The VPM Blog

How to Use Social Media to Reach Buyer Personas

Posted by Davin Cobb on Nov 2, 2015 10:29:02 AM

Choosing the right social platform to reach buyer personas

Social platforms have made it much easier and cheaper to reach buyer personas. The difficult part is figuring out which platform will reach your audiences. The best thing to do is to begin with research. In order to know how to reach your buyer personas, you must first know what a buyer persona is, second, how to create them, and third what social media platforms they use. Sounds easy right? It can be if you really spend some time on it.

We're going to give you an easy 3-step strategy on how to choose the right social platform to reach your business' buyer personas. This strategy will help assist you in the process of effectively using social media platforms.

1. RESEARCH

The first step to any strategy is RESEARCH, RESAERCH, RESEARCH. It is impossible to create a strategy without properly researching where you stand and where you're trying to go. If your business is trying to use social media to increase traffic to your website or gain more exposure, it is important to understand your analytics to see what content is attracting visitors to your website.

Also, research helps you create the most accurate buyer personas rather than just guessing. During this step, it's important to research the different social platforms; what they are best used for, the "rules" for using them, and their audience base. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google Plus and Pinterest all have different uses and reach different audiences differently. 

2. CREATING THE PERSONAS

First, you need to sit down and think about who your target audience is. This is going to help you better create the personas. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of ideal customers. The creation of the personas require research, surveys, and interviews. Buyer personas cannot be created over night. If you keep up with our blog, you probably know this next part... Say you're a coffee shop near a college campus. One of your largest customer bases is probably going to be students, right? So instead of just saying that your buyer persona is a "20-something student," create an entire lifestyle and background for them.

For instance, let's name our student "Christopher Cappuccunio."

  • Christopher is a 19 year old student at the university
  • He likes to sip on coffee while studying in a quiet corner of the shop
  • He's active on Instagram and loves to snap shots of the latte art that your baristas create for him
  • He lives 3 miles from the shop and stops in on his way to class to pick up a coffee
  • and so on and so forth...

You get the idea. You want to nail it down so you can reach out to people like Christopher. Just make sure you have some data to back up these statements. You can do this by interviewing your top customers, or have people fill out a survey after checkout. 

Once you have gone through the process of creating the personas, then move on to developing content for your website and social media while keeping these fictional personas in mind. Work on creating content that these personas would actually want to read and interact with.

3. CREAte a Content STRATEGY

Finally, you want to put all this research into practice. Now is the time to actually create a plan on how and when to use certain social media platforms. At this point you have researched your ideal customer by way of buyer personas, so you should now be able to create a plan. When creating your social media strategy, keep in mind your buyer personas so you don’t waste time on platforms that are not going to be appealing to your target customer base. Create content that your personas will want to read and will help answer their questions.

For instance, if your buyer persona is our Christopher Cappuccino, you're probably going to want to target them on Instagram since they probably like to snap photos of the flower art in their latte, as well as the Hemingway novel they brought to the shop. On the other hand, your business may be a school and you may have a version of Christopher Cappuccino who is looking for leadership and career tips. In that case, Instagram wouldn't make much sense, but LinkedIn certainly would. 

You have to think about and research where your buyer personas are online and what they're looking for in order to decide which platform to reach them on. As a sort-of cheat sheet:

  • LinkedIn is for the professional, career-minded individual
  • Facebook is for longer, discussion-based and video-based content (uploading a video straight to Facebook rather than linking to YouTube will increase traffic to your page and website)
  • Twitter for short, quirky updates in a typically more "fun" tone of voice
  • Google+ is all about being concise and helping you rank in Google's search engine
  • Instagram is for visuals and short clips

Keep in mind that this is a process. Once you have reached step three you might have to go back and do more research. We hope this quick guide on how to use social media to reach buyer personas is helpful, but keep in mind that buyer personas are just one way that Inbound Marketing can help increase your conversion rates and drive more traffic to your business. Learn more about the core services of Inbound by downloading our FREE eBook below.

5 Core Services of Inbound (updated)  

Photo: Labeled for reuse (License)

Topics: Social Media Strategy

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