Creating Marketing Personas for your Social Media Strategy

Marketing Personas
We believe that a long with other marketing initiatives, it’s very important to develop marketing personas for your social media projects. Marketing personas personify your customers, making it easier for you to speak their language and build campaigns that resonate with them. 

Personas are not new. They have been around since the 1990s. What is new is taking personas and applying them to social media.

A persona is a tool to summarize research about a target audience and help marketers and advertisers see the world from a single target person's perspective. A great tool, it is often used by Web developers, user experience designers, and B2B marketers.

This article provides four approaches to creating personas to increase the relevancy of your social media marketing methods.

Personas: From Usability to Social Action

In Web design, personas help in creating a digital experience that optimizes usability; in social media marketing, personas are about delivering more customized messages.

Communicating the right message at the right time in the right channel improves the performance of the one-on-one personal communication that happens in social media.

Understanding consumer personas can help content creators produce more meaningful day-to-day, one-on-one social media communication. Personas help marketers take a customer-centric approach that connects with consumers in meaningful and relevant ways.

Brand message, voice, and promotions still matter, but social media engagement requires customizing messages for specific situations.

How to Create Personas for Social Media

There is no one right way to create a persona. Here I will present four approaches, and you can decide to use one or a combination of them.

1. Based on Social Media Use

One approach is from WOMMA, based on social media use, in accordance with a study of US Internet users. These general personas emphasize the differences between the types of social media participation via six classifications:

  • No-shows:  

These are consumers who are the least involved with social media, if involved at all. Yes, they still exist; so, if they are part of your target market, you need to reach them with other methods of marketing.

  • Newcomers: 

These consumers have recently joined social networking. They are the most passive users, usually on a single social media network. Newcomers need a lot of coaxing and education.

  • Onlookers:  

These are consumers who simply observe others via social channels, but they do not have their own social media profiles. For these people, you want to create content they are able to access.

  • Cliquers:

 Many consumers are active users on just one network. Focus is key for engaging these customers.

  • Mix-n-Minglers: 

Consumers who regularly share and interact with a diverse group of connections via social media. If your target market has a lot of these people, you need a multipronged approach.

  • Sparks: 

These consumers are the most active on social media, and they are potential brand ambassadors to their favorite brands. To engage this group, you'll want to practice outreach and encourage user-generated content creation.


2. Based on Social Networking Motivations and Habits

Another approach to personas is proposed by the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council and the Integer Group. This method categorizes consumers based on social network motivations and habits:

  • Bonders: 

These consumers love to create and cultivate relationships with family, friends, and work colleagues. They are fun, sociable, and connected and want to keep up with what's happening in others' lives, share their thoughts and ideas, and introduce people to each other.

  • Sharers: 

These people want to be the one to spread the word on what's going on in their lives and to provide helpful information. They find value in sharing their discoveries so others benefit, and they want to build stronger relationships by commenting and sharing.

  • Professionals:

 Consumers considered professionals are career-focused, using social media for professional networking or knowledge, but they also like to share and spread their opinions and relevant information on both professional and more personal social networks.

  • Creators:

 These consumers are outgoing and use social media to express themselves by creating and sharing content. They are bold and enjoy continually learning while showing people who they are.

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