You’ve probably seen some fantastic, creative, out-of-the-box social campaigns recently from top brands. Brands like Coca-Cola, BMW and Nike have run campaigns ranging from short-term Instagram contests to large-scale, multi-channel blockbusters.

While there is no doubt that the top brands have creativity and resources, we wanted to ask the question: Are their social marketing efforts aligned with the right audience? After all, the “Who” component of a social media strategy is as relevant for a small mom-and-pop as it is for a large multi-national organization.

To develop an understanding of what type of audience top brands are connected to, we analyzed social posts from over 3 million consumers across the USA.

Apple’s audience, for instance, is divided into two main age groups: 18-24 and 35-49. Both groups share some interests, including music, video games and movies. And they tend to be awake and active on social media in the afternoon and early morning.

This audience profile contrasts with that of Gillette, whose audience is active in the afternoon and late night, and lives a party lifestyle. They are also interested in football, food and drink, and shopping.

So what can brands – whether they are startups, local shops or global behemoths – learn from audience insights like this?

For starters, they should tighten up their social strategy to align with their audience. Rather than wasting effort creating content that falls flat, brands that understand their audience can ensure that it reaches the consumers most receptive to the message.

Brands that want to run Twitter deals, discounts, Instagram contests or other offers should also know their audience intimately, in order to get the most exposure for these shorter-term campaigns.

And lastly, audience insights can fuel strategies outside of social media. Cross-channel campaigns, like a major event sponsorship, will be much more successful with an understanding of a brand’s audience profile.

Take a look at the infographic below for a snapshot of the audience profiles of 10 top global brands: