online audience


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After recently watching a Hootsuite webinar on using social listening tools to inform your social strategy, we were reminded of the fact that as our audience evolves, the way we engage with them and get to know them needs to evolve as well.


We need to make sure that we’re using the right tools to better understand them so that we can become better at delivering content to them that entertains, informs and delights them.


But, before we get to understanding them better, let’s look at the ways that they have started to change.


how the online audience is changing

Image courtesy of Graydon Driver


Make More In-The-Moment Content

According to Hootsuite, an estimated 500 million people use stories every day and Facebook’s estimates are sitting at more than 150 million story views per day! Another interesting fact is that people spend approximately x3 times longer watching a Facebook Live video than they do watching pre-planned videos.

Social content consumers are engaging better with in-the-moment content, such as live videos and stories. This is because it’s more spontaneous and not overly thought out, making this sort of content come across as more genuine. Not to say that well thought out content doesn’t have its place. But online audiences are, above all else, seeking out sincerity amongst a sea of ‘salesy’, soulless and rehashed content.

So, it’s clearly a good idea to utilise stories and live videos to stay top of mind and at the top of each feed, and also to authentically connect with your audience!


Keep It Regular

Have you been keeping an eye on your profile visits? If you’ve started posting regular content, at the same time every day, you may have noticed a sharp increase in profile traffic.


As people, we a programmed to like consistency, it helps us make decisions more easily and build trust. The more consistent someone is in their behaviour, the more we trust them. And so the same goes with your brand. Consistent content has become even more important these days, considering how saturated social feeds are. People are filtering out brands they trust from the untrustworthy sources out there, based on this simple factor.


Be Specific

On the SEO front, audiences are gaining more confidence in search capabilities, as search engines have evolved, and are using longer and more specific keywords when looking for a product or finding out how to solve a problem. Which is why it’s a good idea to try to use longtail keywords – specifying a question – when writing blogs or website copy, helping your target audience find you straight away without searching through endless pages of search results.


Gone are the days of only using general keywords in your content. If people don’t get the answer or information they want straight away, you’ll lose them and you’ll start to see a big drop in organic website visits.


Get Personal

Your audience can easily see through brands that try too hard to show a perfect, often inhuman image of themselves. And they are, rightly so, ignoring content that is cold and emotionless and engaging more with content that’s raw, honest and open.


Whether you create YouTube videos or write social copy, your business needs to SHOUT personality!

Playing it safe and creating content that pleases everyone at the cost of losing your brand’s unique personality or voice is not content that’s worth creating at all! Don’t be afraid to show who you are, what you like and dislike, what motivates you and what your brand stands for.


With all the above mentioned changes, it is clear that the online behaviour of our audiences has shifted drastically. But, what do we do to keep up with any future changes and how do we get to know them better so that we can create content that is useful to them? Let’s dive in to the different tools available.



2020 online audience

Image courtesy of Carlos Muza

Social Listening Tools

There’s no better way to get to know your audience then by listening in on what they are talking about. Social listening tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite can be hugely helpful with this, and you can easily ‘instruct’ these platforms to notify you every time a relevant topic is brought up and what your audience is saying about it.

Google Trends

Google trends is a useful tool to help you discover what’s important to your audience and what they are paying attention to. Using this tool, you can simply type in a search term or topic that you are interested in and discover your audiences’ interest in it over time and which region has the most interest in it.

Polls & Surveys

Polls can be extremely helpful in getting to know your online audience better. You can create polls on Facebook, for instance, to gauge interest in new product ideas that your company has and see what your audience thinks of them, to see whether developing them will be worth your time and effort. Another way to assess what your audience thinks, or likes and dislikes, is a survey. Tools such as Survey Monkey can help you get the feedback you need from them without spending a cent!

Google Analytics

Google analytics is perhaps the most comprehensive tool to use when it comes to collecting information about your online audience. With this insightful software, you can get information on your audience demographics, how much time they spend browsing a particular page of yours, where your website traffic is coming from (for instance, Facebook, Instagram or direct searches) and which pages they dislike – as indicated by the bounce rate.

What are your thoughts on these behavioural changes and the tools for analysing them? How does your business stay in sync with your online audience? We’d love to hear what you have to say, so please do post your comment below.

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