This article will discuss what social media personas are and why they are essential for any business marketing through social media. The reason businesses exist is to create profits. Understanding and creating social media personas is vital to generating profits for your company. 71% of companies with documented personas exceed revenue goals. In addition, by using social media personas, you end up putting your company ahead of over 50% of your competitors.
What is the Social Media Marketing Planning Cycle?
Marketing through social media can be daunting with so many platforms and various types of content out there. Every business should begin with a social media marketing plan. Creating this plan can be done using the social media marketing planning cycle. The social media marketing planning cycle is a nine step process used to develop a social media marketing plan. This is not necessarily linear. You may have to go back to revisit previous steps at several points. In addition, it is always ongoing. Just because you did it once does not mean you will not have to do it again.
This involves listening to what people are currently saying about your company. You can also study what your competitors are doing that clients like or don’t like.
You want to determine your goals based on peoples’ preferences that you discovered through the previous step. This is also a good time to do a SWOT analysis. You can also draw upon what you learn in deciding your goals.
This step is when you plan out how you will specifically reach the marketing goals you set.
Identify Target Audience
This will define who you are trying to reach. It is in this step of the social media marketing planning cycle that you develop your buyer personas.
Select the Appropriate Channel
This is when you choose which social media platform that will be most effective for reaching your target market. In many cases, it will be a combination of multiple platforms.
Implement and Launch
In this step, you will put all of the previous stages together and start putting your tactics into action. You will begin to have an idea of whether or not your strategy will work.
Monitor and Tune
Finally, adjust your channel’s approach based on the effectiveness of your strategies. Make the necessary adjustments to make your strategy as successful as possible.
What is a Social Media Persona?
Marketing is all about knowing who your target audience is. That is the best way to create effective social media content that will resonate with your ideal audience. A key part of your target audience are your brand’s “buyer personas” or social media personas. A social media persona is a representation of your ideal customer. It takes into accounts things like demographics, their desires, and their pain points. In other words, it is a profile of your business’s perfect customer. Defining these personas will require research to be able to put yourself into their shoes. Some questions you should ask when beginning to create your social media personas are:
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What content would provide them value?
- Where can you reach them?
- What are their demographics?
- Where do they live?
- What do they do from day to day?
- Where do they spend most of their time?
Once you have the answers to these basic questions, you can start going further. Now that you have a group or groups of your ideal clients, ask what connects them? Is it an interest? A job? A location? After this, you can dive deeper into their psyche. Ask questions like what motivates them? What makes them smile? How about their fears? What are their goals?
Answering all of these questions may require surveys, phone calls, or even focus groups.The answers to these questions will determine what type of content you should be producing and what channels you should use. Without having this kind of guidance, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and energy with ineffective marketing efforts.
Why are Social Media Personas Important?
Having social media personas as part of your social media marketing strategy allows you to scale your engagement efforts. You should recognize that each person has their own individual traits, but they still have a set of common interests that led them to seek out your company. This allows you to develop messaging that speaks to anyone within that group. With this strategy, you can engage with a much larger group than if you were developing individual messages.
Another way social media personas can help is with your time of posting. If you realize that most of your customers are in one geographic area, you can post at appropriate times for them. For example, if many of your clients are on the West Coast, posting at times appropriate for the East Coast wouldn’t make sense.
Three Attributes That Influence Social Media Persona Development
Understanding these three aspects of your target audience will be vital to creating your social media marketing plan. Consider what motivates them to engage with you, what their function is in the purchase process, and the way they choose to engage with you.
Motivation for Social Media Participation
Everyone who visits your social media profiles will fall into one of these five categories for why they are visiting. What information or benefit are they looking for from visiting your page?
- Fans – These participants already like your product or firm. They follow you because they want to show their interest in your organization and its offerings. However, you should not assume this means their interest will always translate into a purchase.
- Information Seekers – These users are on your page to find out more information about your organization and its products. They are looking for additional information before they make a purchase decision.
- Discount Hunters – These participants are looking for the best deal. They follow you on social media in the hopes of getting access to exclusive discounts and promotions.
- Thought Leaders – These social media users inspire others to listen. They have large followings who rely on them as in-the-know trendsetters. Their comments and shares have the ability to drive more traffic to your pages.
- Detractors – These people have problems with your firm and want to share that fact with others. Many times they have already tried other ways to get their problems addressed.
Function in the Purchase Process
In addition, everyone who visits your profiles is at a different point in the purchase process. What content they want to see will depend on what their function is.
- Prospects – These are potential customers who may have heard about your company from family or friends. They are on your page to learn more about your company before committing to a purchase.
- Customers – These people have bought from your company in the past. They might have been brought to your page to check out your current offerings, get more information about how to use your products, or just to associate with your company.
- Influencers – These people help others make a purchase decision. They may do the leg work of doing the research for others or they might give their input to others.
- Decision Makers – These are the people who make the ultimate purchase decision. They may be coming to your page to directly make a purchase.
- Fans – These are a specific type of customer who really like your company and its products. They are worth a lot of attention because they will tell other people to buy from you. They may leave comments and reviews demonstrating their satisfaction.
Type of Social Media Interaction
Generally, your visitors will fall into one of three categories regarding their interaction with your content.
- Lurkers – On average, about 90% of your total visitors are considered lurkers. These are people who visit your social media, but don’t take any further action. They simply view it and then leave.
- Commenters – Commenters typically make up about 9% of your total visitors. These people will take a small action. Unlike their name suggests, their action is not always in the form of a comment. It could be a social share, voting in a poll, or leaving comments. The easier you make it for this category of visitors to participate, the more likely they will be to do so.
- Creators – These people make up only 1% of your total visitors. These are people who actively engage with your content. They leave longer, more meaningful comments and also review your products.
Need Help With Your Social Media Marketing Plan?
Marketing through social media is a must for all businesses today. Taking full advantage of different social media platforms for your advertising needs can be a great asset for your business. Beginning with the social media marketing planning cycle can ensure that you create the content that is most valuable to your customers and get it to them in the correct place. Social media advertising is an inexpensive tool that should be in every company’s arsenal. For assistance with any of your social media marketing needs, reach out to SEO Design Chicago.