When it comes to actively marketing your SME,Personas are a tool for helping you to target your business towards individuals, not just large groups. They are a fundamental aspect of your social media outreach, and should be used to the fullest.
How do Personas work?
Personas work by organising and ordering your potential customer base into different subcategories. This is sometimes known as segmenting your audience. These subcategories can then be targeted individually. By doing this, your content will speak to individuals; leading to more conversions and richer feedback.
Why are Personas important for SMEs?
You might be thinking that your business just doesn’t have enough potential customers for it to need Personas. However, even the narrowest of target audiences usually has potential for developing personas.
SME Personas can, and do, allow small and medium businesses to reach out to larger and more dissimilar target audience groups. Imagine a small garage business. Typically, garages are gender stereotyped towards men, with advertising following in the same vein. Yet women still use cars. SME personas will allow that business to reach out to those female customers in a way tailored to them; addressing their needs and requirements.
Organising your SME Personas
There are several ways for you to organise your SMEs social media personas. Depending on the type of campaign you’re running, or the type of target audience you’re trying to segment, you can pick from one of the below options.
Based on social media Interaction levels
Here you’re able to organise your target audience based on the frequency of their interactions with your social media campaigns. If they’re not interacting frequently, you need to find a separate means of reaching them (which may, in turn, require another set of personas tailored to that marketing platform).
At the other end of the scale, you can also use this to identify social media Influencers. These are power users which can help to boost your traffic due to their own user base. Find out more about influencer marketing and how it can help your business.
Based on Motivations and Habits
The Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council and the Integer Group have come up with an alternate model based on motivation and habits.
This model divides your target audience based on how they use social media the most. The four main categories include:
- Bonders – Those who attach to, and interact with, other peoples’ content. They are not known for creating their own content, but tend to comment, like, and generally interact on others’ a lot.
- Sharers – As the name implies, Sharers share content. They like to let others know what is going on in the world, and what the latest trends are.
- Professionals – These users tend to use social media for career purposes, sharing and spreading information relevant to said careers.
- Creators – Creators create content. If they find your brand engaging enough, they’ll talk about you. They are bold and enjoy sharing who they are with others.
Based on your own research
If you’re thinking that the above options just don’t do your social media audience justice, then there’s no problem trying and applying your own SME Personas categorisation. If you decide to go with this method, make sure that you use the resources at your disposal to the utmost of their ability.
Consult your staff on what they think of the customers they interact with. Study the behaviour of those who interact with your social media campaigns. Which type of user prefers which content, and how do they tend to interact with it?
How about even asking your customers directly? Ask them to fill out a feedback survey and you’ll be on your way.
Most importantly, let your personas work together
Personas may pull your target audience apart, but you should ensure that they work together to help you deliver. It doesn’t matter how good your content is, if your personas directly conflict with each other.
Think of your SME personas as different aspects of one person: your business. That person might like a lot of different things, but that doesn’t mean that those things always have to stay separate. Creating personas allows for you to reach those different interests, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t overlap once you’re connected.