Guest post courtesy of our friend, Rikki Lear, founder of Digital 22, a HubSpot Platinum Partner marketing agency based in Clitheroe, United Kingdom.
The first step of the whole marketing process is identifying who your ideal persona is and what they are interested in. If you invest the time doing this before anything else, you are on the right path to success with your social media targeting. Everyone’s behavioural pattern is different and mapping this initially will tell you everything you need to know about the characteristics of your customers. Social media can be a powerful tool if done correctly. Here’s what we suggest to lead you to success.
How Do I Appeal to My Target Market on Social Media?
The most important consideration when it comes to a company’s social media is to appeal to your target market. What are they interested in? What are their pain points? What are the questions they want to ask but feel embarrassed to admit they are struggling with? If you answer these questions your social media presence will rocket.
These questions can be identified by taking a deep-dive into personas and the responsibilities they hold to help ensure your social media presence is educational where and when it’s needed.
What is a Persona, and Why Does It Matter?
You will probably hear the word ‘persona’ being bandied about. This is down to the fact that every industry can benefit from persona research. It helps identify who your target customers are and even who brings you the most revenue as your first thought of your ideal customer isn’t necessarily the most important to your business.
A persona is a ‘make believe person’ who fits your ideal customer. Often these are named and discussed in meetings as if they are a real person as this is the group you are trying to sell to. They need to be at the front of your mind for every business decision. It is important to research their likes, dislikes, social status, shopping habits, goals, aspirations and challenges. An important consideration is which social media channel they use to research.
The Persona Template can help you to plan your content marketing to the correct audience, improve your team’s understanding of the market and much more. Getting this down on paper will help organise your thoughts and highlight exactly what to focus on.
How Do I Figure Out Which Social Media Platform to Use and How Do Personas Factor In?
Many businesses have Facebook and Twitter because they feel like they should and don’t want to get left behind but you could be missing out if your ideal persona uses Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn.
Every persona is different; if you know the audience you are targeting intimately you should plan your campaign around where they already are present. Many Millennials use SnapChat religiously so if they are your audience, this should be the focus driving you forward.
The older the target persona, usually, the more mature social network is common.
It is great if you can run a survey to your target consumer and begin to understand what they use and for what purpose. Whether it’s personal profiles or business accounts just for work.
What Does My Target Audience Want to Know?
Once you have your persona you can look into the questions they want answering. A good starting point is talking to the sales and customer service teams about their experiences when talking to customers.These chats can open up a world of queries that you can help with on social media. These questions can be used as blog titles and shared socially to reach your followers, or Q&A’s can give you a voice within the industry which benefits your company (to be seen as an industry leader). To build this voice, it’s important to be consistent and reliable when talking to your audience, and to be open to healthy discussions.
It is important not only to share your company blogs on social media but also industry news. The idea of being a one stop shop for your target persona to learn everything from industry updates and changes to advice columns and opinion pieces is the ultimate goal. If you can create a useful forum for discussion within your personas interests, it should create commenting, engagement and questions through your chosen social media platforms.
How Often Do I Need to Engage with Social Media?
Take into consideration when you publish on your social accounts and how often. Twitter is very fast-paced and it’s acceptable to share the same story more than once over a few weeks. Similarly, with Facebook it’s not recommended to share several times in the same week as each profile has the latest post but I would reshare a week after the first post if it’s still relevant. For platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, I’d share it only once. I personally find the co-schedule recommended sharing frequency works well, see below:
Gaining momentum within the industry hashtags (mainly Twitter) can open up new opportunities when getting involved with your persona’s habits. Some niches all contribute on the same day, see what others are doing and getting involved in and join the trends for example #thursdaythoughts.
If you can regularly contribute, comment, and connect with others it will help with your persona building and attract your target audience.
When trying to reach new followers it’s important to engage with them, be genuine, take an interest, send them a blog that might help with their question, and make sure your tone of voice on social media is approachable and engaging to them.
How Do I Know If I’m Engaging in Meaningful Ways?
It is always important to remember that everyone’s an individual and it’s hard to target the same group with a number of different people in it with relevant content but if you niche your personas into groups and post for them your social posts will be bang on the money!
About the author:
Rikki is an inbound marketer with over 8 years experience and qualifications from Hubspot, Google, Bing and The Chartered Institute of Marketing.