Who is your ideal customer, and how are you going to find him or her and build a long term relationship? One easy way to start out is to think about your product in terms of who it serves. Then ask yourself, “What problems can I solve for people that will make them want to do business with me or my company?”
In traditional marketing plans, target markets are sometimes defined very broadly, such as “women, 25-54, $100k+ income,” and things like that. That’s much too wide of a spectrum for a social media marketing plan. With social media you are interacting with real people who want to have authentic real conversations so you need to define them more specifically.
One of the best exercises to use when defining your target market is to create “personas.” Essentially, you give your target market an actual name, face and characteristics of a real person. This approach goes beyond traditional demographics and can help you reach and communicate with your target audience faster.
A good way to start out is by using your current clients. Make a list of your top clients. What do they have in common? Break it down to the basics: What are their needs? Why do they buy your products? What movies do they like? What TV shows do they watch? Do they have children? What hobbies do they enjoy? The more detailed you can get, the better…
Do you have difficulty pin-pointing the exact person who would make an ideal customer for your business? One that buys from you over and over, and sings your praises to their friends and colleagues? This is often a tricky question for folks who are used to one-way messaging, and it takes a bit of work to unlearn old habits. However, the persona exercise we discuss in our book is a big help in moving your thinking. And it’s fun!
Once you get going, you’ll find it’s easier to “get into the minds” of your prospects and look at things from their perspectives. Take a few minutes today to get out a sheet of paper and make a list of some of the things discussed above. But don’t stop there–use your imagination and expand it. When I’m speaking to a business audience, I often bring this up early in the talk, and even have everyone build a persona as an exercise. You wouldn’t believe some of the detail that people come up with when they sit down to think about it, and they get very excited!
So if you haven’t built a persona yet–give it a try! And don’t be afraid to build more than one. Chances are you have segments in your audience that you would like to reach. See how far you can develop each one, and you’ll become more adept at social conversation as you go. Got a good persona example you would like to share? Feel free to leave me a comment!