Social media personas help you cut through the noise on your social networks and focus on engagement without losing sight of your broader business goals.
The immense amount of data generated by social channels can help guide you in content creation. But all this data isn’t much good if you’re not able to act on it in a way that has a positive impact on your business. To do so, you should look at your social data critically and act on it strategically.
Creating social media personas is an effective way to accomplish this. It will help you craft better social content and reach your overall business goals.
What is a social media persona?
Imagine that your brand is on the theatre stage. Who are you talking to when the curtains rise?
You need to know your audience before tailoring your brand stories and finding the best way to engage with them.
Creating social media personas can help you reach your leads — the right ones — more effectively.
It also helps you define your target audience by analyzing their interests, needs, and what marketing messages they might be interested in.
The more you go into details about your social media persona’s demographics and behavior, the better you will understand their content desires on social media.
For example, if you are an electric carmaker with a US presence, one of your customer personas could be “Jane,” a 33-year-old attorney living in Washington. She has one child, lives outside the city, loves yoga, and needs a car primarily for commuting and taking her kid to activities.
This information should be based on solid research among your existing customers and relevant to your brand’s positioning. And you should consider doing such research via social listening.
A social media persona is like your buyer persona, but it also integrates data on:
- Behavior on different social networks.
- Content consumption patterns that influence purchases.
Suppose you have an existing customer persona, like Jane. In that case, you could add information like, for example, that she is most active on Facebook and spends a significant amount of time on Pinterest. She logs in to Instagram once or twice a day and uses Twitter only passively a few times a week.
With a combination of research and data pulled from your social media presence, you can add details like how she uses each network and what type of post she’d be likely to engage with on different networks.
The idea is to make every piece of content with a clear picture of who you aim to reach with different campaigns.
By curating the content, you post across each channel based on the personas of your average fan and ideal customer; you will resonate with your audience and, in effect, reach more people.
What are the benefits of creating social media personas?
Social media already provides rich data on engagement. You can see what content performed the best with various audiences on different networks. Why not use that information to create more content like the one that’s already working?
Here are some of the benefits of investing your time and resources into creating social media personas:
Understand your audience and build brand ambassadors.
It’s essential to get to know your audience and understand their needs. Building social media personas is the first step in creating a relationship with your followers online. Even if you don’t convert them into customers, they can turn into brand ambassadors.
For example, you have fans who aren’t customers, who might never be but are still active on your social channels. This can be a good thing because they can still spread positive messages about your brand, either on or off social media.
Improve your content strategy across networks and funnel stages.
Defining social media personas helps you create relevant content and boost engagement without losing sight of your broader business objectives.
Having clear social media personas is a way to incorporate social data more intelligently in your content strategy. It prevents you from shifting your message based on a blip in the data. Instead of looking just at what worked last week on Twitter and repeating it until it stops working, you can build content in line with a fuller set of engagement data and your broader business objectives.
Understanding your social media personas also helps you set the right tone of voice and craft relevant stories and formats that your social media personas would engage with.
It also enables you to tailor your content according to each specific network. Your brand should consider a different approach when it comes to Instagram versus LinkedIn, for example.
Once you have defined your social media personas, you should also consider in which stage of the lead funnel they are in and offer them relevant content.
Step up your game with ad targeting.
Getting to know your social media personas will bring success to your advertising campaigns. There are unique opportunities when it comes to targeting the right leads on social media. You just need to understand their age, demographics, and location better, as well as their interests and behavior on social media.
Investing time into such research can help you significantly improve your social ROI.
4 tips on how to build social media personas.
Let’s look into some tips and tricks on how you can create your social media personas efficiently.
Analyze your community’s profile from your existing data.
Start by taking a closer look at your existing data and the similarities between your social media audience when it comes to:
- Living situation
- Job title
- Interest in brands and influencers
- Hashtags they engage with
- Content types they engage with
- Goals and motivations
- Fears and pain points
- Buying triggers
The list goes on and on depending on your business’s specific situation.
For example, if you are a B2B company, you should consider the size of the business and who is potentially making the buying decisions.
To get insights, you can investigate data from:
- Google Analytics
- Your CRM
- Sales and shopping records
- Sophisticated social media tools
You can consider using some help from platforms like Falcon’s Audience. It can gather valuable information about your followers in personal cards and help you understand what engages your followers on your social media networks. You can go even a step further with CRM integration and labels to sort out the data.
The tool also helps you reach the right audience with the proper messaging and timing. Thanks to all filters and labels, you can create great targeting opportunities and custom and lookalike audiences that you can export to your Facebook Ads Manager.
Listen to what your social media fans are talking about.
Get to know your social media personas better by using the magic of social listening. With tools like Falcon’s Listen | Powered by Brandwatch, you can monitor mentions to understand what your social media personas are interested in and what content resonates with them. You can also analyze sentiment and brand perception at ease.
Talk to your community managers and support teams.
The people who know your social media personas best are the ones that engage with them daily. Whether that’s your social media community manager or support team, take a moment to pick their brains to gather information about the community.
Benchmark against your competition.
It always helps to keep an eye on your competition. What kind of audience is engaging with them on social media? What type of content is performing best for them?
Here is a guide that can help you create a holistic competitive analysis on social media, which can also be a stepping base to build your social media personas.
A critical tool for a social business environment.
Social media personas can have an impact beyond social — the customer personas you use for all your marketing should integrate social dimensions. Social media is gradually being incorporated more and more deeply into business and is a key element of the overall customer experience.
Having a clear picture of your targets and customers’ presence on social media can help you build a more effective framework for social customer care. As marketing and sales begin to converge, it becomes critical to have information that can be shared and acted on at all customer journey points.
Eventually, nearly all customer-facing activities will have some social dimension. Creating social media personas helps ensure that they will genuinely take the customer into account.
Companies should always seek to know their audience better and create content that is engaging for them and on message for the brand. Taking the time to establish social media personas can help you succeed at both.