6 Elements of Your Social Media Strategy: #3 – Where is Your Audience?

By Maria Peagler

Nov 05

Get Informed

Lesson 3 is THE most crucial part your social media strategy, because it alone determines whether your efforts will pay off.  

You'll save literally dozens of hours of research time with the tactics you learn in this lesson. I used to spend weeks researching this information for my clients, and I’ve developed a strategy that does the same thing in about 5 minutes.

And I’m sharing it with you today.

I hear this from my clients often: “I’ve overwhelmed social media marketing and  I don’t know where to start!”

That stems from the feeling that you need to be everywhere.

You don’t. The only place you need to be are where your customers are.

Watch the video below to see the mini-consulting session I did for a local financial services client. Their response? “Wow! Thanks Maria! I’m going to do this right away!”

Note: You can also do this search in other major search engines, including Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo (a search engine that doesn't track your search history).

Get Trained

How can you identify quickly which social networks holds the best potential for your business?  Do you need to join each network, create a profile, then search for your potential audience?

You could, but it would take forever!

Instead, you're going to identify your best clients and what social networks they use, without ever having to join a single social network.

You're going to research your best clients & what social networks they use, without ever having to join a single social network.

Yes, really! Let's get started . . . 


One of the first tactics I use when developing a social media strategy for my members is to ask for a list of their top 20 clients. I then research what social networks those clients use.

Because if you're audience isn't on Twitter, why use it?

SMOC members are often surprised at their results. I recently did an in-depth consultation for a golf operations management consultancy, and they were convinced they needed to be on Facebook.

But very few of their clients were there, so it didn't make sense for them. Instead, I found the majority of their audience was on Twitter and LinkedIn, and I suggested they focus their primary efforts there.

Here's a spreadsheet I developed listing their largest clients and where they had accounts on major social media networks:

I'm about to share with you how you can do the same research in about 5 minutes. Select the WHERE IS YOUR INDUSTRY tab above to get the step-by-step tutorial.

Go Do It

Now it's your turn:

  1. Go to Google and perform the search:

    site:facebook.com "my industry name"

    — substituting the social network you want to search for and the search term. You can search for an entire industry, a specific client, vendor, or colleague. This is a super-quick way to figure out what social network your target audience is using. I recommend doing this search for every major social network: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and Slideshare.
  2. Download this spreadsheet and import it into Excel or Google Docs Spreadsheets.
  3. Enter your top 20 clients. Search for them using the tactic in step #1 or by logging into the social network and searching for them there.  Enter the results in the spreadsheet.
  4. Make a list of the top 25 - 50 people who can help you achieve those business goals you identified in Lesson 2. This is your Strategic Business Network.  Do searches for them and see what social networks they're most active on.
  5. Evaluate where your target audience is in the greatest numbers and focus your efforts on that social network first. I recommend you tackle one social network at a time, and once you've mastered building your presence and marketing there, only then add another social network.

Whew!  This was a BIG lesson, and you should be proud of completing it! You've identified which social networks you need to concentrate your efforts on. This focus will help you laser-target your tactics and get better results.

Recommended Resources



About the Author

Founder of Socialmediaonlineclasses.com, Benjamin Franklin award-winner for independent publishing, award winning author of eight books, wife, mom, quilter and watercolor artist.

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(10) comments

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Andrew Grigoleit February 7, 2016

Impressive! ! A great time saving strategy.

tom January 27, 2018

I don’t understand really how this works. By performing the search as you state it, you are looking for your competitors or others in your field. How are those your customers??

“The results showed that yes, a few of his target clients were using Facebook, but their fan count was so low they were not active in Facebook. You can see a Facebook business page’s fan count directly in any major search engine (except Google), as shown below”

How are his target clients,companies similar to his?? by the mention of the fan count I would think the fans were the actual possible clients… This post is very confusing and even though I tried the searches, it yielded no usable results 🙁

    Maria Peagler January 27, 2018

    Hi Tom – you ask a great question! By doing this search, you’re expediting your research. Yes, you can search for your individual clients on a social network, which would be time-consuming.

    Instead, by searching for competitors or brands similar to yours, you can see if they’re having success on a social network. If yes, that means you’re likely to have success as well.

    If no, that means it’s going to be more of a challenge.

    The fan count is the potential client base.

    Sorry to hear you did the exercise and it wasn’t what you hoped for: some industries are more challenging than others.

    Tell me more about your brand and what niche you’re in, and I can be more helpful!

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