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Putting social media personas at the core

Recently SproutSocial published an insightful infographics breaking down the social media strategy into key aspects and processes.

Developing ‘a strong social bond’ using social media marketing (SMM) is likely to be translated into better offline relationships with customers, which in turn, build a long-term customer loyalty. Since social media is no longer ‘the wild child of the marketing department’, brands need to focus on developing a powerful strategy in order to gear social media to more leads and sales.

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Choosing which social platform or what content to produce are all crucial elements to take into account when devising a strategy.

But what does it take to move from a standard strategy to powerful social media strategy?

‘With personas, businesses can be more strategic in catering to each audience, internalize the customer that they are trying to attract, and relate to them as human beings.’

Social media personas shed light on customer perspectives.

The bottom line is that social media is to connect with fans and potential customers. And the key to connecting with them is a deeper understanding of your intended market.

So, as much as your business objectives, social media marketing is also about fulfilling the needs and motivations of your audience. Determining which social platform to use and what content to produce have a lot to do with what your intended audience expect from your social media page(s).

Having social media personas not only helps you understand your users better, but also allows you to create a more targeted advertising.

Here are some key analytics that help you determine who your audience is:

What motivates your audience to interact with your brand online?

Many businesses tend to build their social media strategy around their own business needs. But what about the user motivation?

Even the basic data about your users (such as the age range, the male-female ratio, education and so on) tell you about how they interact with social media. Understanding what drives your audience to engage with your brand/company on social media will also help you build the relevant content that keeps them returning for more. Content is the decisive element that differentiates an outstanding social media page from the average. Brands that create content to meet their audience’s needs are more likely to succeed. Are they here to be entertained? Are they looking for useful information, or simply has something to say about your products?

Different social media platforms often attract different demographics with different purposes. For example, if you find that the majority of your users belong to the generation Y, then you’ll probably choose to focus your marketing on Snapchat, Instagram and alike. On the other hand, if your brand encompasses more corporate messages, then you might want to consider LinkedIn or Twitter.

Here are 5 main groups of participants with distinctive motivations as identified by Heidi Cohen.

  • Fans – They like your brand’s product and services. While their ‘likes’ do not necessarily translate into sales, they seek to be associated with your brands.
  • Information seekers – They expect to find more information about your company/ brand to make ‘optimal purchase decision’.
  • Discount hunters – They are price elastic customers and therefore are only likely to be loyal as long as you provide them with exclusive offers/coupons.
  • Thought leaders – They are so-called social media influencers, whose blogs or websites can have significant effects on their followers.
  • Detractors – They can be the nightmares for brands. But their complaints and grievances are also good opportunities to restore relationships with them using real-time customer service.

Final notes

While many brands tend to devise a social media strategy primarily focused around their business needs, customer perspectives remain crucial in the formula. Whether you want to leverage social media to improve leads or increase the company profile, your social media profiles need to be convincing enough for the audience to stick around.

Social media personas help you think in customers’ shoes by addressing the fundamental questions: What are their motivations? How can brands interlink customer needs and business goals using social media? Your social media personas can be the touchstones for choosing the right platforms and content.

‘’Gear your social media marketing towards these questions using the social media voice that fits your brand and you will have your social media brand persona.’’ 

What do you think?
Appnova is a digital agency specialising in web design, UX, eCommerce, branding, digital marketing and social media.
Keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

(Image via Dia™, Flickr)

 

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