When Your Friends Aren’t Football Fans: A Lesson on Knowing Your Audience


By: Michelle Favalora
The Hoffman Agency, San Jose

It can be really easy to think about your audience in terms of what you want them to be. You might romanticize them, believing they all think and act just like you. In reality, your audience is made up of people with very diverse opinions and understandings who are following you for many different reasons.

When communicating with your audience, it’s important to put yourself in each individual’s shoes, so you can consider how a message will be received.

My audience on social media is largely made up of smarty-pants students from AP classes, fellow “Type A” resident assistants from college and the literary-loving communications professionals I work with. While my audience is filled with brilliant and witty characters, they, frankly, don’t know a thing about sports. In certain cases, this may be to their detriment — but this time, it’s to mine.

Favalora - Going to Disneyland

After winning a brutal championship game in my adult recreation football league, I posted this picture to Instagram to celebrate.

Notice the first hashtag? When I got to Hoffman the next day, fellow Hoffman-ites Jackie M. and Lauren congratulated me on getting an opportunity to go to Disneyland to play football. Little did they know, I had no intentions of going to Disneyland. I was referencing a phrase stemming from a tradition of Super Bowl winners getting paid to say, “I’m going to Disney World,” as they celebrate their victory.

This experience serves as a reminder to consider your audience before alluding to pop culture or traditional references, making sure your message comes in loud and clear. And yes, it’s also a not-so-humble brag to say my football team is really, really, really ridiculously good-looking (Did you get that reference?).

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