Welcome to part 4 in our series on Writing Great Facebook Posts! In our latest post we talked about the importance of targeting and how to use personas to reach the right audience with content that is tailor made to fit their unique needs. Now that you understand just how important personas are to writing great Facebook posts, it's time to learn how to create your own community personas!
Creating Great Personas
The first step depends on your situation. If you have friends, associates, or clients that already fit into one of your personas then you can interview them to learn more about what a day in their life looks like, what major challenges they face, where they go for information, and which formats they prefer (blog, news site, video, podcast, etc). Just keep in mind your persona isn't just a carbon copy of someone you know, it's a representation of your ideal customer and community member.
Ideally you'll be able to interview several people and look for patterns in their answers. If not, then you'll have to start with either limited information from a couple of interviews or you'll need to make an educated guess to begin with, and then expand on your personas in the future as you learn more about your ideal customers.
Ask Great Questions to Build Great Personas
If you're struggling with where to start and you're not sure who your ideal customer are, ask yourself these two questions as a jumping off point.
- Who are you trying to engage?
In most cases, there's probably a gap between the people who currently make up your social media communities and the people that you want to be a part of your social media communities. You need to start by figuring out who your ideal customers are. Some things to consider that will help you get started are:
- Company size: Does your ideal customer work for a small company, a large company, or something in between?
- Industry: If you're a B2B business and have a business model where you're able to offer products or services to many different industries, then decide what industry your ideal customer works in.
- Goals and Challenges: Chances are you've setup your business with the goal of solving certain problems, so it makes sense that your ideal customers would be facing the sort of problems that you specialize in solving. Of course your ideal customer will not only face the challenges you're setup to solve, but those challenges will be a priority in their jobs or their daily lives and they will have the resources to take action to solve the problem by working with you.
- What do your personas care about?
While building your personas, you’re going to want to think about what they are interested in and how that relates to your community and your content. Get detailed. You should do some research on what each group is interested in, but again, you can start with an educated guess and refine your assumptions based on your results. Interview these favorite customers, clients, and colleagues. Ask them questions about the challenges they face, their passions, and what's important to them. This step is critical.
Components of a Great Persona
A good persona contains at least the following:
- A Descriptive Name - alliteration works well: "Doctor Dan", "Paralegal Patty", "Silver Surfer Sally"
- Job Title
- Details about their job and what they do there
- An age range
- Location - both where they work and live (may be wildly different!)
- Education Level
- Goals and Challenges
- Interests and Passions
With this information you will have a pretty good idea of whom each of your personas are, both in their work and personal lives, what their interests are, and what problems they’re trying to solve. From this information you can start to tease out what type of content would be useful to them.
Don't cut corners when building your personas! You are going to focus all of your community's content on addressing their passions, needs, and wants. If you focus all of these efforts on one person that you never refine, your community will suffer.
Remember, communities are made up of many people, not just one. Personas are as well.
- Personas aren't a carbon copy of one person you know that fits into a persona, they're a representation of your ideal customer and community members.
- Ideally you should interview multiple people who fit into a persona and look for patterns in their answers to create your personas.
- If you're not able to interview many people who fit your persona or if you're not able to interview anyone who fits a persona, it's okay to start with some educated guesses and improve your persona over time as you learn more about them.
- No matter how well developed and informed your personas are, be sure to revisit them often to make sure they're still accurate and up to date, and that you've adjusted them as you learned more about the target audience they represent.