A few hundred likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter, and subscribers on YouTube is great, but it won’t amount to anything if you don’t know how to accurately engage those people. A buyer persona refers to a fictional character that represents the different types of buyers, followers, or audience a company has. This can be defined through all of the basic categories that make up the anatomy of a target market including: geographic, demographic, psychographic, behavioral and product related characteristics. To define a persona, we need to go past the definition of a target market using a more specific, “in their shoes” approach. Knowing your buyer personas can really help a company focus their marketing strategies and understand how to better connect and engage their following.
So how do we start defining these personas? There is no one size fits all algorithm, what it really comes down to is being creative and brainstorming. Allow for employees at every level and position to help create personas, because different positions are going to have different interactions with customers and have a better understanding of who those people are. Some questions you may need to ask while brainstorming are:
- Who would be most likely to buy my product or service?
- Is this person a male or female?
- What economic status are they?
Consider gender, age, where they live, what their hobbies are and what they value in life before diving deeper. Include details that could help you better understand that person; could they enjoy fishing, reading, or cleaning? Maybe they have pets or children. Come up with as many details as you need to in order to create a real person who would buy your service or product.
Let’s create an example persona for a company that sells all natural food products including snacks such as granola bars and yogurt, as well as prepackaged meals. A persona we might create is Active Alan, who is an active 30 year old, single man who enjoys biking, hiking, and swimming. He is always on the move so he enjoys snacks that are easy to grab and go. Alan doesn’t like to spend a lot of time grocery shopping or cooking and prefers to just pick something up. From this information we can form a type of marketing strategy that will help us to better reach Alan as a consumer. Also, using this information, we can conclude many things from Alan’s persona to help us understand him and his buying behavior. In turn, we can use this information to market to him as a consumer and post relevant, interesting content he would likely read on social media.
Taking the information we collected on our personas, we can then create a unique voice to keep in mind when posting content. This is especially useful if you have multiple administrators who post to your social media channels. You want content to be consistent and appropriate for your audience and having a persona in mind while posting can help all administrators stay within the right parameters. It may even be beneficial to create a persona for the company itself while posting. In addition, keep in mind that you want to post content which is relevant, informative, and entertaining to gain more engagement. That engagement could, in turn, give you business because people are more apt to buy from a company that they trust, and you can build that trust through social media using your buyer personas.
I would encourage any company who has yet to define their buyer personas to do so in order to effectively reach and engage followers on social media. By creating a buyer persona for each type of buyer, a company can better understand their consumers likes, dislikes, interests, buying behavior, and more to be able to create a marketing strategy for engagement that is specific to them. Never stop learning about your consumer and adapting your personas so that you have the best chance at success. Good luck and have fun!