On and off Social Media Marketing, starts with understanding your ideal customer. Building a rich context about your target audience takes time, but there are steps you can take immediately that will put you in a better position at the start.
Spend some time researching your target audience, looking for demographic and psychographic data or observable patterns that help you form a mental image of who is likely to buy from you. This exercise won’t just inform your initial strategy but also help you develop a voice and tone for your brand that resonates with them.
If your business naturally focuses on a specific niche (like photography, for example), your job will be easier than if you’re trying to appeal to a more general audience (like banks or airline brands). I recommend lurking in the places your intended customers often hang out, in subreddits or blog comments for example, to see what they’re interested in.
Facebook, being one of the largest social networks and thus a database of 2.3 billion monthly active users, is also a great place to do some audience research. Check out your competitors’ pages, clicking through on the profiles of some of their engaged followers to get a better sense of who they are and what they like.
Once you’ve done some digging, you can put it all together to create an ideal customer, or “buyer persona”, who is likely to buy from you.
You don’t have to fill out every trait, but describe what you can to paint an image of this person as it is relevant to your business.
Location: Where do your ideal customers physically live? Even knowing just the country can help, but if you’re a local business or only want to serve a specific area then you should isolate those places.
Age: What is the age range of your customer? Keep this as broad as possible, unless you know for sure your target customer is at a certain point in their life.
Gender: What gender do they identify as? This might not be important or essential, depending on your brand.
Interests: What are their interests/hobbies/passions? These help with potential content ideas and audience targeting. (e.g. cooking, watching movies, yoga).
Career/Industry: What industry do they work in and what job titles have they held? Again, this might not be as relevant, depending on your brand.
Income Level: What is the income range of this buyer persona? Are they price-sensitive or are they willing to spend more money for premium products?
Relationship Status: Are they single, actively dating, or already married? This may be relevant if you’re in the wedding industry, for example.
Favorite sites/apps: What type of websites do they keep bookmarked? Do they browse Instagram or Pinterest daily? Are there specific apps they couldn’t live without?
Motivation to Buy: What reasons would this person have for buying your product? Do they want to sport a status symbol or make time to work out despite a busy schedule?
Buying Concerns: Why might they choose not to buy your product? Are they worried about the quality?
Other info: Anything else that isn’t covered but would be worth mentioning, such as education, stage in life (parents with newborn kids), events they attend, etc.
The point of these personas isn’t to be 100% accurate, but to outline your best guess at the kind of person who would be the easiest to convert into a customer.
For example, you might make a profile for an online store that sells Hand bags. After doing some research, You ended up with a description that looks something like:
Location: Australia/New Zealand
Age: 18 to 34 years old
Gender: Male and female (mostly female).
Interests: Travel bags, Leather bags, Work carry bags etc.
Income Level: $30 to $70K salary
Relationship Status: N/A
Favorite sites/apps:, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat. What they consume: EDM music, memes, dance videos.
Motivation to Buy: They want to stand out when they walk around and go to restaurants-let’s say. Shooting photos with their cool bags beside them to share on Facebook, Instagram would be awesome.
Buying Concerns: Quality of the product, expensive or at least something that resembles, getting the wrong size, not confident enough as a customer, getting it in time for a occasion.
Other info: Events they attend include weekend activities, church services, shopping.
Most of these traits can be targeted directly or indirectly through social media ads, but having it written down also helps inform the kind of content I can share and the voice I should use.
Keep these personas broad. This is all subject to change, evolve, and become more accurate as you execute your strategy and get real feedback.
Maybe one of your assumptions was wrong or your customers share another trait you didn’t expect at all.
Either way, social media marketing is one of the best ways to find out who your customers really are, and what you learn can even be incorporated into your larger business roadmap, such as what products you’ll come out with next.
You can go further and develop several audiences or “target segments” to speak to, such as gift-givers, shoppers who already buy from one of your competitors, and influencers or companies you want to build connections with.
But with at least one major target audience, you’ll be in a better position to consider the next part of your social media strategy: what you’re going to post.
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