February 24, 2016
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your actual, paying customers, created based on the data you have about them – such as their job title, budget, buying motivation, challenges, company size, age, pain points, education level, buying concerns, etc.
Your buyer personas function to help you understand your customers on a deeper level. They can also inform your content, messaging points, and value proposition, so you can ensure that everything on your website, in emails, and on social media is in alignment with exactly what your target market is looking for. The more accurate your buyer personas are, the more money you’ll save on campaigns by gaining relevance, the more leads you’ll generate by targeting the right people, and the more revenue you’ll drive by understanding your prospects' needs.
You can collect data to create your buyer personas in a number of ways – including through surveys, content offer forms, and market research. But today, we’re focusing on leveraging the rich data that’s readily available on your company’s social media pages to create these critical personas. Here’s how to get started:
Your Facebook business page gives you access to a powerful tool called Facebook Insights, which provides you with key data about your target market – including the users who visit your page; respond to your ads; and click, like, and/or comment on your posts. You can even analyze a custom audience by importing your customers’ email addresses and phone numbers into this tool. From there, you can learn all sorts of invaluable information about your market – including their age, location, gender, lifestyle, relationship status, job title, pages liked, household income, home ownership, household size, spending methods, purchase behavior, and much more. Once you’ve analyzed your own audience, you can also use this tool to collect information about a competitor’s audience, which will likely reveal insights that can further strengthen and enrich your buyer personas.
Twitter Analytics provides you with a ton of information about your audience – including their gender, location, interests, and language, as well as other companies and people they follow. In using this tool, you may learn that your audience has several prominent interests you hadn’t considered before. You could use that information to further hone your personas, as well as target your messaging to ensure your posts resonate. Twitter Analytics also allows you to look at users who don’t follow you – but have seen your posts in their feeds. By comparing these individuals with your current followers, you will very likely discover a new audience segment that you can incorporate into your buyer personas – thus increasing your reach.
As of right now, LinkedIn doesn’t offer an analytics tool. However, you can still use the social networking site to create your buyer personas. You simply have to research people who match the data you have about your ideal customer. Additionally, you can use Linkedin's advertising management system for helping to define persona's using their structured questionnaire for ad creation.
For example, let’s say you know that your target market is comprised of decision-makers at IT companies who are interested in tech news. Armed with that knowledge, you can visit LinkedIn groups that target IT professionals and get a feel for the topics being discussed. What exactly are these individuals interested in? What are their challenges? What kind of advice are they asking for? What kind of content are they posting and sharing? All of this information can then be used to create and strengthen your buyer personas – which will improve all of your content creation and marketing efforts moving forward.
After defining personas, put them to work using lead scoring. Learn more: What is Lead Scoring?
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