How to Use Instagram to Research Your Ideal Audience or Buyer




How to Use Instagram to Research Your Ideal Audience/Blog Reader/Buyer | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:  instagram, buyer persona, researching your audience


Imagine this:  You're standing in the middle of Central Park with a megaphone, "Read my blog!  Go to www.myblogrocks.com!  Check it out!  Buy my service!"  That's basically what you're doing when you don't know your audience.  In marketing, we create buyer personas to understand the ins and outs of our customers.  I know everything from their job responsibilities to their favorite hobbies all the way to their go-to T.V. show and beer.  I know it all.  Why do I know it all?  Because how else will I know how to reach them?  When I say reach, I mean reach on a deeper level.  Not only do I need to write blog posts, articles, and case studies that matter to their pain point, but I also need my buyer to feel like my brand is a friend to them - and, I actually want that to be true.

Having buyer personas helps with multiple things.  It will help you determine your tone, message, and social media platforms to use.  You need to know their "pain points" (marketing lingo for problems they need solved) in order to write posts and offer services that appeal to them.  You need to know what social media platforms they like best, so you know where to concentrate.  I'm going to write more posts on getting to know your audience in the coming weeks.  There are a lot of ways to get to know your audience.  Today, I'm going to delve into how to use Instagram to get to know your audience better.


1)  Determine Your Audience - If you don't know who your audience is, you can use Instagram to (partly) figure it out.  One:  If you don't have an audience (followers) yet, look at your competitors.  Who is following them?  Pick ten of their followers at random and scroll through their pictures.  What do they like to do?  Do they have kids?  Are they outdoorsy or like to hit up wine bars?  Two:  Follow them.  You can click on the little talk bubble and then on the "Following" tab.  You can see what pictures they are liking.  This will give you an idea of the kind of pictures they would like from you.  Do they use specific hashtags?  Does your competitor?

How to Use Instagram to Research Your Ideal Audience/Blog Reader/Buyer | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:  instagram, buyer persona, researching your audience

How to Use Instagram to Research Your Ideal Audience/Blog Reader/Buyer | Sarah Smirks | Keywords:  instagram, buyer persona, researching your audience




2)  Search Your Audience's Common Hashtags - This will help you find more people that are in your audience.  Do you see a common theme?  Do they prefer bright colored photos?  Minimal?  Take notes of the most liked photos using these hashtags.  Do they have a common theme?  Let that common theme influence your Instagram brand, so your Instagram aesthetic appeals to your ideal reader or buyer.

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3)  Look at What Other Brands in Your Field Are Doing - How do your successful competitors use Instagram?  Do they have an Insta-shop?  Do they encourage their audience to go to their website?  Do they post product photos?  Staged photos?  Styled photos?  Behind the scenes photos?  Personal photos?  Graphics?  Take note of which types of photos have the best engagement.  When determining your brand's Instagram aesthetic, choose a mix of the most popular types of photos.  You also want to look at what hashtags they are using.  If they have a solid following, they know what they're doing and have done their research on hashtags, so aim to use the same ones.  You also should search their hashtags to find more people to follow.  While I don't advocate a follow for follow, I do think it's important to follow your audience.  You can get to know them better and have a more in-depth knowledge of their inner workings.  Plus, it creates a more reciprocal relationship - ammiright?

Knowing your audience inside and out is SOOOOO necessary.  Without that knowledge, how will you know how to talk to them?  By knowing their interests, age range, gender, and more, you are able to customize your message to meet THEIR needs.  Without your customer or reader, there is no business.  They are number one.  

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