How to Use Audience Personas to Improve Social Media Engagement

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Social media can be one of the most influential tools for connecting with your target audience. Because your social profiles act as a clear line of communication between you and your leads, customers, and clients, you can get feedback, start conversations, and share new insights quickly and easily.

However, to see success from your social profiles, you need to be actively engaged. If you're just starting out or you're trying to establish new connections on a social media account, you may find that it's harder to get noticed than you expected.

There are thousands of new accounts created every day. If you want your target audience to take notice of your posts, you need to stand out from the crowd. That means you need to go above and beyond their expectations to provide them with content you know they will love.

It isn't always easy to develop a social media strategy that resonates with your target audience. However, if you want to create content that you know your ideal customer will love, you need to take a minute to identify who they are. You can do this by creating an audience persona.

What is an Audience Persona?

An audience persona is a tool frequently used in the world of social media marketing. When you create an audience persona, you're taking an in-depth look at the individuals with whom you'd like to connect. Through establishing an audience persona, you're able to better identify who you're trying to target with your posts and content, allowing you to create a more focused strategy.

Your audience persona is like a screenshot of who your ideal friend, follower, or fan would be. In developing the persona, you should describe who they are, what they look like, their age, career, geographic location, and more. The audience persona can also include what they enjoy, what their fears are, and what problems they may be facing.

Creating an audience persona gives you someone on whom to focus. After you've established who your ideal audience is on social media, you're able to create content specifically for those individuals. While targeting your content may shut out a larger group of social media users, it can strengthen your connection with your group of ideal customers.

3 Ways to Use Audience Personas to Improve Your Social Media Engagement

Using an audience persona can help you improve your social media strategy to start seeing more engagements. Let's take a look at three ways you can apply your newly created audience persona to your social media profiles so you can begin to see higher returns on your investment.

1. Find Your Best Social Media Platforms

When you create a social media strategy, you want to ensure your posts and content are getting in front of the right people at the right time. While the content you create and the way you promote those pieces is important, you need to ensure you're posting them on the proper outlets.

Understanding who you're trying to reach with your social media posts will also allow you to determine which platforms are best for you and your audience. If you're trying to create content for a variety of platforms, you may find that most of it is getting ignored. By stretching yourself too thin and focusing on platforms that aren't popular with the audience you're trying to attract, you're only wasting your time, money, and resources.

Within your audience persona, you want to outline which platforms your target audience uses frequently. The age range, gender, and location of your audience will typically influence which platforms are most popular. You should also use your audience persona to determine what your audience members are doing when they log on to that specific platform, including who they're hoping to engage.

When developing your social media strategy, focus only on the platforms that your target audience members are on, even if that means skipping a platform that is popular with other companies and industries. By refining your focus and developing a more targeted strategy, you can ensure each piece reaches the right audience.

2. Create Content Specific to Your Target Audience

If you want your social media posts to grab attention, you need to start by creating strong content. The content you create will act as the backbone for your social media strategy. If you're developing flat or unengaging pieces, you can't expect to see a high level of engagement from your target audience.

Getting to know what your target audience is looking for online is the first step in developing content they'll want to engage with. When you understand the audience's fears, what problems they're facing, or what information they find interesting or entertaining, you'll be able to craft stronger pieces that fill a direct and immediate need. If you can directly appeal to your target audience, you can pull in more attention and get a higher response rate.

Your audience persona should take an in-depth look at the various issues, problems, or concerns your target audience faces. It should also consider the kinds of content they enjoy engaging with when they log on to different social media platforms. When you better understand their needs and preferences, you can tailor your content to receive more engagements.

When creating content to share on social media, always consider whether or not it is beneficial to your target audience. If there are similar pieces already available or it doesn't directly fit with their needs, you may want to consider moving on to another topic. However, always listen to feedback from your target audience so you can continue to refine your content.

3. Start Conversations with The Customers You Want to Reach

Your social media profiles need to work as a two-way street. If you want engagement from your target audience, you need to find ways to engage with them. If you're merely posting links to your website or pushing your fans and followers to your blog, you can't be surprised if they're not responding to your posts.

Starting a conversation with your followers, fans, and friends can help prove that there is a person behind the screen. By answering questions, giving feedback, or providing advice, you can not only establish long-term relationships with your fans and followers, but you're also able to build your credibility and infuse some personality into your profiles.

Within your audience persona, you want to outline details about the way your target audience may engage on social media. That includes things like what kind of language they may use, the slang used in their posts, and what they may be looking for when they connect with a brand. When you incorporate all these details into your responses and correspondence, you're able to build stronger relationships with your audience members.

Each time a friend or follower reaches out on social media, be sure to respond to them within your brand voice. You can also start conversations of your own by jumping into Facebook Groups or Twitter Chats, or just by looking for individuals in need of help online. As you start discussions, they will begin to grow organically.

If you want to improve your social media engagements, you need to begin by getting more social. By getting to know your target audience and crafting content that fits their unique needs and preferences, you can grow your online community and foster long-term relationships.

If you haven't already, create an audience persona to use in your next social media strategy. When you take an in-depth look at who your social media audience is, then you can build better content and start seeing more return on your investment.

 

Originally published February 6, 2018.

Erica Hayton