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How Marketing Personas can Help you Target the Best Social Media Platform

Twitter is great for connecting with real-time trending topics. Facebook helps us to build social communities. LinkedIn does the same professionally. Then there’s Instagram and Pinterest for the visually inclined. 

And then there’s your small, overworked social media marketing team.

Even with the best social media management platform you are going to find it hard pressed to stay up to date with even the biggest social media platforms. The good news is that you don’t have to. Using a handy 19th Century economic principle and the more recent concept of marketing personas, you can choose which social media platform to target (and also what content to post and when to post it!).

 

Social media and the Pareto Principle

Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle? First recognised in the 1890s, the Pareto Principle states that in many areas of economics (and business), 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. Applied to social media, this would mean that 20% of your social media activity is driving the majority of your engagement.

Why does this matter? It suggests that by choosing your strongest one or two social media platforms you can eliminate a lot of waste and be a much more efficient social media marketer.

Now that we’ve touched on why to hone in on a single social media platform, we can look at how building marketing personas can help.

 

A very human solution 

Marketing personas are fictional profiles representing your target audience. Depending on your business and industry, you might need one persona or several.

Why do personas help so much? One reason is that they form a human-friendly way of parsing big data. Raw figures mean nothing to the average person and even tables, graphs and charts, despite their aesthetic appeal, can only give us snatches of out-of-context illumination.

A persona distills the essence of all of that data and wraps it up in an avatar – a fictionalised representation of a segment of your audience. Since we have been relating to people since the moment we entered the world, marketing to a persona becomes simple.

A word of warning though: the accuracy of your persona is directly related to the quality of the data collected. If you base your persona purely on gut feelings and assumptions, you could end up way off course.

 

Assembling the bones

The bones of a marketing persona are formed from data. What type of data? As much as you can get your hands on.

Both qualitative and quantitative data are important. In-depth interviews, focus groups and ethnographic research provide rich data to flesh out some of the nuances while multiple choice surveys and web analytics ensure you’re building your persona on hard numbers.

For example, your Google Analytics views and customer survey results could be used to see which social media platforms your website visitors tend to use while focus groups and interviews can dig down into how they use social media and why.

 

Adding the spark of life 

Once you have assembled your data, you can begin the fun part, creating the details of your persona. You can use one of many widely available templates for this purpose if you prefer.

Some of the information you might want to add about your persona include their age, gender, location, salary band, educational level, likes, dislikes, goals and frustrations. You can also decide which social media platforms they would be likely to use, when they might be most active on them and what content they are likely to engage with most readily.

The persona may not resemble any single one of your real customers, but the idea is that they will overlap enough for your marketing to be effective.

As you can see, times and marketing tools may change but the buying cycle remains constant.

The first stage is making sure your target customer knows there is a solution to their problem. Next, you need to convince them to choose your product or service over a competing one (or none at all). Then, when you’ve made the sale, you want to try and move to the repurchase phase and secure some future custom.

 

Closing the loop

Having created your marketing personas, you can use them to craft your social media posts and schedule them, tailoring each one to the specific interests and behaviour patterns of the target persona.

The next step is going back to your data and checking whether your new strategy has delivered results. Providing your personas have been accurate, your ROI should be up.

Next, it’s time to go back to the Pareto Principle. Which posts are creating most interest? Is there justification for focusing your strategy even further? Perhaps you can reduce activity from two platforms to one?

Try using persona marketing in your business and see how it impacts your engagement and conversion rate. For help with your social media activity, talk to Vu Online about our Social Media Marketing services.

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