If you haven't already, you need to create a persona that reflects your ideal customer. You will want to be specific but not too narrow; this way it is easier to find people who are similar to your persona. You may have multiple ideal customers and that's great! Name each persona so you can easily identify which is which. For example, this is Higher Ed Harry.
Know Your Audience Size
To determine the size of your audience, you can use Facebook Ads Manager. You don't want the audience to be too small or too large. If this is the case you will need to tweak your offering or narrow your targeting. If you were targeting first time homebuyers in Mississippi, there is a potential reach of 58,000 people.
Survey Your Customers
As mentioned earlier, you need to know where your customers spend their time online. Survey your customers and ask them questions such as:
What social media sites do you use regularly?
What websites do you go to for information on ___________? (something relevant to your business)
Do you read blogs? If yes, which ones?
What people or brands do you follow on the internet?
There are tools you can use to create surveys and collect answers online, such as Google Forms. This tool can graphically display users answers.
Research Online Behavior
The Pew Research Center is a great resource to access because they breakdown where people spend their time online. There are also numerous articles online that provide information on each social platform. You can see how each platform ranks among various demographics such as age, gender and country. It's also helpful to know how freqeuntly people use each platform.
Find Your Customer & Connect
After your research and survey, put what you learned to use. On almost all social networks you can upload your email database to find your customers on said network.
Facebook Ads Manager is a great tool to use to target your ideal customer. Using information received from your survey you can target your ads to the right people. You can upload your email list into Ads Manager and create a Custom Audience. To reach more people, create a Lookalike Audience and apply any necessary filters.
With Twitter ads, you can't get as specific with the targeting but you can still find people based on location, gender, keywords and interests. You can even target users based on their TV habits. Some objectives you can choose from are gaining more followers or sending people to your website. You can also engage them with other actions. Twitter's advanced search is also a great tool for finding your audience.
The focus on Linkedin is more one-on-one connections. You have the ability to search for people using a relevant term that would be in their profile. Once you find candidates you are looking for you have the choice to connect with them or send an InMail.
While blogging is good for SEO and use on social media, you can also find more of your ideal customers through guest blogging. This gives you immediate access to an already existing audience. Both you and the blog owner benefit.
To find blogs looking for guest writers, Google your keyword followed by guest blog. To get the most out of your guest blog, link it back to your website or try to drive people there for more content related to the post.
Let us know if you have other ways of locating customers on social media!