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How to reach the right audience on social media

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4 min read

SMMEs in the tourism industry are among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Marketing during a crisis, and the inevitable downturn, is challenging to say the least. Budgets are cut (usually ‘non-essential’ spend like marketing and communications) and companies, big and small, are tightening their belts.

But Peter Field, Marketing and Communications Strategist and B2B Institute Research Fellow, believes that this is not the time to go ‘dark’ (i.e. disappear from view) and that brands should (put very simply):

  1. Focus on the long term (if you can)
  2. Defend your share of voice (if you can)
  3. Seize opportunities and innovate (stepping into gaps if you can) – rather than relying on short-term, ‘promotional’ or ‘discount heavy’ strategies
  4. Demonstrate humanity and generosity (this you can do!)

The reality is that many SMMEs are simply not going to have the budget available to maintain their marketing and communications. And so digital media and especially social media is going to become very important. As is your marketing message – and ensuring you reach the right audience on social media.

But how do you ensure that you are reaching the right people? Here are four ways to reach the right audience on social media:

1. Understand the different social media platforms

Each social media platform has a very different profile or audience demographic. Here’s a quick look at the top four.*


  • 45 billion active monthly users
  • Of all the people on the internet, 83% of women & 75% of men use Facebook
  • 62% of online seniors aged 65+ are on Facebook – and 72% are between age 50-64
  • 88% of online users aged between 18-29 are on Facebook
  • 84% of online users aged between 30-49 are on Facebook


  • 1 billion active monthly users
  • 3% of Instagram users are Females and 43.7% are male
  • Six in ten online adults have Instagram accounts
  • 30% of global Instagram audiences are aged between 18 and 24 years and 35 % are aged between 25 and 34 years
  • 72% of teens use Instagram


  • 330 million active monthly users
  • 34% of Twitter users are females and 66% are males
  • 24% of all Internet male users use Twitter, whereas 21% of all Internet female users use Twitter
  • 38% of Twitter users are between the ages of 18 and 29, 26% users are 30-49 years old
  • 80% of Twitter users are affluent millennials


  • 310 million active monthly users
  • 57% of LinkedIn users are male and 43% of users are female
  • 24% of Millenials (18-24 years old) use LinkedIn
  • There are 87 million Millennials on LinkedIn, with 11 million in decision-making positions
  • 90 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers and 63 million are in decision-making positions

* Information from www.omnicoreagency.com

2. Get comfortable with data

audience on social media

The next step is to determine who your own audience is. Are you 100% sure who you are talking to? It is critical to have an understanding of your (actual) target audience, so you can make informed decisions for your business, know exactly who you’re catering to and avoid wasting precious time, money and resources marketing to the wrong group of people.

Best tip? Use your website and social media analytics and Google analytics to help determine and define your target audience. This data will tell you your audience’s demographics, what content of yours they consume the most (most popular blogs, posts, photographs etc.) and where they’re most active.

Pay attention to the following metrics:

  • Engagement
  • Reach
  • Click-throughs
  • Hashtag engagement
  • Organic vs. paid likes

If you’re unsure, or feeling out of your depth, it’s worth getting an Analytics Specialist to help.

3. Use industry hashtags

audience social media

Hashtags are an easy and effective way to stay up to date on the latest events, trends and topics of conversation within your industry. Even better? They’re a great way of getting your name, brand and content in front of a broader audience, by simply using them in your own social media posts. Anyone who looks up that hashtag can see content posted with it, which will help your brand gain more exposure.

Go a step further, and follow (and like) individuals, brands and companies who are playing in a similar space to yours. By keeping an eye the day’s trending hashtags, you can post similar content and photographs – straight to a captive, like-minded audience.

Remember, collaborating with your peers on social media will also increase your reach and visibility.

Top tip? Make sure that your hashtag is not too broad (it becomes meaningless) – and try to limit yourself to two hashtags per post (maximum!).


4. Use social media ads to boost your visibility

Most social media platforms allow advertising, and it’s a great way for businesses to get in front of the right audience on social media and promote their content, product or services. Sometimes finding your audience organically proves trickier than anticipated, and paid ads can help boost your visibility. Again, it’s worth chatting to someone with Google Ads experience or an understanding of social media ads to help you on your way.

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