Over 4.76 billion people across the world actively use social media, spending an average of 2 hours and 28 minutes per day across their social channels. So how do you ensure that you’re targeting the right audience for your brand?
In the World of Digital Marketing, What is a Social Media Persona?
When was the last time you looked at your customer base and defined your ‘perfect’ customer? Creating social media personas is an excellent way to determine your ideal customer which will help you appeal to them directly online.
Social media personas help you identify key members of your customer base. Although similar to a buyer persona, the key difference is that a social media persona focuses on the social networks they predominantly use and their behaviour on each platform. These personas help to give a more in-depth understanding of who your customers are and their online habits.
Conducting market research is necessary to develop effective personas. Here are some key characteristics to include when building your personas.
- Their preferred social channels
- Influencers/public figures they follow
- Hashtags they engage with
- Customer goals/motivations/pain points
Benefits of Social Media Personas
Targeting: Identifying social media personas will help you to target your ads more efficiently. Often the most successful ads are those that speak directly to your audience. Focus on your customers’ individual needs, then position your brand to relieve their pain points.
Alongside this, you’ll be able to plan your content accordingly and tailor it towards consumers who are likely to engage and interact. This in turn, helps your social strategy to be more effective as you’re able to communicate with the right audience at the right time across platforms.
Content Strategy: Plan the format of your content with your social media personas in mind. Choose a variety of formats to appeal to your customers’ preferred way of consuming content. A mix of images, infographics, videos and articles helps you to create content that meets the needs of your customer base.
Use your personas to guide your content strategy, creating content based on more focused goals and actionable steps.
Discovery: Use social media personas to gain insight into your customer’s audience channel preferences and behaviour:
Which topics are they most interested in?
Where are they having their conversations online?
Which content formats are working most effectively for your audience?
Identify Influencers: Who are your customers following on social media? Find and connect with influencers that align with your brand and customer values. Use this knowledge to create influencer campaigns and collaborations.
For example, if your social media persona is interested in pilates, finding local health and fitness influencers who have created their own online community to collaborate with is likely to have a positive result due to their followers having similar interests to your target audience.
Types of Social Media Personas
There are many different types of personas that can be identified for your individual audience. They are likely to fall into one of the following categories:
- Ghosts/Lurkers – These individuals are rarely active themselves online, however they have a profile and check in periodically. They don’t post anything but they are active in following others. They often have their accounts set to private.
- Small Community Users: They often prefer to stick to one platform, engage in local groups and use social media predominantly to interact with friends and family. They can be influential in their small community online as they have a variety of connections and have strong personal relationships.
- Highly Engaged Advocates – These users actively post and interact with others across multiple social platforms. They are keen to participate in polls and engage with content and enjoy creating User Generated Content in response to their favourite brands. Highly likely to be valuable customers in your customer base.
How to Create Personas for your Social Media Audience
So how do you actually go about defining your own social media personas?
Dive into your Social Data: Take a look into your data insights and break down the demographics of your audience. Social monitoring and listening are useful tools that enable you to find out what your audience is interested in, the topics they are following and hashtags they are actively using. Examine your top performing posts and optimal posting times to engage most effectively with your audience.
Most platforms have their own native analytics engines where you will be able to identify patterns and characteristics of your audience. Sprout Social is a great audience insight tool that allows you to deep dive into your social analytics and gain a greater understanding of your profile performance.
Locate your Audience: Use your audience insights to locate which social platform your audience prefers and where they spend most of their time. By doing so you will also learn which content formats your audience tends to prefer and which they are most likely to react positively to. Adapt your tone of voice depending on the platform to better cater to the audience demographic. Choosing the correct platform/s to focus your marketing efforts on is much more likely to convert them into paying customers.
Define your Customer’s Needs/Pain Points: Define what is stopping your customers from reaching their goals and tailor your campaigns to meet their needs. Don’t focus too much on pushing the sale of your product as it can turn off your audience. Showcase its benefits and how it can help to solve your customers’ issues via different types of content.
Request Customer Feedback: Customer feedback is incredibly valuable and can help to shape your brand and the decisions you make. Ask your customers which types of content they prefer to see and what encourages them to follow brands on social media. On the flip side, asking customers what would make them unfollow a brand is equally important to understand.
Creating social media personas for your brand will help to guide your marketing efforts across social platforms. Defining that key audience to target means that they will be more likely to engage with your content and most importantly convert. If you’re looking for help with your social media marketing, get in touch with Cariad Marketing today!