Great businesses understand their audiences. This enables communications to be tailored to each audience segment, ensuring messages are relevant and appropriate. This is proven to increase ROI (return on investment).Successfully communicating with your (potential) customers is really important. If you don’t understand your audiences, how can you be sure who they are, or what they want, and that you are communicating effectively?Information you find about your audiences may influence the method of communication you choose. For example, you may have traditionally communicated via a printed newsletter, whilst audience research shows (potential) customers prefer electronic communications.Steps to Understanding Your AudienceKeyword ResearchIt is important to understand how (potential) customers find your business. For Example, your website may be ranking for ‘property Sheffield’, but your target audience is searching for ‘house builders yorkshire’. To find which search term is more popular use Google Adwords traffic estimator, as this tool allows you to type in terms and see how many average monthly searches are made.InsightConsultations are a very effective way to gain useful insights to your target audiences. Insight consultations can run in many shapes and sizes, from a simple phone call or a targeted questionnaire, to face to face focus groups. The consultation results allow you to understand more about your business, the habits of your audience, their likes and dislikes and their demographics.Social MediaIt’s fair to assume if you have 1,000 likes on Facebook and 1,000 followers on Twitter, these people are either interested in your company, or are already customers. We can establish what followers like to post, content they share, and how best to grab their attention.Social media is now a significant marketing tool. In 2013 alone, 1.73 billion people accessed a social media site. In 2017 this figure is expected to rise to 2.55 billion. That’s a 47% increase in users. (emarketer.com April 2013).