey and made the right conclusion, you can now focus on the right social media to reach your audience.

If you use a QR Code strategy and and create custom QR Codes, you can also collect accurate location information. QR Codes on social media can be used to distribute coupons, share gated or exclusive content or gamify the experience of your customers.

The major social media platforms also offer the ability to upload your customer email database to find your target audience and run targeted ads. On Twitter for instance, you just need to connect to and then go to ‘Tools’ and create a new custom audience. You can then upload a CSV file.

target audience on social media


Connecting with this audience is a good start to grow your customer reach. But you also connect to customers on other platforms that will better fit your marketing strategy.


While Facebook’ EdgeRank (organic reach) has drastically decrease over the past few years, you can still target your audience with the Ads Manager. Your survey is now quite useful. If you found out that your customers spend a lot of time reading Moz blog posts, you can now target your ads for your Facebook prospects. But like Twitter, you can directly upload your customer emails database to the Ads Manager to create a custom audience that will let you generate a lookalike audience. It refers to an audience sharing the same characteristic as yours. Benefits? You can talk to a wider audience that still fit your marketing persona (think of settings filters to avoid targeting a too large audience)! If you have no fan page, you can still looking for your audience by using the Facebook’s search bar to find a group that fit your customers’ features.


Twitter offers a smaller audience than Facebook but a great engagement rate. You also have the ability to efficiently filter your audience by geography, language, keywords, followers, interests, TV-watching habits and more. Twitter has different types of ads as you can gain more followers, increase engagement and virality, drive traffic to your website, etc. If you don’t own a Ads account, you can still look for your audience using the Twitter’s advanced search tool that will let you set up different filters. Follow people who has your audience persona characteristics or create lists of these people. Some of them will follow you back.


Focus on the prospecting tools and manual connections with your audience whereas to spend time with the ad platform. You can target your audience by keywords, company, location, etc. Join groups to connect with targeted accounts.
Here is an overview of your possibilities but there are more out there. Feel free to share hacks you used with other social media platforms.


Emma Labrador See all their articles
Emma was the Head of Communication & Marketing at Oncrawl for over seven years. She contributed articles about SEO and search engine updates.
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