What’s your social media style? What’s your favorite social media topic? Do your style and topic preferences change depending on whether you’re perusing social media for personal versus business purposes?
Are you most interested in “How To” articles (like this one), or do you prefer step-by-step tips and tricks? Do you like long, meaty articles, or do you like bite-sized posts that take just a minute or two to read?
Do you obsess over the appropriate number of times to post each day? And, do you schedule your posts religiously, or do you just toss something out there when the mood strikes you?
How about this: What are your favorite blogs to read? Where do you go for information? Do you sign up for RSS feeds, or do you count on various social media feeds to bring you the information posted by those who run your favorite websites?
When and how do you prefer to get the information that interests you most? Do you sit down in front of your computer with a cup of coffee and stroll through your social media streams each morning, or do you power through random social snippets on your smart phone in between meetings? Do you always read the same sources, or are you on the hunt for new ones more often than not?
That’s an awful lot of questions, isn’t it? And yet, with all those questions we’ve barely begun to find out who you are.
There’s a story behind every buyer, and brands need to know the stories behind their customers and communities so they can be a better social resource. It’s all a part of the process of defining a brand’s buyer personas.
Defining buyer personas isn’t just a matter of coming up with a range of customer profiles or pinpointing target markets. It actually has more to do with determining your key customers’ behaviors.
Once you’ve determined your customers’ behaviors, you have to figure out how to appeal to them. You also need to figure out where they are, when they’re there, how they’re getting there, what they need when they’re there, and what you can do to be there when they need you most.
You also need to determine where there is. Is it on Facebook or Twitter, or both? Is it on your blog or in your email messaging? Are the images you’re posting on Pinterest or Instagram getting people into your store to buy your products? Once you’re where your customers are, you have to focus on providing the solutions they need, when they need them.
Having a deep understanding of who, what, why, when and where your customers are will help you tailor your content more specifically. It’ll also guide your marketing strategies, your style of communications, timing and frequency, and brand messaging. Beyond social media, accurate buyer personas can even help drive your operations, product distributions, sales and services.
Buyer personas are more than just demographics. They’re not something you can figure out just by looking at your dashboard. You have to ask very directed questions (without appearing pushy, of course). If you’re doing it right, each answer will lead you to more information about your customers.
Try asking questions via social media. Have fun with it and vary the way you inquire. You might not get a lot of responses at first because people are often unwilling to be one of the first to voice their opinions in an information-gathering scenario. Realize that people often peruse your social media posts without acting on them – at least not every time. But they’re there. They see your messaging, and the more they see it, the more comfortable they’ll become with it. The more comfortable they become with it, the more they’ll act on it. Ultimately, the more they act on it, the more they’ll tell you what they want. And finding out what your customers want is buyer persona gold.
Looking for creative and engaging ways to define your buyer personas? We can help!