Digital Mums Understanding your target customers

Understanding your target customers Step two in building a successful social media marketing strategy

Social media and social media marketing is all about people. Which means a crucial step in creating your strategy is understanding your audience. After all, if you don't know who you need to reach how can you know how to convert them? How can you know which content to use, when to post and to which platforms? Well quite simply, you can't.

What is a customer persona?

Customer personas (also known as buyer personas, user personas or customer avatars) are fictional representations of your customers - how they think, how they behave, what drives their behaviour and why they make decisions.

They’re regularly used in the digital space to get a thorough understanding of a target customer and their habits and motivations. It’s a way of discerning who you're reaching out to and what makes them tick. Once you do, you’ll know how to motivate them and how to best interact with them.

Your personas should be based on real insights from your customers. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Just talk to them. It seems obvious, but it’s amazing how many entrepreneurs never do this. This is a great way to get a sense of your audience - it’s also helpful to hear how they talk about your business, because this language can be used in the copy you use on your social media channels. At Digital Mums we always speaking to our audience, probing their pain points and figuring out what they are worried about or excited about, which allows us to refine our own messaging. If you don’t have any customers yet then talk to your ideal customer.
  • Send out customer surveys. Depending on your familiarity with survey tools and question design, these take a little bit more work but they can really pay off. You’ll get more data-driven results doing this, which is always a good thing.
  • Run simple polls on social media. Most social platforms now offer the ability to run simple polls. Develop a list of questions you’d like answered and build simple polls to get your audiences to answer them based on some pre-set options.
  • Ask them on social media. This seems too obvious to work but you can just ask a question via a tweet or post and see what your audiences respond with. Ask them what their biggest challenges and problems are and how you can help.
  • Use analytics. Google Analytics offers advanced segmentation, which can drive some clever insights into your visitors and all the major social media platforms have insights on your followers as well.

What do you need to know about your customers?

You need to ask yourself some questions about your audience. These fall into two categories:

  1. About them | This includes a whole bunch of demographic, interest and behaviour questions about them which builds information that is useful for a number of businesses targeting this audience.
  2. About you | These are detailed questions to find out more about audience pain points that your products/services help them with and what motivations and objections they might have to buying from you. They are only relevant for your business/charity or your close competitors offering very similar products/services.

1. About them

Find out the answers to the following questions:

  • How old are they?
  • Do they have kids? Grandkids?
  • Where do they live?
  • How much do they earn?
  • What other brands do they like?
  • Why do they like those brands?
  • Which social media platforms do they use and when do they use them?
  • Where do they go for their information?
  • What’s their day-to-day schedule like?

2. About you

Find out the answers to the following questions:

  • What are their pain points? How can you help?
  • Why should they like your brand or care it exists? What would motivate them to buy from you?
  • Are there any reasons they won’t like your brand? What are their objections to buying from you?

Now start drafting them

If you have more than one audience segment (which you probably will) it makes sense to have at least one persona for each main type of customer. You’re probably going to have a few different customer segments so making 3-4 is a good idea.

Here at Digital Mums, we advise our students to really bring each persona to life. We say give them a name, age, location and really flesh them out into a real person. It might seem strange, but the more detailed you are, the more helpful it is when deciding what your content and messages should be and also where you should focus your social media efforts.

The idea isn’t to have a 30-page document for each persona it’s about having a handy summary document with the key information that will inform your social media strategy.

For more useful social media stuff check out our free social media taster lessons, courses and podcasts here or why not sign up to find out more about our next Foundation in Social Media Marketing course here.

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