Social media marketing can be a huge boon to your bottom line, but only if you know how to build the right audience. You can have thousands of likes and follows, but they’ll do you no good if you’re not targeting consumers who are interested in and likely to purchase your products.

In short, memes might get exponential social engagement, but untargeted content just builds an audience in the void. Here are five tips for capturing the attention of and building social media relationships with the right audience.

1. Know Which Social Media Platforms to Target

First, you need to be on the right platform for your products and your audience. If you’re marketing retirement products to Baby Boomers, Snapchat isn’t likely to have you hitting it out of the ballpark. Older social users are more likely to be on Facebook or perhaps Pinterest.

Before you launch social media content or advertising campaigns, research the demographics for potential platforms to ensure they’re in line with your target audience. In general, younger generations tend to flock toward Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube, and you might find Gen X on Facebook or Twitter. However, people of all ages in specific niches might collaborate on certain platforms, so it’s important to do your own research and tests to find out where your audience is.

2. Leverage Social Ads to Boost Your Brand

Once you know where your audience is digitally, leverage social media ads to get your brand in front of them. Almost all the social platforms provide ad structures, and many offer forms of PPC or pay-per-impression advertising that lets you target specific users and keep marketing costs down.

Begin by targeting a general set of users that match your customer or marketing profiles, but run tests on ad campaigns to discover which ones perform best. That helps you narrow down your audience and understand what type of content works best for your brand.

3. Post Content That Engages Your Target Audience

Paid engagement helps you boost brand awareness, but organic content lets you position yourself as a trustworthy expert or partner customers will want to collaborate with. This is especially essential if your target audience is younger because both Millennials and Gen Zers want authenticity from brands.

Consistently posting content that truly engages your target audience helps the right people find you and increases the chance that individuals within your audience will share your brand with others.

4. Invite Users to Collaborate

Building an audience on social media is often a two-sided equation, and you can capture large swaths of a target group by inviting individuals to collaborate with you. This can be as simple as posting questions and polls and inviting your audience to respond — when they do, their friends see your content too and the fact that someone they know is engaging with your brand.

Other options for collaborative content include contests; you might ask Instagram users to take photos featuring your product and tag them with a specific hashtag, for example. You’ll choose winners to receive free products; meanwhile, an entire army of Instagram users creates free advertising that targets like-minded people in their feeds, and that can bring new audience members to your profile.

5. Measure, Analyze, and Improve Your Approach to Social Media Marketing

No matter what you do the find the right social media audience, you can’t assume that what works today is going to work forever. Social media is extremely fickle and trends change quickly, which means brands have to be on the ball when it comes to measuring, analyzing and making changes. Run constant marketing tests to ensure ads and content are performing, and don’t be afraid to make minor tweaks or even major changes to ensure you’re resonating with the right audience.

While impressions and engagement are important numbers, remember that click through, conversions and sales are the final measurements of marketing campaigns. If your social media activity isn’t driving those numbers, it’s time to change the message or find a new audience.

Not sure where to start or how to triage a potentially broken social media marketing campaign? The experts at Lead to Conversion can help. Contact us today to find out about our social media marketing services and how we can help you find the right audience and drive revenue via social.