How to Build a Target Persona for Social Media Lead Generation

Before embarking on any social media lead generation campaign it’s important to take the time to understand the target customer that you are looking for. In traditional marketing this is done by building a target customer persona made up of psychographics and demographics. In social media marketing we have the opportunity to be a bit more scientific and concentrated. On the social web there are two types of information that makes up a target customer persona: bio information and topic information. We’ll discuss how to come up with both in this article.

Bio Information:

Bio information is how we describe ourselves on our social media profiles outside of the newsfeed or stream. It is our interests, our job title, location where we live, the school we went to, company we work at, etc. This is the information on the social web that stays relatively constant over time unlike the posts that we make every day. Think of this as a business card on steroids. The background section of a LinkedIn profile is made up completely of bio information. On Facebook this information is in the About section and on Twitter you’ll find this in the bio and location fields.

Bio Information

Now that we know where to find bio information, the next step is to think about all the ways your target customer describes themselves on these profiles. Below are some questions to ask while taking on this exercise:

  • Do my target customers live in specific locations?
  • What job titles do my target customers have in their profiles? What variations or keywords from these job titles should I focus on?
  • How do my target customers describe their profession? For example, some folks may describe themselves as being in Marketing rather than using their specific Brand Manager job title.
  • Do my target customers work at specific companies?
  • What interests or hobbies do my target customers list in their profiles? For example, a large portion of your target audience may describe themselves as fathers who like to watch football.
  • Do my target customers tend to like specific movies, musicians or TV shows?

Look through a few of your customers’ profiles to begin answering these questions and try to be as detailed as possible. You can also use the followers of your company’s Twitter handle as a starting point. Many times there will be a few different types of groups to take into consideration. At Socedo we have built some software that can look at your Twitter handle, pull out these groups and identify the keywords that your audience uses to describe themselves. Send us your Twitter handle if you would like a free analysis.

Topic Information:

Before social media it was very hard for marketers to understand what topics their best leads were thinking about in real time. Today much of your audience is Tweeting and posting what’s on their mind on a daily basis. A good target persona for social media lead generation must take into consideration the real time buying signals that potential customers are publishing every day. Below are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What are the Twitter handles of my competitors? What are the keywords that my competitors use in their content? This will help you find the leads that are already evaluating your competition.
  • Who are the influencers that my target customer engages with? If they are following or ReTweeting these influencers does that mean they have a need for my products or services?
  • Do my target customers use specific Hashtags or keywords in their posts? For example, if somebody was Tweeting with a Hashtag from an industry conference that might mean they are ready to buy from your company.
  • What keywords do your target customers use on search engines to find your products or services? If they are using these same keywords in social media posts does that mean they have a need for your solution?

Conclusion:

Now that you have a detailed target persona you are ready to leverage social media for real lead generation. The bio and topic information that you have put together will direct your listening efforts, engagement strategy, advertising parameters, and content creation tactics. Pass this persona around to your team for buyoff and continue to revisit it as you learn more about your audience’s habits on social media. You may have multiple personas for different product categories, customer types or alternative stakeholders like influencers and the media. Keep this at the center of your social media strategy and your will likely see an increase in ROI.

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