While many businesses will spend time growing their number of followers and churning out content, it’s worth taking a step back to think about who your target audience is and how you can tailor your social media towards them. Work smarter, not harder!
Developing buyer personas can help to optimise your social media output. A buyer persona is where you come up with a description of the ideal customer for your business, based on their interests, demographics and motivations.
Once you’ve established a set of buyer personas, it becomes easier to keep your core audience in mind when posting.
Choose data over hunches
It’s easy to assume when you run your own business that you know your customer base inside out, but don’t rely on assumptions. Use data to find out who is actually buying your products and visiting your website, and how they match with your followers on social media.
They key things you need to know for more effective targeting are:
- What about your brand resonates with them
- How are they getting to your website
- What triggers them to make a purchase
- What is stopping them from completing a purchase
- What, where and when to post on your social media
Look at past sales
The first place to look is your sales data. These are the people who already like your product enough to commit to buying it.
If you have points of sale in various places (such as a website, an app and an Instagram Shop), make sure you’re collecting data from each source, as there may be differences between the types of people buying or what they’re buying.
Often this will be fairly basic in terms of telling you much about your customers (location, time of day they bought something, what else they bought with it), but it’s still useful for forming a picture of your general customer types.
You could add a pop-up at the end of the sales journey to ask a quick question, or have a follow-up email to recent customers with a simple incentive (e.g. you’ll pick someone each month to win a voucher or goodie bag of products).
Ask the audience
Another useful way to gauge your audience is to conduct interviews or surveys. This allows you to collect more qualitative data for your buyer personas, giving you insight into challenges, interests and motivations.
An easy way to find out specific information about your audience is to post questions on your social media channels.
Get creative – Instagram allows you to post polls, questions or quizzes in Stories, and TikTok allows you to post polls and question stickers, which can be a handy way to collect specific information in a fun way. You can also post polls on Twitter or LinkedIn company pages.
Your social media audience can be quite broad, but those who choose to engage with your brand can give you a good idea of their values, lifestyle and preferences, which can then inform your products and marketing.
You could ask:
- What sort of content they’d like to see (e.g. galleries/carousels of products or video guides)
- What their biggest challenge is (either related to lifestyle or work, depending on what your product or service is)
- If there’s something they think is missing from your product range
- If they’d prefer a particular offer (money off versus added extras)
- What they’d like to see in a loyalty programme
Dig into your analytics
Next, check your website analytics to fill in the blanks with demographic data such as age, gender and what sort of device they’re using. You can break this out by those who went on to buy something, but analysing those who drop off before purchasing can also be helpful in optimising your customer journey.
Google Analytics can also provide generalised data on interests and keywords that people are using to get to your site. This can provide additional insight on their intentions and challenges.
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Building your buyer personas
Now that you’ve collected a range of data, you can hone in on that ideal persona to aim your social media posts at.
From those who have purchased something from you already, it’s time to organise them into a few buyer personas based on these traits and patterns you’re seeing in the data:
- General demographics like age, gender and location
- Are they using a mobile phone or laptop to purchase?
- Which social media platforms do they use?
- How are they getting to the point of sale – social media, search, email?
- Job role, industry and seniority (this is most likely to be found in LinkedIn analytics, or if you’ve included in a survey)
- Purchasing habits
It also helps to give the persona a name to differentiate from other personas you’re creating. For example:
- Lives in a town in Derbyshire, age 48, in a relationship. Uses her mobile phone almost exclusively for purchases and browsing
- Uses Instagram on a daily basis. Occasionally dips into LinkedIn
- She does a lot of research before buying something, and so tends to find new products through search or Instagram ads
- Senior marketing role
- Is a considerate buyer, avoids fast fashion or over-buying, but will make the most of suggested additions to a purchase
- Interested in regular travel, health, sustainability, experiences
- Is motivated by quality over price; would rather buy best than buy twice. Also likes something that is slick, useful and stylish
- Main challenge is finding eco-friendly ways to enjoy her hobbies
- Lives in London, aged 35, married. Uses laptop and mobile for work, as well as home browsing and purchases
- Uses several social media platforms, primarily TikTok and LinkedIn, sometimes Instagram
- Subscribes to a few newsletters for recommendations on tech, discounts and holidays. Has a few favourite websites such as TechRadar for reviews and ratings
- Sales executive
- Loves a bargain, sale or special offer. Relies heavily on reviews and recommendations
- Interested in food, new technology, music, holidays
- Is motivated by price and offers, and endorsement from trusted sites and sources
- Main challenges are being able to afford or prioritise hobbies, finding time outside of work
Try not to create too many personas as this will end up creating more problems than it solves. Just prioritise one or two key audiences to test your approach at the next stage.
You can also use the same process to identify customer bases which you aren’t currently serving or converting to purchase, but focus on your existing customers first.
Putting your personas to work
What can your business do for each of these personas? How can you best reach them and get them to purchase again, or spend more next time?
If you know that one persona is more active on Instagram and is motivated by sustainability, create some posts which really focus on those aspects of your offering. Make sure your website and product pages reflect your ethos and sustainability credentials too.
Use relevant hashtags and, if you’re planning to run ads, include associated keywords in the ‘interests’ section when setting up your audience. You may even want to contact some influencers within that community to see if they’d like to collaborate on a campaign.
If your persona is more motivated by price, it’s not necessarily a case of running discounts or a sale. Instead, you can focus on the value for money in your offering – does it last a long time or save them money elsewhere? Quoting reviews can also help with demonstrating the quality of your product and justify the price.
Make sure to record what you’re doing so that you can measure the effectiveness and make tweaks where necessary. Have sales and engagements increased from the channels where you’ve made the changes?
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Want to chat to someone about the best products for your startup? Speak to a member of the Currys Business team on 0344 561 6789.