Did you know that nearly 50% of the world's population uses social media? That’s a whopping 3 billion users worldwide. In 2020 your business needs an effective social media marketing strategy. In today’s digital age, people value personalization from brands online. Your audience is made up of unique human beings with values, needs, and problems; they can’t be defined simply as “customers” anymore. So how can you guarantee that the content you’re providing to your social media following is on point?
We’re going to let you in on a little secret: Use buyer personas to define your social media audience.
Once you’ve done that, it’s all smooth sailing. Okay, almost smooth sailing.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional portrait of your target customer. The purpose of developing buyer personas is to understand how your primary customers think, act, and behave online and offline. This helps you to understand their wants, needs, and pain points to better understand how your product or service can benefit them.
Businesses usually have several different buyer personas to represent the ideal versions of their diverse customer base. Once you understand who your customers are, you can direct your marketing strategies towards them to ensure you’re providing valuable and relevant content to an audience that wants to see it.
A correct buyer persona should be the starting point of your marketing strategy – there’s no point investing resources, money, and time into creating a strategy that’s not going to reach your target audience.
Defining your buyer personas
Defining your buyer personas might seem like a daunting task, but it’s quite simple once you know where to begin. The fact that people share a lot of information about themselves online nowadays doesn’t hurt either.
Marketing based on your buyer personas allows you to target your content towards different segments of your audience. We covered this topic in-depth in another article detailing how to design your buyer personas for social media. So let’s quickly recap the process.
To create an all-round picture of your ideal customer you’ll need to play detective. Here are some things you’ll need to know:
- Age, gender, and location.
- Education, job, relationship info
- Their behaviors (online and offline)
- Which social media platforms they use, when and how they use them
- What their typical day looks like
- Their goals and objectives
- Their challenges and pain points
- How your product or service aligns with their needs/wants
Once you’ve collected all this information, you’ll be able to form a general picture of your ideal customers. Always remember that your buyer persona template should end with a story. Does your buyer persona seem real? Do you understand who they are, what they need, and what motivates them?
The more detailed, the better.
Using detailed buyer personas is going to save you lots of money and time; it’s also going to help you create an effective social media marketing strategy that’s focused on your customers’ goals.
Now you’ve got a buyer persona (or a few), let’s understand how we can use them to improve your social media strategy.
Outline your social media target audience
So how can you use this information to figure out who you should be targeting your marketing efforts towards on social media?
A social media target audience is a group of people that you’ve decided you want to appeal to based on your buyer personas. They’re the people who are most likely to be interested in the products or services you offer. Your social media target audience needs to be specific, so you know exactly who you’re talking to.
Next, it’s time to think about how you’ll communicate with them. Pose questions to yourself and your marketing team like:
- What content will my audience relate to?
- What content will they find valuable?
- What is the appropriate tone of voice?
You’ll need to speak the same language as your audience; they should find your content relatable and valuable. In this way, your audience is more likely to engage with your business on social media, become loyal to your brand, and - ultimately - purchase your product.
Find out where your audience hangs out
You’ll have to find out which social media platforms your target audience use. Once you know where they are, you can figure out the best way to target them with content appropriate for each platform.
There are lots of social media platforms you’ll need to consider, and figure out whether they’re worth investing your time and efforts in. Let’s check out some of the main contenders.
Facebook is the most ubiquitous social media platform out there today. 69% of Americans use Facebook, and 74% of them check it every day. Facebook is most popular among millennials and older users.
Instagram attracts a younger audience than Facebook. In fact, 64% of Instagram users are under 34. If you’re appealing to a more youthful crowd, then you should consider targetting your audience with Instagram. Instagram is also more common among female social media users, which is something else to take into account.
Attracting users with higher education levels, Twitter appeals to younger audiences - but not as young as Instagram! What’s more, people are 31% more likely to recall what they saw on Twitter as opposed to general online browsing.
Video content is huge. It’s no wonder that YouTube is the preferred platform for social media marketing worldwide. It’s used by all demographics, and attracts more male visitors. What’s more, 96% of US teens use YouTube!
Other social media tools to note include LinkedIn, Reddit, TikTok, and Pinterest. Each of these platforms offers something different, whether it’s content format, audience reach, or demographic appeal - it’s essential that you evaluate the benefits of each platform for your business.
Check out the competition
“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”
Another tip when defining your social media target audience is to check out the competition. Take a look at what they’re doing to drive engagement. What tone of voice are they using? What content are they sharing? What gaps in their social media strategy that you can take advantage of?
Also consider: which kind of people are engaging with them? You can get a good idea of this by looking at who is responding to and engaging with their social media posts.
- Which hashtags are they using?
- Who are their top followers
- What other pages do they like?
It might seem like a lot of questions to ask, but once you’ve got all the answers you’ll know exactly what your social media target audience wants. Then you’re ready to fulfill their desires with your own perfectly targeted social media content.
Developing your social media strategy for your target audience
In the era of digital marketing, personalization is vital.Let’s take a look at some of the key ways you can develop your social media strategy based on your target audience and scale your engagement efforts.
So what can you do?
There are a few ways that you can target your content towards a specific audience, generate leads, and increase engagement. Think about it, by appealing to an audience that you already know will find your value in your product or service, you’re much more likely to convert leads to sales quickly. Moreover, your social media strategy should be aligned with the interests of your target audience.
- Reconsider your editorial calendar
Based on the insights you’ve gained from your audience research, you can rethink and replan your editorial calendar to ensure the content you’re sharing on social media is aligned with their interests and values.
- Be active, but not too active
You’ll want to create a schedule for your social media posts. There are plenty of tools like Hubspot Social which allow you to create, schedule, and optimize all of your social content from one platform. When posting on social media, you mustn’t post too often or not often enough. Make sure you take note of when your target audience is most active to achieve higher engagement results.
- Choose your brand voice carefully
Your brand’s tone of voice says a lot about who you are, so you’ll need to adapt it to have authentic conversations with your customers. Your brand voice should be consistent across your social media platforms, as this gives a memorable personality to your brand and brings you closer to your customers. Whether your tone of voice is playful, aggressive, or functional - it makes a huge difference to your social media strategy. If you need some inspiration for finding the right brand voice, check out these examples.
- Share content relevant to your target audience
Make sure that your social media content is relevant to your audience, even if it’s not 100% relevant to your brand. If a large part of your target audience has shown interest in soccer, you could capture their attention with soccer-related content every once in a while. This ensures you’re speaking to your audience on a human level, not only as customers.
- Set SMART goals
Set SMART goals to track the success of your social media strategy. Keep track of the targets you’re meeting (and not meeting) to determine ways you can improve your social media strategy. This allows you to track ROI, and get a clear understanding of whether or not you’re appealing to the right target audience.
It’s time to meet your target audience!
Are you ready to take the first steps towards your successful social media marketing strategy?
Download our FREE buyer persona template and get to know your audience today.