This #JustTheTipTuesday is by special request, and is an important chapter in the Kickstart 2018 Social Media Planner. It’s actually one of the first things we cover because it’s oh-so-crucial to your social media marketing strategy.
Without a buyer persona plan in place, you’re doing what I fondly refer to as throwing spaghetti on the ceiling and seeing if it sticks.
There is an old adage in culinary lore involving cooking spaghetti and then throwing it against the wall to see if it’s done or not. EVEN RACHEL RAY BELIEVES THIS. So, obviously, it’s true.
I have affectionately adopted the phrase “throwing spaghetti on the ceiling” to refer to any frantic, poorly executed online marketing campaign.
Lucasism #653: “Throwing Spaghetti On The Ceiling”
Definition: One who wildly tries any ol’ marketing technique without a laid out strategy and just seeing if it “sticks”
One of the first steps in crafting an effective marketing strategy is to really think about who you are selling to and then crafting your approach around their needs and motivations.
This #JustTheTipTuesday is going to teach you how to plan your buyer personas so your social media marketing will stick.
WHAT IS A BUYER PERSONA?
A “Buyer Persona” (Alternately, customer persona or buyer avatar) is a fictional representation of who your ideal customer/client is. If you have Google Analytics and social media accounts that have been active for over 30 days, you’re in luck! You can create a semi-fictional buyer persona based on existing data.
WHY DO YOU NEED BUYER PERSONAS?
Buyer personas help you create a clear plan of action for your marketing, promotion, and sales strategies. Buyer personas will help you navigate how to talk to your prospective customers, when to talk to them, what to offer them, and determine what their needs are. It will also help you figure out where they live online to reach them.
HOW TO CREATE A BUYER PERSONA
GATHER YOUR DATA
Your existing data is the first place to go when creating your buyer persona. Using Google Analytics and data from your social media audience, you can glean the following:
- Time of day and days of the week that your audience is active on your website and social media channels
- Age of audience
- If your audience is mostly male, mostly female, or split down the middle
- Where your audience lives in the world
NO DATA, NO CRY
If you’re just starting out with your entrepreneurial adventure and have not collected data yet, get creative about who your business will serve.
- What problems will you be solving with your product or service?
- Who can benefit most from what you are selling?
- What other types of products/services compliment what you are selling?
- Can your product or service be given as a gift?
- Is your product/service sold directly to the consumer, to a business/organization, or both?
- What types of magazines, blogs, and other press outlets would most likely feature your product/service?
ASK THESE QUESTIONS OF YOUR FICTIONAL BUYER PERSONA
- What motivates you to buy my product/service? Example: Buyer Persona shops local, Buyer Persona buys handmade goods, Buyer Persona is an art collector, Buyer Persona needs marketing strategy, Buyer Persona is a foodie, Buyer Persona likes to be entertained
- How much money do you make?
- What is your highest level of education
- Where do you live online? Examples: Reddit, Quora, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, industry websites, etc.
- Where do you shop online and what do you shop for? Examples: Etsy, eBay, clothing, furniture, unique gift items, art, food products, etc.
- How much do you spend shopping online monthly?
- Are you married?
- Do you have kiddos?
- Do you have pets?
- What do you do for a living?
- Do you listen to podcasts?
- How do you listen to music? Examples: Pandora, Spotify, CDs, radio
- What types of products/services that are similar to mine would you also be into? (Examples: Bath & Body Works, “50 Shades of Gray”, The Food Network, Dale Chihuly, Marie Foleo, etc.)
SCRATCH BELOW THE SURFACE
SNEAKY LEGIT WAYS TO GATHER MORE INTEL
Now that you have the creative juices flowing on who your target buyer is, it’s time to dig deeper. Here are just a few ways you can start to understand your Buyer Persona in real-time using what I call the “It Stands To Reason Technique”:
If my Buyer Persona likes _________, it stands to reason that they will like what I’m offering.
If my Buyer Persona likes Nylon Magazine, it stands to reason they will like my handmade perfume collection geared towards twenty-somethings.
If my Buyer Persona shops at Farmer’s Markets, it stands to reason they will like my locally made small batch spaghetti sauce.
If my Buyer Persona recently had a baby in the NYC area and is between 32-39, it stands to reason they will like my urban mama millennial blog.
Have you poked around in your Facebook Ads Manager console? When narrowing down your Facebook ad audience, Facebook ads has a great “Detailed Targeting” feature that will make suggestions based on what you initially identified as a demographic, interest and/or behaviors. You don’t have to actually buy an ad to play with this feature for your Buyer Persona creation, and it’s a great jumping point.
Using the It Stands To Reason Technique, check out the Instagram accounts of products/services/brands that your Buyer Persona would be into. You can then check out their hashtag strategy, what they’re promoting, and glean other useful tidbits of info to help round out your Buyer Persona’s motivations, shopping habits, interests, and demographics.
WEAVING IT ALL TOGETHER
THE UNIQUE VALUE OF YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE + YOUR BUYER PERSONA = YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING STRATEGY
Of course, there are a number of other ingredients to throw into the mix in developing your social media strategy, but for the sake of this #JustTheTipTuesday, I wanted to keep it simple and sweet.
Your Buyer Persona is an important step in really getting to know who you want as a customer, and who you don’t want.