In my last post here, I wrote about defining your target audience and making sure your marketing content is targeted to them. I mentioned that you should analyze your website visitors and social media followers to see if the audience you are getting matches your target customer profile. Let's dive deeper into how to do this.
Location And Language
If you are targeting customers in Toronto, visitors from Hawaii aren't what you want. If you can only ship within the U.S. and Canada, getting a lot of likes from Spain isn't helping your bottom line. When you calculate your website and social media reach, make sure you filter for users in the locations you are targeting, otherwise you're going to be wide off the mark.
Whether you use Google Analytics or some other tool, look at the locations of your users carefully. On Google Analytics, you can also create a segment and filter all your data by that segment. (To do this, click on the Advanced Segments button on top, then + New Custom Segment. Specify a City, Continent, Country/Territory, or Region.) Name and save your segment and easily filter all your data.
For Facebook, go to the People tab on your Insights page, or export your data and look at Likes by Country, Likes by City, Weekly Reach by Country, Weekly Reach by City, Country People Talking About This, and so on.
LinkedIn also shows you the regions your followers are in. For Twitter, if you're advertising, Twitter offers analytics or else you might want to try a tool like KnowYourFollowers, which helps not only with location but other information about your followers as well. And when you're following people, stick to your target regions.
And yes, look at languages as well: if you are communicating only in English but your users prefer German, you might need to either change your communication or attract the right users for you.
Age, Gender, Profession
You can't get this info from Google Analytics, but Facebook gives you details about the age and gender of your fans. Export your data and look at Lifetime Likes by Gender and Age, Weekly Reach Demographics, Demographics People Talking About This, and so on. Or again, look at the People tab on your Insights for the age and gender of your fans, people you've reached, and people who engaged with your content.
For LinkedIn, you won't get age or gender for your followers but you'll get something much more relevant if you're a B2B business: industry, seniority, function, and company size.
If you're a nail salon targeting teenage girls, it's no point targeting teenage girls who have no interest in getting their nails done. Analyzing interest and intent is less straightforward, but here are a few places you can start.
On Google Analytics, look at search terms people use to get to your website. This tells you what your visitors are interested in, what problem they are looking to solve. If you're a web design agency, are they looking for "free website templates" or "wordpress vs. drupal"? Which of these visitors better fits your profile?
Don't forget to look at site search details as well.
Other places to dig into are referral sources and top content. If you left a comment on a blog that's not relevant to your business and are getting a lot of hits from there, those visitors are probably just curious and aren't your target customers. (This isn't true, of course, if you're commenting on blogs that serve your target audience.) If you are getting a lot of hits on a funny but not very relevant blog post, and most of those visitors aren't going to more pages, then they are probably irrelevant.
For LinkedIn, look closely at the Function tab in the Page Visitor Demographics graph. For example, I'm targeting business-owners and marketers for my business, and I'm doing very well on the first and not so well on the other.
And remember, use this information to target your marketing more effectively. On Facebook, you can target your posts by your fans' location, age, interests, and more. On Twitter, you should be active at the times your followers are most active. On both Twitter and Facebook, you can use relevant hashtags to amplify your reach.
More focused, effective marketing will help you reach your business goals faster. Best of luck!
Unmana is the co-founder of Markitty, a tool that recommends actions to improve your online marketing. She writes about marketing for startups and small businesses on the Markitty blog and can be found on Twitter @Unmana.