Social Media Strategy: Guided by SWOT and Audience Analysis

Hayley Carter
4 min readSep 26, 2020


Having a clear sense of identity as a brand is the first step towards implementing a successful social media strategy. Before you can sell yourself to an audience, you need to know who you are, what you stand for, and how you differentiate yourself from the competition. One of the best ways to learn more about your company is through a SWOT analysis. We’ll take a closer at the benefits of a SWOT analysis and utilizing it to maximize your reach with your target audience.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a review of company strategies based on the internal and external factors that impact the business. These include strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors that your company can directly manage.

  • Strengths are the factors that give you an edge over the competition. What are you doing well? What sets you apart? For example, a strength of Nike is its strong brand image that is known worldwide.
  • Weaknesses are harmful factors that the competition can use against you. What is holding you back from reaching your goals? What can you improve upon? Using the same Nike example, one notable weakness is their reputation for poor treatment of their overseas employees.

Opportunities and threats are external factors that companies need to prepare for as they begin implementing their strategies.

  • Opportunities are situations that could provide your company with a competitive advantage. Where can the company grow? For example, Nike has the platform to expand more into the space of reusable and environmentally friendly products to reach a new audience.
  • Threats are situations that could negatively affect your company. What outside forces could hinder your performance? Using current events, Nike is certainly hindered by the pandemic and its economic implications.

A SWOT analysis can be a quick group discussion to get everyone on the same page or it can be a detailed, in-depth look at the numbers and data behind your company’s current position in the market. Either way, it provides a closer look at the good AND the bad of the company, and it gives you a clear vision of what the next steps should be.

Moving Forward with a Strategy

With this clear vision in mind, you’re now more prepared to put your best foot forward in implementing a sound social media strategy. Having a clear sense of identity allows you to align your strategy to achieve maximum results. A successful campaign should be centered around using your strengths against your competitors, improving upon (or hiding) your weaknesses, taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves, and being prepared to handle threats.

Target Audience

But a SWOT analysis has its limitations. It does not do the work for you. You still need to put together a social media strategy, and you need to do so with your target audience in mind. There is no point in knowing about your brand if you do not know the people who want the brand the most.

According to a study conducted by Nielson, almost half of all marketers fail to get their content seen by their target audience. No matter how many SWOT analyses are performed within a company, making relevant content is not possible without knowing who your target audience is and when they view their content.

Your target audience is composed of all current and potential customers. Through market research and specific audience analysis tools, your objective is to learn the demographics, personality traits, interests, values, and opinions of your audience. It begins as a broad approach of gathering as much data as possible and funnels down to listening on social media and developing personal relationships with your target audience.

Once you’ve established your audience, you can then begin to gear your content specifically towards them and reap the benefits. Ad placement, what you post, when you post, and on what platform you post are all factors dependent on your audience. You can take it a step further than just the data and build buyer personas; according to Aberdeen research, marketers who use personas and map content to the buyer’s journey enjoy 73% higher conversions (20% vs. 12%). A defined target audience saves your company money, resources, and time.

Combining the Two

Social media is fast-acting. A tweet that is viral one day may be gone the next. Knowing your target audience and exactly how to best reach them will help you in being able to capitalize quickly when those moments come.

The objective of any social media strategy is to maximize opportunities and minimize threats. A SWOT analysis combined with a thorough target audience analysis will put you in the position to do just that.