How to Build Social Media Personas for Your Business

Social media personas can help your brand more authentically reach your targeted audience.

How to Build Social Media Personas for Your Business

You’ve set up your account and profile on the various social media platforms, and your content team is working away at providing great content to share.

It’s not enough these days, however, just to post on social media and wait to be found or acknowledged.

In-depth marketing analysis openly shows that conversion rates of social media visitors to websites are still one of the lowest of all the marketing channels.

So, if conversions aren’t increasing in relation to how much content you post and how often, you may want to take a step or two back and consider a new approach.

You have to find a way to slice through all the noise.

Start by identifying who your social media personas are, and then cater your marketing efforts to them specifically.

Here’s what you will learn in this post:

    What is a Social Media Persona?

    Similar to a buyer persona, a social media persona is a fictional profile you develop for target customers.

    Key differences are that the social media persona includes details concerning which social networks they use, their behavior on each of those platforms, and how content consumption influences purchases.

    To put it simply, it paints a more detailed picture of the audience you are attempting to reach and sell to on the different social media platforms.

    Social media personas will be your guide when it comes to:

    • Applying social media strategies.
    • Creating high-quality content, including tone of voice, for postings.
    • Choosing ways to engage with your targeted audience.
    • Presenting yourself consistently in the social media sphere.

    Does Your Business Need to Create Social Media Personas?

    By now, you know the importance of maintaining a clear understanding of who your targeted audience is and catering your marketing strategy to meet their needs and wants along the buyer’s journey.

    You also need to create social media personas to not only target your messaging but to take advantage of what these attention-getting powerhouse platforms have to offer.

    The benefits of using social media personas for your business include:

    Provides a Better Understanding of Your Audience

    No matter how spectacular and useful your product or service is, if you have no audience, you have no business.

    A better understanding of your audience, then, is key to how you run your business, from sales to marketing to customer service.

    It also helps to create and foster better relationships with clients and customers and this, in turn, directly affects your bottom line.

    Social media brings with it unique ways of communicating, from tweets to sharing of articles, photos, and videos. It’s not the same as the faithful blog readers that are already loyal.

    So, instead of treating it as a lesser marketing channel, it needs equal attention in your business strategy, and this can be accomplished through social media personas.

    Leads to a Better Focused Content Strategy

    Once you understand your targeted audience better, you can apply that understanding to your content marketing strategy.

    Your social media personas guide your content strategy, allowing you to create content based on more focused goals and actionable steps.

    You can use your content to cater to the various segments of your targeted audience, personalizing it for more engagement by customers and potential customers alike.

    As a result, you’re removing more of the guesswork and giving yourself a firmer foundation in which to proceed and work towards your overall business objectives.

    Helps Develop Your Brand’s Voice and Personality

    Establishing your brand’s voice and personality makes you more recognizable to customers and keeps them coming back.

    It also keeps your messaging across platforms consistent, which is what you want.

    By catering your content to match with your social media personas, you begin to build your brand personality, and this can resonate with consumers, making them believe you are exactly what they are looking for.

    You may even end up building brand ambassadors to promote your message, service, or product with no extra work on your part.

    Increases ROI of Your Social Media Ads

    Defining your social media personas allows you to take ad targeting to a whole new level, tailoring it to those who are more likely to become your top customers.

    Ads that speak directly to your targeted audience will achieve the highest success and increase ROI for your brand.

    Your social media personas provide you with key information to better focus your ad campaigns on each social media platform.

    May Lead to New Business Ideas

    Along the way of understanding and catering to your ideal buyers, you may find new directions to go in terms of solutions, products, or services to develop and offer in addition to what you already do.

    These may be in niche markets, where you are the first to address a need and therefore connect with buyers before the competition even knows what’s happening.

    Avoid keeping your business static when a new direction clearly opens up. Be the first to claim it, address it, and reach customers.

    Competition is fierce today, and you need to stand out and capture your ideal audience’s attention instead of going broad in your approach and being just another brand in the same industry. Stay open to innovation.

    How to Create Social Media Personas

    The four steps to creating social media personas include:

    1. Analyze Social Media Data and Look for Insights

    Before beginning, do your research.

    Pour over your existing social media data, starting with the different platforms and their available insight tools.

    Look for commonalities across all the platforms to start, then notice particular differences.

    You can also go a step further and use a professional insights tool. 

    These provide a quicker way of analyzing and learning more about your audience, such as education levels, brand interests, and purchase influences.

    Don’t forget to review results found with web analytic tools, such as Google Analytics, for website data on who’s doing what once they get there.

    2. Identify Social Media Platforms and Listen In

    Locate which platform, or platforms, your targeted audience uses and focus on those going forward.

    Identify which platform brings the highest conversion rate, and build at least one of your personas around the features of that particular platform.

