In all communications you need to have an idea of your target audience, and social media makes no difference. If you don't know who is interested in hearing your message or if you try to reach everyone, then you may end up reaching no one. Thus, before you start communicating your message and sharing those success stories, spend a moment on mapping out your audience: WHO you imagine to be behind the screen wanting to know more about your work?

When you have found your audience, it becomes much easier to communicate as you can customise your content to suit your target group's needs. You cannot please everyone, but by keeping your audience in mind it helps you to choose the right topic, words, hashtags, and tone. And, as your message is customised to a certain group, it has better chances to reach the people you want. In addition, by communicating regularly, your audience knows to anticipate your messages and values them by commenting, liking or sharing.

The more specific you can get with your target audince, the better. You might want to target for example:

  • EUSBSR stakeholders - Perhaps you want to let your country's National Coordinator or a fellow Policy Area / Horizontal Action Coordinator know about your publication or event? Check who have social media profiles (both organisation and personal accounts!) and include them directly into your messages by tagging, for example. They will most likely to act as multipliers to your messages as well.
  • Policy makers and authorities - You might want to check if the policy makers of a certain field are active on Twitter for example - after that it is easy to tag them into your posts and let them know what value you could bring to them. 
  • Civil society and citizens - Wíth this target group group you cannot get too specific! Are you targeting people in a certain city or country? What are they interested in and - more importantly - how could you interest them with your contents?



Knowing who is behind the screen is a good start but when you communicate on social media it is also important to know WHEN your audience is the most active. Your content may be excellent and well targeted, but if you share it in the afternoon and your target group is active mostly in the morning, then your communication is not very effective.

On social media it is possible to track the activity of your followers and this gives you valuable information when to post. Knowing when your message has the best audience helps you to plan ahead of your communications and, for example, to schedule posts. By planning and scheduling, you are able to manage social media and to be active at the same time as your audience, even if in reality you didn't have time to use much social media. 


TIP: When are the EUSBSR followers active on Twitter?

According to the chart below, the EUSBSR followers on Twitter are the most active in the morning before noon, the peak being at 10 am (CET). Thus, it seems that the EUSBSR followers use Twitter mostly during the office hours, and are not very active in the evening or very early in the morning. Based on this information, it would be optimal to tweet from the EUSBSR account between 9-11 am (CET), and in the afternoon, whereas lunch time might not work as well.



Answer to this question helps you to choose the right social media channels for your communications. Once again, your content and timing could be well thought but it is possible that the distribution channel is not the one WHERE you audience actually is. If your target audience consists of Twitter users then a natural channel for your communications is Twitter, too. In the case of the EUSBSR, the most active social media channel is Twitter and most have chosen that as the one channel to be used. Choosing Twitter might thus be a good idea as there is already a nice EUSBSR community!

Of course, if you have time to manage several social media channels, you can have slightly different target groups on each channel depending on the content. For example, on Instagram you can focus on those who appreciate visual information whereas on Facebook you can share the same message in a different form. But, remember to keep your communications consistent (sharing the same message) on each channel, even if the way you share your message might differ.