In fairness most people when they first start in business do have a very good general idea of who their audience might be, but it does take time to gain a genuine understanding of who they really are. In my own business for instance I have changed tangent, it made sense too. Three years ago I made the change to specify my area of expertise to just social media, as previously I was targeting a more mixed approach of "traditional" media as well as social. A very common question and at times it can have however a very convoluted answer!
We all have a fair idea of who our audience would be, especially if we have been running our businesses for a few months/years. However, not absolutely everyone of your audience buys from you. That could be because they are too far away, already have a relationship with someone who does what you do or they could simply be some one in your network or a friend or family member that supports your business with no intention of purchasing.Now we've got all the negatives out the way, let me explain what we do about it. The remaining people that like your page or visit your website may one day purchase from you. That is why having an email address or doing Facebook retargeting is so important.
The Facebook Pixel is well explained by Hootsuite here. I realise there are the nay-sayers of Facebook who still think they have massive privacy issues. Unfortunately that's more down to what we have added to our own profile than anything else. Many people "check in" to the movies and say they have watched a film, now Facebook know what genre and franchise you like. Maybe you have checked in to a petting farm, now they know you have kids or regularly access to some. It's little things like this that helps Facebook generate an informed database of you and builds up a profile that would be usable to some one buying Facebook ads and targeting someone with your attributes and interests.Please read the above link to learn more, an excellent article from Hootsuite.
No way, not at all! I was asked this a couple of times over the last few weeks. I would suspect this is because of GDPR. Email is still a fab way to reach a loyal audience who already have some sort of relationship with you. They want to stay in your orbit for some reason. Maybe because you divulge useful tidbits of information or offer special offers and discounts? What ever the reason as long as you aren't hounding your email list and providing them value, they will stay. GDPR came about because people were misusing these lists.
I tend to see peoples eyes glaze over when I mention this. It really is a fairly big monster though so I do understand why. The other thing is it seems people find it relatively hard to open online as well. I can only recommend the FREE App for it for your phone! It really is very simple to log in and navigate through if this is what is putting you off. However, if you want to add "goals" or create processes to measure you might find this a little more manageable on your laptop or desktop.Using Google Analytics properly means you can access how people come to your website (direct links or social media), how long they stay and whereabouts they leave your website (what page they arrive and leave). You can actually see people moving from page to page in realtime as well. There are plenty of Youtube videos and articles on how to use and navigate it so please do give it a "Google".
Every platform will have somewhere you can look at the insights. Facebook has it available to all Admins and Editors in the top bar on the left hand side when you go into the page you manage. Twitter has analytics in the drop down menu you get when you click on your profile picture in the top right hand side. Instagram has analytics in either each picture or short video that you put into your "story" or an overall insights in your instagram posts in the three lines in the top left hand corner of your phone app (burger menu) that you push and select "insights". Each social media platform will give you an outline of age, gender, location and a few more bits and pieces.
So there's a brief outline of how to build up a realistic idea of who your current audience is. Once you have found out who they are, create avatars/customer profiles and start creating content for them. The more your audience positively react to your content, the greater reach you have. Why not check your insights now on the various platforms and save it to an excel sheet and then check again in a months time and see if there are posts, videos or blogs that are creating more of a stir! You might be surprised!