Build Personas and Target With Social Media Analytics

"image of two marketers looking at a laptop with social media analytics and talking to each each other"

Good marketing is not only about reaching audiences— it’s about reaching the right audience at the right time. The key? Building audience personas with social media analytics tools. Alongside Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook, we’re adding Snapchat and Pinterest to the mix.

As part of your marketing strategy, you can gather detailed audience information through research, online surveys, phone interviews, focus groups and auditing social analytics. All these approaches give behavioral insights, but analyzing data from different touch points is time-consuming. It also doesn’t reflect the bigger picture.

Social media is a data collector that provides marketers with insights about how users interact and progress down the purchasing funnel. Unlike other data collection methods, you can glean granular information on a user by tapping into an individual’s finite interests. From there, you can create valuable audience segments, target, and watch your conversions multiply. Read some insight from our media traders on these platforms:


The Audience Insights tool helps you learn more about your audience based on the self-reported first-party information. It is an analytics platform that informs you about the kind of traffic your page is attracting, who has clicked on your Facebook ads (gender, age, location and language), how users are interacting (likes, comments or clicks) with your posts, as well as who has been served your ads or posts.

From there, you can create lookalike audiences off of client customer data, student enrollment, people who like your client’s page, etc. Retarget people who have searched specific products, or product pages, with dynamic ads. Then, broaden the audience base on people who might also like the same product.

As part of your granular targeting strategy, include improving “estimated action rate” by ensuring ads directly relate to our target audience, and that they perform your desired actions or client’s business goals. For an efficient and effective Facebook targeting strategy,  facilitate machine learning tools to analyze every data touchpoint. For example, instead of manually figuring out the device, age, geographic location, of your customers, you can outsource that to a marketing automation tool (you can research the best one to do this). This builds time efficiency for your team to concentrate on increasing our ad quality and relevance, which is crucial to brand engagement.


LinkedIn has 467 million users as of this year, 73 million of whom are senior level influencers, and 8.2 million of whom are C-level executives— and nearly 40% of them check LinkedIn each day. Since this platform has a more professional audience, it provides a more precise data on “professional” traits (i.e. company, work experience, education level). LinkedIn drives more business decisions than any other social platform. In fact, 49% of key decision makers leverage their LinkedIn for business decisions.

With your LinkedIn page, you can pull key statistics on your audience network: their job, career level, company, industry, region, skills etc. On top of this, LinkedIn offers a plethora of ways to connect your other first-party data sources: contact list, website, other social media platforms, in order to cross-reference it with data from your LinkedIn page. From there, you can create an audience segment and perform granular targeting. You can also incorporate ‘audience expansion’ which is another tool that allows you to target lookalike audiences.


Twitter Analytics offers information and data on how tweets are performing, showcasing and tracking engagement (i.e. impressions, retweets, favorites, and replies). The Twitter Analytics dashboard under the ‘Followers’ tab houses a detailed breakdown of your followers. Like Facebook’s Audience Insights, Twitter Analytics conveys gender, language, and geolocation. Twitter contextually identifies the primary interests of your audience and highlights the intersection of interests between your followers and your brand.

Similar to Google Analytics, Twitter exposes device categories, which can help your brand determine the importance of a mobile-friendly website (especially for e-commerce brands). From there, Twitter for Business can help you target and retarget. With the tailored audiences tool, you can construct specific audiences from existing customers or with high influencers twitter handles. Twitter for Business can also leverage your other first-party data sources such as your website using their website tag. You can promote certain ads and target those who recently visited your website on twitter and perform conversion tracking on any device.  


With Snapchat, data is collected on demographics, location, device type, and lifestyle categories. The Lifestyle categories within the app are developed by who views certain “discovery” snap stories. For example, you can be targeted with a cosmetic ad if you frequently check a beauty/lifestyle snap story and you’re a millennial female living in Los Angeles. There are three main ways that data can be used to target audiences: audience match, lookalike and engagement audiences. Through Snapchat’s ad manager, email addresses can be matched to user accounts. This match list can then be used to target users who are similar to this list, but not on the list. If a Snapchat user previously interacted with a brand, they can get retargeted with a sponsored filter or an integration that redirects them to a landing page, app install, or longer ad.

Along with the first-party data collected within the app, Snapchat has partnerships with third-party vendors that collect information on functions users perform. These vendors include:

Oracle’s Datalogix

  • Target advanced demographics such as household income, education, language and purchase history


  • Movie and TV viewership

Place IQ

  • Location type, or branded location

Though Snapchat is facing stiff competition from photo sharing apps like Instagram, they’re expanding their ad platform. This includes being able to reach users based on behavior or actions they take on Snapchat. Despite their 2017 Q3 performance plateau-ing, Snapchat is not a social media site to skip out in terms of its data harvesting and advertising capabilities.


Pinterest Analytics is a newer advertising and analytics platform. With this platform, you set your website with Pinterest and the analytics dashboard shows you what pins your audience love most and how much traffic it brings your site. You can get insight about the users who like your business and what their interests are. From there, you can refine a Pinterest strategy by promoting certain pins that gain more engagement. Pinterest’s ad platform allows for campaign management and targeting based on location, gender, devices, languages, and terms. After tracking conversions, you can create an audience list based this conversion data and retarget.

Data in each respective social account shouldn’t exist in silos, analyze the data in each account to see how they reinforce each other, and how they differ. What does your target audience look like on LinkedIn vs. Twitter? Should they be approached differently or similarly? Tools like Google Analytics should already be implemented in your tracking and auditing strategy, but it also offers a plethora of information that explains the route users took before they landed on your social media pages. It also can extrapolate user behavior based on their engagement with your social pages. Don’t be bogged down by cut-throat strategies for each respective channel— see how you can leverage information from one channel for another.


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Also published on Medium.