It isn’t always easy to foster engagement on Twitter. You might send out a spectacularly brilliant and valuable blog post, but no one clicks. Or, you tweet a question directed to your followers, with no response.

A large hurdle in increasing Twitter engagement is not being connected to the right audience. Think about it: Do you really understand who your Twitter audience is, and the best way to reach them?

Who are they?

Your ideal Twitter audience might not be your current followers. There is a good chance, if you haven’t been strategic in how you’ve grown your account, that many of your current followers don’t actually match up with your target audience. And that’s OK.

To discover your Twitter audience, you must first develop a firm understanding of your target audience – the customers you would most like to connect with. These are the people or businesses that are most valuable to your brand.

Your Twitter target audience might be middle-aged women with two children, living in North America, who own their own home and love watching sports. Or it could be teens who love their smartphones and shopping at the mall. Whatever this Twitter persona is, it should match closely with your target market.

When building a profile of your Twitter target audience, do not only consider demographics. Think about psychographics (their values and beliefs), intent (whether they are ready to make a purchase or not), habits and behavior (the devices they use and websites they frequent) and more. This will help you create a more robust image of your ideal audience, and will ultimately make your marketing efforts more effective.

How do I reach them?

Once you’ve built up an idea of the perfect Twitter target audience, you can begin your discovery – where are they, and how do I reach them?

If your core Twitter audience doesn’t match up with your current Twitter followers, it’s simply a matter of re-focusing your content to align with who you want to be connected to rather than who you are connected to.

This can manifest in a number of ways. You can search for keywords and hashtags that your target audience uses frequently, and sprinkle those strategically through your tweets. Or, you can write blog posts and other content that they would be likely to share. Or, you can create Twitter ads to expand your reach, targeting them based on the interests of your ideal audience.

Better content should be paired with influencer outreach: finding and connecting to the Twitter users most influential among your target audience. This will help amplify your content and expand your reach.

Over time, you will find that your Twitter followers begins to more closely match your target audience, and that your messages resonate more strongly. You will begin to see more engagement – clicks, retweets, favorites – and better word-of-mouth. As you learn more about your Twitter target audience, you’ll find that all of your marketing efforts will be more effective.