Personas in Social Media

Wednesday 06th, April 2016

The idea of “personas” in marketing has been around for decades now – personas are central to marketing or sales – even products and services.

What is a persona?

They are fictional and generalized representations of your ideal customers – the kind of customers that we are trying to attract. So a good marketer builds a persona – and everything he does (whether it is creating content or developing a product, or in sales, customer acquisition and retention) keeps this persona in sharp focus. Needless to say it is very important to create detailed personas in order to understand your customer profile.

What are the personas in Social Media?

Personas have been around in the marketing world for many years now – applying them to Social Media is a recent thing. There can be many personas when it comes to Social Media. Being familiar with them or learning to create personas can make all the difference in the world to delivering customized messages to your audience. This is crucial to engage with your customers meaningfully and in a relevant manner.

When it comes to the kind of interaction that happens on Social Media – there are three main types –

  • The Lurkers (90% of the group)
  • The Commentators (9%)
  • And the Creators (1%)

It is important to create the right kind of personas in Social Media to engage with them effectively. Of course there is no one right way to create personas. Here are some ideas.

When it comes to the kind of information that people share, there can be some personas –

  • Some share so they are seen as helpful. They are Altruists who want to be seen as a reliable source of information.
  • Some share in order to stay connected with others – that is what sharing content on Social Media means to them – a way to stay connected with those they choose to be.
  • Some people thrive on sharing cutting edge news and developments and very creative content. They are usually young people seeking to build an online identity for themselves.
  • There is a well-educated and informed persona who seeks to get a name by sharing serious and useful content. Content that delivers value.
  • And there is a persona that posts stuff looking for validation and reactions from others
  • There are thought leader personas as well – who look for great news and trends in their industry and share them quickly.

And there can be personas based on their use of Social Media.

  • A persona that is not involved with Social Media at all – so how does one market to them here?
  • A persona who is new to social networking – they are not very active and possibly use just one platform.
  • A persona who simply watches what’s going on without even creating profiles for themselves.
  • A persona that is regular and very active on social media – who shares and interacts with others regularly.

Personas based on Social Networking habits and motivations.

  • A persona that shares information in order to build better relationships.
  • A persona that connects with others only to bond better with them
  • A persona that uses social media for networking and information sharing
  • A persona that creates and shares content to express themselves creatively.

Personas based on requirements

  • A persona that is looking for a solution to an issue
  • A persona that looks for things connected to their interests and likes
  • A persona that can be distinguished by the pain points they experience.

Personas based on the kind of people on Social Media

  • There could be a fan persona – people who like you or your products or services.
  • There is an information seeker persona – who is looking to find out more about either you or your business or your product.
  • There is a leader persona – an influential person who is very popular with lots of followers.
  • There is a bargain hunting persona that looks for offers, discounts and promos.

Personas based on their position in the sales funnel

  • You have a prospective customer persona
  • A present customer persona
  • A competitor persona
  • Influencer and decision maker persona

So if you want to build a set of personas that would suit your business – something that the others don’t really use, you can do that as well –

All you need to do is to capture data from all the various touchpoints and study and analyze it. Then you can come up with personas of your own – something that would suit your business. But regardless of how you come up with a list of personas, personas are very important to a business. They help you build better relationships with your audience and help you engage with them better.

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