    Now, listen in. What are social media commenters talking about?

    Social listening is, by far, one of the most useful actions you can take when it comes to knowing your audience.

    Start by getting to know your followers on the different social media platforms. Understand who they are and what they want. From there, you can create your social media personas.

    3. Gain More Insight by Asking Questions

    To truly be on the pulse of the consumers and current customers, gain insight by asking questions of different departments that interact and engage with them on a daily basis.

    These include social media community managers, customer support personnel, and the sales team.

    You can also use customer surveys to further define personas.

    Combine what you learn from asking these questions with your social listening data and better identify the goals, motivations, fears, and pain points of your customers.

    4. Create Your Social Media Persona Profiles

    Based on what you find in the first three steps above, pull together a representation of your social media personas.

    You may be able to start with your already devised buyer personas and add additional information important specifically for social media marketing.

    Key demographic details to identify and include are:

    • Gender
    • Age
    • Relationship status
    • Home type (rental, ownership)
    • Location
    • Employment status/job title
    • Income

    Add personal qualities, such as:

    • Hobbies (e.g., crafts, pets, baking, trail running)
    • Personality traits (e.g., reserved, outgoing, driven)
    • Pain points and fears (e.g., low salary, high rent)
    • Motivations and goals (e.g., to become a fitness trainer)
    • Purchasing triggers

    Include behavior factors as well, like:

    • Social media channels they are active on
    • Any influencers they like to follow
    • Hashtags they are engaging with on a regular basis (e.g., #fashion, #fitnesstrends)

    Also, identify the preferred content your personas consume on each of the different platforms and in what format (e.g., YouTube videos).

    You’ll want to create at least two social media personas, and depending on what you offer, you may want more. 

    Too many, however, is a lot to juggle, so keep it relatively small and no more than seven at the most.

    What to Do After You Establish Your Social Media Personas

    Now that you have your social media personas, what do you do next?

    Update Social Media Profiles

    Now that you’ve more closely defined your targeted audience, it’s time to update your social media profiles to resonate with those personas.

    This update will help keep your brand’s voice and messaging consistent.

    Modify Your Content Strategy

    Once you understand your social media audience and develop personas, it’s time to modify your content marketing strategy.

    Determine the type of content you need to speak to these personas directly, addressing their goals, motivations, frustrations, fears, and pain points.

    More specifically, focus your strategy in the following ways:

    • Set the right tone for your brand.
    • Craft content and stories that will resonate with the buyers.
    • Use more empathetic marketing for personalization.
    • Identify and use the formats that the personas are more likely to engage with the most.
    • Tailor content for each individual social media network.
    • Determine what each social media platform does best, and let that impact your content strategy.
    • Create a more efficient social media calendar.

    Also, factor in that your content strategy and your personas will need fine-tuning as you go along.

    Adhere to Your Brand Voice

    To increase authenticity in your communications and conversations with current or potential customers, adhere to an established brand voice.

    If you know what tone to use and the personality associated with your brand, you don’t have to worry about appearing insincere or trying to be all things to all people at the same time.

    Your brand voice is essential as you will use it across various mediums, including ad copy and social media captions.

    Go playful or add humor. Be authoritative and confident.

    Your social media personas will guide you in selecting the right brand voice and help you rise above the noise of your competitors.

    Curate and Repost Relevant Content

    You undoubtedly already have a ton of quality content somewhere, including blog posts. 

    Mine these for content to repurpose and repost on social media, adding your chosen brand voice.

    Build a story around the content that speaks to your persona, or modify it in a way that provides a solution for a pain point or goal.

    Curating content from other sources is another way to save time and still impress and attract your target audience.

    This curation shows you are staying up-to-date on what is happening, who the influencers are that directly resonate with your customers, and that you get who they are and what they need.

    Develop a Social Media Crisis Management Plan

    While you’ve taken the time to create the perfect social media personas and adapted your content marketing strategy, negative situations can occur, sending you into a tailspin.

    One negative experience or comment can shatter all the good you’ve built up on social media and lead to a brand crisis.

    The best way to handle such a sudden situation is to already have in place a social media crisis management plan.

    This plan covers what can potentially go wrong, what threats exist to your brand, and the actions to take if and when these happen.

    Wrap Up: Use Social Media Personas to Increase Your Marketing Impact

    By creating social media personas, you gain an understanding of who your ideal audience is and, in turn, how to meet them where they are on social media.

    Their use will guide you toward enhancements in your content marketing plan as well as your overall social media strategy, leading to more personalization and an increase in overall conversion rates.

    Ready for more tips on how to boost your social media strategy? 

    Let us show you how to optimize your social media marketing funnel and increase those conversion rates even more!

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    Barbara von der Osten Rock author vector
    Rock Content Writer

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