As marketers, we all know the importance of creating marketing personas before launching a social media plan. Just like any other marketing effort, we never want to create content without conducting proper research and developing a strategy.
Typically you begin with defining your brands 'buyer personas' to determine the type of content you should be producing and on what channels you should use to promote that content. Who is your ideal customer? What content would provide value to them? Where can you reach them? These seem like simple questions, but in order to get the truth, you will need to do some research and take a walk around in the shoes of your personas.
This is a subject we know all marketers come across at one point or another - so, of course, we held an #SMTLive Twitter chat to get the SMT community talking and sharing strategies around creating personas to optimize their social media strategies. SMT Influencer and CEO of Kayak Online Marketing, Randy Milanovic, joined us as co-host to share his expertise and help lead the conversation around this topic.
Interested in being a more active voice in the Social Media Today community? You can join our twice-monthly Tuesday Twitter chats at 12pm ET. The full schedule can be found here.
Here is a brief recap of our last Twitter chat on building social media brand personas:
1. Why is it important to have brand personas? Why is it important for your social strategy?
In the words of Randy Milanovic, "knowing your audience helps you select, share, and craft posts that will resonate with them." Again, it's all about knowing who your audience is and, even more specificity, who your target audience is. This is the stepping stool to creating effective content that will resonate with your audience and establishing a social media voice to help you meet your goals.
A1: Target personas matter because it's difficult to create content tailored for your audience if you do not have a thorough understanding of who they are. #SMTLive— MyCorporation (@MyCorporation) November 28, 2017
A1: Without target personas, you're shouting into the unknown and likely wasting energy on talking to those who just don't care. #SMTLive pic.twitter.com/Jv3XWZDSvT— Robin Selvy Re (@RobinSelvy) November 28, 2017
Without setting some parameters, you'll most likely waste a whole lot of time an energy trying to speak to people who just don't care about your product or service. Do your research and create personas so you don't waste company time and money swinging in the dark.
A1. Where many businesses go wrong is in thinking, "We want to reach everybody." You don't reach anybody if you're trying to reach everybody. Be smart. Know your audience. Know who they are--demographics and psychographics. #SMTLive— Daniel Quitério (@dan_quiterio) November 28, 2017
2. What are the steps to building personas? What type of preliminary research do you need to do to create your persona?
This is the hardest part, but the research is critical. Who is your target audience? What's their name, demographics, job? Where do they live? What do they do day to day? Where do they spend most of there time?
A2: I find people asking questions, expressing frustrations, etc. in relation to what I'm offering. Then, I look at WHO is doing that asking, expressing, etc. THEY are the people who NEED my offer. #SMTLive
— Suzanne Stewart (@SuzanneStewart1) November 28, 2017
A2 You need to know your audience, the topics and hashtags they follow & engage with, and most importantly which social networks they are active on #SMTlive— Michael Altiero (@MichaelAltiero) November 28, 2017
Imagine your ideal client (maybe a mix of a few). What connects them. An interest? A job? Their location? Explore that and get to know them. #SMTLIVE A2 1/3 https://t.co/mY9Hr07Tf5— Randy Milanovic (@kayak360) November 28, 2017
Facebook Audience Insights is super helpful in painting the persona picture - age, lifestyle, location, habits, interests. All there :-) #SMTLive #socialdemographics— Robin Selvy Re (@RobinSelvy) November 28, 2017
For those already established brands, this research will be much easier for you. You can use your own audience demographics to pinpoint who is already engaging with you and compare that to your target persona. If these two don't match, you either need to rethink your target personas or it may be time to change up your content strategy.
A2. I think it depends on what stage your business/brand is in. If you're already established and you're looking to do this for the first time, consider who you want to reach and who's actually engaging with you. They may not be the same. #SMTLive https://t.co/EMmU5aj38J— Daniel Quitério (@dan_quiterio) November 28, 2017
Q2. Analytics are becoming so much more robust, even on free platforms. I work in higher ed, and I've had a lot of direct feedback from hosting social media focus groups with students. They have helped squash A LOT of myths and discover new insights. #smtlive pic.twitter.com/kC34YiUaPr— Erin Baynham (@ErinBaynham) November 28, 2017
3. Once you define your persona's name/age/interests/etc, what questions should you ask yourself to dive into their psyche?
What motivates your persona? What makes them smile? What makes them cry? What are their fears? What're are their goals? The list is endless but try and answer as many as you can to better understand who they are.
#SMTLive ENDLESS! pic.twitter.com/PKLzMxX1CQ— The Brand Matchmaker™ (@Gigi_Peterkin) November 28, 2017
4. How can defining these thought processes of your brand persona help you with your social media strategy?
It's pretty simple; a well-constructed persona will help guide you in creating your social media voice and help you produce useful content for your audience.
A6. 2, It will define the choice of content type, formats & channels, that resonate with the persona and solve a problem for them. #SMTLive— kalpana chauhan (@kalpanachauhan) November 28, 2017
5. If a company were to create a persona targeting you, what would they name that persona? (a question just for fun)
A3: Hopefully something fun like "Megatron". Just so that in meetings people could say things like "Our latest campaign has really seemed to resonate with Megatron" #SMTLive https://t.co/H5Fb3oJtGj— Chadwick David (@ChadTDavid) November 28, 2017
Once again, huge thanks to everyone who participated in this chat! This was a productive and fun chat. It was great to see some new faces, as well as the usuals.
Our next chat will be on 'Social Media Marketing Trends: Planning for 2018'. Hope to see you there.