Ask a roomful of marketers if they have buyer personas for their brand and odds are, most hands will go up. Ask the same marketers how many have updated their personas within the past year, and you’re bound to see far fewer hands shoot up. And that’s because the reality is, most marketers aren’t creating useful buyer personas. They focus on demographics and CRM data when they should focus on psychographics (e.g. personalities, affinities, sentiments).
A Forbes article on buyer personas describes this root problem perfectly: “The majority of people make decisions from emotions. They may justify those decisions with logic, but logic is not what drives the initial decision. Psychographics get into the emotions of the persona so that you can base your messaging on that. Demographics, on the other hand, don’t really provide much insight into emotions or messaging.”
But psychographics are far more difficult to acquire than demographics, and most marketers don’t have the right tools in place to capture them. Thus, the vicious cycle continues with well intentioned time and effort spent crafting demographic-based personas about “Mary Marketer” or “Digital Dave” only to sit in a digital folder and die.
There is a better way, and social audience insights can help you achieve it.
Performing A Persona Gutcheck
We break down exactly how to build highly accurate buyer personas here. But once they’re built, you can use social audience insights to both validate and optimize them. A person’s activity on social media is a collection of self-declared information—interests, passions, brand affinities—that are, in essence, the psychographics part of the persona equation.
Let’s say you’re an athletic apparel company looking to increase your athleisure market-share. You know from your persona work that your buyers are active athletes who work out at least 4x per week. But when you look at their social activity, you see they also are big travelers. With this new insight, you can craft your messaging around the on-the-go athlete:
“Lifestyle apparel that’s functional for 30,000 feet up in the air or on the track.”
Social insights help you uncover niche areas of opportunity to include in your buyer personas. Once you understand what drives them, connecting with your audience and influencing their purchase decision is easy.
3 Ways To Put Personas To Use
Once you confirm your buyer personas are accurate and rich with psychographics, it’s time to put them to work for you. Below are 3 ways to capitalize on buyer personas using social insights:
- Paid Media Campaigns: Connect with your audience on the platforms they frequent by serving up targeted ads or partnering with influencers that resonate with your audience. Crafting compelling copy that will drive click-throughs and conversion is easy to do since you understand exactly what they care about.
- Market Research Studies: The hardest part about market research is effectively reaching your audience. But using the behavioral insights included in your buyer personas, you know not only who to reach, but what to say that will motivate them to participate. Once they do opt-in, you can overlay social insights to understand them even better (Psst — we have an entire eBook on using social insights to effectively perform market research).
- Audience Intelligence: Similarly to the above, you can also enrich your buyer profiles within your CRM by overlaying social data about them. In short, you can use social insights to get a holistic view of existing customers for repeat purchase and retargeting campaigns.
As you can see, there’s an effective way to put personas to work for you. The trick is using social audience insights to fill in the gaps. Do you use buyer personas to help inform your marketing campaigns? Tweet us @StatSocial or leave us a comment on our LinkedIn or Facebook posts.