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Customer acquisition through social media | Audiense Guide

Analysing your social community doesn’t just produce interesting metrics. It reveals an instant, ready-made list of potential target customers, and provides insights about how to engage them.

The question is what are you trying to do with social media? Actually, scrap that: what are you trying to do in general?

It’s a fair bet that the problems you’re trying to overcome daily include some or all of the following:

  • Finding and acquiring new customers that you have not identified yet, or that are unaware of you.
  • Minimising your customer acquisition costs by targeting only relevant people for paid campaigns (whether or not they consciously know they’re relevant).
  • Understanding the different segments of your whole audience (whether or not the individuals know you yet, or vice versa) will allow for tailored strategies to acquire them as customers

On the right track? OK, let’s return to the domain in question: social.

Before you set off you need to know what your starting point is. You need to pinpoint a few key measures that will inform you of the size of the task ahead and how well you will perform. There are three key measures to consider that you may not even know how to address – because you have no means of knowing them:

Your social market share

The number of unique followers across all your Twitter accounts (many businesses run multiple accounts), as a percentage of the unique followers (or engagers) across your and your competitors’ Twitter accounts. It’s our experience that the number you have in mind for this is less than the real number. So it’s a number you want to grow.

The actual size of your social community

The total size of your social community is not the same as the number of followers you have: it is the number of followers you have plus the number of people that have somehow engaged with you over a [relevant] period of time (through links, hashtags or sharing). This number is higher than the number of your basic followers and is another one that you want to know.

Follower engagement

How many of your hard-earned followers have engaged with you over that relevant period of time recently? This is another number that won’t be as high as you want but is key to grow.

These numbers all comprise of vital baseline metrics which indicate substantial headroom for success.

Twitter demonstrates why it is essential to use the right solutions (yes, ours) not only to identify how many people remain unengaged with you - see your social market share, above – but exactly who they are. This enables you to bring to bear additional analysis (yes, still ours) to segment those unengaged people – those who should, based on what you know about them, be your customers.

Let’s get back to addressing the three problems we identified earlier, and see whether we’re helping yet:

Finding and acquiring new customers that you have not identified or that are unaware of you

Uncovering this metric implies you have identified a typically large number of potential customers that are either your followers or a competitor's. Equally typically, unless your social market share exceeds 50% (congratulations, you are likely working for a business in the enviable position of being a virtual monopoly!) you have just doubled up on the number of individuals ripe for targeting.

Minimising your customer acquisition costs by targeting only relevant people for paid campaigns

No-one likes wasting advertising budget. Identifying individuals that are realistic target customers for your business (not just a group based on vaguely defined topic data, such as you might find on other social networks) means that all your Twitter Marketing tactics can be directed at legitimate, realistic targets, in turn, minimising costs.

Understanding the different segments of your whole audience in effort to devise tailored strategies to acquire them as customers

This is strongly related to the previous problem, of course: a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing campaigns is going to be less efficient than strategies and messaging designed to appeal to the different personalities, affinities, needs or motivations of the different segments that comprise your social target market.

There’s no reason to limit the benefits of your segmentation to one channel, Twitter, either. Twitter users are only a sample of your customer base, sure – but with thousands of followers, it’s as close to a representative sample as you’re going to get. Take what you learn from your audience analysis and target the same segments through the channels they’re using.

And, yes: you can also determine what those channels are through our platform.

A practical example... The Drum

How to determine your social market share

First, measure the size of your follower community.
The Drum is a well-known publication and, given their different activities and editorial lines, they have multiple twitter accounts.

  • Total number of followers across all accounts: 214k, although the number of unique followers is 190k.
  • 7% of them follow more than one Drum account, which speaks to the fact that each account serves a different purpose.

Second, build a market benchmark.
In the case of the The Drum, we chose other brands like Adweek and Brand Republic.

  • Total number of followers in the market: 3.3 million, although the number of unique followers is 1.7 million.
  • 38% of them follow more than one brand in the market, which is consistent with the type of user trying to get as much industry content as possible.

Audiense - Twitter Marketing - Example - The Drum - Social Market Share

Looking at the actual size of your social community and follower engagement

In order to measure the size of the engaged audience of The Drum, we monitored the interactions (mentions, retweets) with Drum accounts, and shares of its website content, over the period of one year.

During the 12 months period, there were 345k interactions from 96k unique users.

When compared against the followers of The Drum, we found that the actual size of the The Drum community is 262.7k users:

  • Of the 96k users that interacted with The Drum, 25.2% of that engaged community also follows at least one of The Drum accounts, that is, one in four people talking to The Drum is a follower.
  • On the flipside, only 12.7% of the 190k unique followers interacted with The Drum over the last 12 months.


Audiense - Twitter Marketing - Example - The Drum - Engaged Community Engaged community Note: this is what you would be able to see in your Social Listening tool
Audiense - Twitter Marketing - Example - The Drum - Total Community
Total community
The total community (262,662) represents the unique Twitter users between people that follow and have mentioned The Drum in a tweet.


Our findings on The Drum are just an example of how to transform social consumer data into actionable audience intelligence allowing you to overcome commonplace issues with social. With providing solutions as our focus here at Audiense we combine the richest social data sources with world-leading cognitive and machine learning, to deliver new ways to analyse and interpret data and uncover audience insights, right down to a granular level. In short: We can help you conquer social!

How you ask?

Once you have identified NEW potential customers you are in the perfect position to tackle problems 2 and 3 through the use of Audiense Insights. Why not uncover and understand a variety of segments throughout your community! Leverage powerful actionable intelligence to understand and gain insights across demographics, behaviours, personalities, affinities, geography, content, brands and so much more.

Armed with all the insights you need, let us help you take it one step further providing you with detailed targeting recommendations on how to engage with the audiences that matter most and through what digital channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc.)

Uncover new strategic segments for your brand - Contact Us