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Understanding Your Audience: Three Ways to Improve Engagement

Facebook is a beast. Small business owners who attempt to tackle the beast have the best intentions in mind, but the beast inevitably wins and the small business owner gets lazy. If this sounds familiar, we’ve got your cure to improving Facebook engagement by truly understanding your audience. You might think you know who your Fans are, but your engagement numbers are telling a different story. Let me walk you though a few simple tasks that we’ve learned at Linwright Design to get you back in the game.

#1 – Attract the Right Fans

increase engagementWith targeted FB Advertising through Facebook Power Editor, as well as Facebook integration onto your website and marketing materials, you can place your Facebook Page in front of those who are already interested in your brand. These are the Fans you want to Like your page. Consumers and potential consumers who have landed on your website or picked up one of your business cards are showing interest in your brand and will engage at a higher level with your page.

Facebook recently added an Invite Friends feature under the Build Audience tab on the Admin Panel. This new feature allows you to easily share your Facebook Page with your business contacts and email marketing lists. By importing your MailChimp lists, you can pull in Fans who have already double-opted-in to your email marketing campaigns, making them the perfect demographic to engage with your brand on Facebook.

 #2 – Review Your Insights

Head over to your Admin Panel and take a look at the Overview of your Facebook Insights. According to EdgeRank Checker, the average Virality Rate for Facebook pages was 1.86% as of March 4, 2013.  Facebook suggest to strive for one to two percent Virality Rate for your posts. How does your Virality Rate compare?

Take a look at those specific posts that show a higher than average Virality Rate, and do some digging. What topics seem to spark an interest in your Fans? What time of day are these posts receiving the highest engagement? What days of the week? Using tools such as EdgeRank Checker and Simply Measured can help you determine which of your Facebook posts are receiving high engagement. 

#3 – What Interests Your Audience?

If you’ve completed step number two, you’ll have a pretty good understanding of what brand-related topics your Fans respond to, and you can post according to those findings. But, if you want to dig a bit deeper into what interests your Fans have, try Facebook’s new Graph Search. With this tool, you can take a look at the all-around demographics of your Fans, giving you greater insight into a broader range of posts that will increase engagement.

For example, if we were to research the interests of Starbucks Fans on Facebook, we’d type “Fans of Starbucks” into the Graph Search bar. The results give you thousands (Stabucks has nearly 35,000,000 Facebook Fans) of profiles – a little overwhelming. But if you look to the top-right you’ll notice a pull-down menu. Drop this down and you’ll notice a variety of option to refine your search.

You can refine the search not only by gender, city and employer, but by movies they’ve Liked, Activities they enjoy, even other Pages they’ve Liked. This opens up a whole new array of possibilities to understand additional details of your Page’s demographics.

Interestingly, thousands of Stabucks Fans are also Fans of ‘Cheese.’ What interests and activities can you pull from your very own audience to increase engaging posts with?

Many small business owners, even Facebook marketers, often forget how important it is to fully understand their audience and Fans. By appreciating the interests of your audience, you can share your brand message while at the same time increase overall engagement.

(image: attract fans / shutterstock)

Join The Conversation

  • kandice's picture
    May 9 Posted 3 years ago kandice

    interesting points. 

  • May 9 Posted 3 years ago ndlicht

    Hi, Did you miss my points?

    I use social media but its a carefully selected "where my target audience hangs out online" social media. Its a direct connect with probable prospects.

    I can show stats that show facebook to be a very poor place for a B2B services, product or issues solutions type company to acquire paying customers. So who's study do we believe? 

    I have found a way that works for myself and my clients that is not hit or miss nor is it a broadshot shotgun approach. That's all I've outlined in my comment.

    I fully understand that there is more than one way to be on and leverage "social media" but I have chosen a very focused presence. I have  selected media-discussion forums, groups that is not obvious nor widely known because its where my many different target audiences interest groups created a way online to discuss their very unique issues.

    Neil Licht. 

  • May 4 Posted 3 years ago ndlicht

    If you are B2B, why even use facebook? When's the last time you went searching for a product/service on facebook? 

    Here's a more effective way to find the "right" social media and then become the "go to guru" expert on them. That actually gets you customers without facing any competition.

    APRIL 29, 2013

    Work Social Media, Get More Business 

    The web has created a serious challenge to our ability to control the process of acquiring paying customers. Precisely when a need arises, a customer's natural instincts tell it to search the web for solutions, narrow down who to call, make that call and decide who to buy from.

    Essentially, that means our target prospects, rather than us, are in the driver's seat.

    Given that, how do you reach prospects before they search so that they buy from you? How do you stay in front of prospects 24/7 so that, at precisely the time they have a need, the money available to buy and the authority to spend it, they call you and not your competition?

    The answer lies in knowing how to find and establish the respected "go to guru expert" reputation where your natural prospect audiences "hang out" online to "talk shop."

    I use the following with my clients to help them proactively accomplish that and acquire paying customers without competition:

    First, use the web to find and understand your specific target audience, what it cares about, and the actual selling messages you need to build to connect with the audience online and generate sales. To do that, ask yourself these questions:

    • Where is my target audience? Who are they? Where do they "hang out" online?

    • What do they care about? How and where do they source?

    • Where do they go for industry updates and information and how can I get featured there?

    • How can I think from the point of view of my target audiences so I can relate and connect?

    • What do I specifically "say" that can instantly capture the targeted audiences so they will want to talk?

    • How do I differentiate myself from the pack?

    • How does my target audience evaluate issues and solutions?

    • How can I define my key audiences and position myself to be of service to each audience so that they want what I have to offer?

    • How do I become a respected expert contributor where they "hang out?"

    The answers will reveal where target audiences are, where the "influencers" are, where they go to commiserate and discuss their issues online. It's where you need be active in the identified social media and blogs to create a "go to" reputation so that you get the call to solve the issue or provide the product.

    Next, using what you found, apply two key sales axioms to tap into what you learned, using and leveraging each identified path, then messaging your prospects individually to help position you as the "go to" source:

    * Axiom #1: People do things for their reasons, not yours.

    * Axiom #2: Imagine the prospect has a sign on his forehead that reads "So what?"

    These principles guide the selling process, whether in social media, on your web page, your blog or in person. If you remember these two axioms, your sales approach and what you say in them, you'll be able to connect with issues and concerns that prospects have instead of focusing on product pitches that link or position what you "offer" as a way to solve those issues. This also provides you with a proactive strategy to help you, and not your competition, land the all-important, interested prospect.


    Neil Licht, of Marlborough, is CEO and managing director of Here We Are, which offers business and marketing consulting. Contact him at

    Please join in the discussion about this and other sales tips that can work in the web based world and no, its not SEO. More tips and ideas are at:  and

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