How targeting everyone is the same as targeting no one

Written by Abigail Henderson


targeting everyone

When it comes to targeting on social media, it can be easy to think that the more people you can target the better. In an ideal world, we want everyone to be interested in our product or service, but in reality, that is just not the case.

A product or service will be of the most interest to a specific group of people and these are the people you want to target. There is no point targeting a steakhouse to vegan customers, you just won’t get the desired results. A study showed that 54% of those who browse online socially research products on social media before they buy, so social media targeting is a great way to get your product, service or brand out there to the right people.

Back to basics

Firstly, it is important to understand what targeting is and how it works. Social media targeting is described as the ability to display adverts and posts to specific audiences chosen by the advertiser.

The same principles can be applied to magazine advertising. The magazine in which you choose to advertise is carefully chosen as it is a publication that your target market reads; their readers have interests and views in line with your brand.

The best place to start is to identify your target customer, ask questions including:

  • Which social media platform do they use?
  • Why are they interested in your brand/product/service?
  • What problem can your business solve for them?
  • Where are they based?

Once you know who you’re targeting, the process should become much clearer and you can tailor your campaign to suit your ideal customer. Having a tailored, targeted approach can yield fantastic results. Social media advert impressions are growing by 20% each year, and with 52% of all online brand discoveries happening in social media feeds so you don’t want to miss out!

Many believe that in casting a wide net, you are then guaranteed to get a bite – which can happen, but being more detailed and specific with your targeting can mean you get a much better pick-up rate.

Targeting everyone v the X factor

So, what would you base your targeting around? There are many factors to consider that can impact your targeting. Whether it be gender, job role, or education level, we’ve listed some factors to consider below:

Location

This would be used if, for example, you were promoting a school or restaurant. People who are based miles away might like the service on offer but would be less likely to act as it may not be accessible to them. Targeting those more local to you would be more beneficial.

Age

Age is important to consider when targeting. For example, if you’re promoting a university freshers’ event, those over the age of 50 most likely won’t be interested and will just keep scrolling.

Interests

Many platforms now give users the option to ‘like’ certain interests or other pages and targeting those with similar interests to your ideal customer can be a great way to see results! If there is a group of people in London that are interested in dogs, vets and other puppy related content, there is a good chance that they could be the perfect customer for a new London-based dog groomer.


We don’t always have the necessary insight at the start of a campaign, especially during a pandemic! It can take research, trialling messaging and trying new things to find the perfect target audience. Don’t forget, if a targeted advertising campaign isn’t yielding the desired results, it can be quickly edited and updated to help improve it. There is a lot of trial and error, and that’s okay.

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