How to Create a Persona for Social CRM

When you're targeting customers for Social CRM, it can be helpful to develop personas. This tactic has proven to aid salespeople in better understanding the customer. A persona is a representative of one of your company's target customers. You can create as many as you need, but if you don't create any, you won't be able to focus on selling with the kind of precision that personas allow.

When creating personas, you should give each one an actual name, gender, and a face (stock photo) to help make the persona real. When your whole team focuses on selling to a prototypical customer, it's easier to stay on the same page.

Besides a name and picture, a typical persona includes

  • Demographics: This includes age, gender, and the like.

  • Sociographics: Data in this category includes what the customer believes and what he thinks about things related to your product.

  • Occupation: Decide how your persona supports himself.

  • Places where he consumes his media: You want to know where he goes online to find information, consume news, and network with friends so that you can reach him.

  • Tech tools he uses: Obviously, this helps you know on which devices to optimize your information. Does he use a smartphone or other gadgets?

  • Household: Establish who resides with your persona and how those people may influence his purchases.

  • Pets: Does he have animals in the home who require care? Will he be buying pet food and accessories?

  • Hobbies: You want to know if the persona spends money on specific interests, which also impact where he goes online.

When you think about powerful buying groups on the web, do moms come to mind? They should. They're big social media users. Performics and ROI Research released a study in April 2012 that revealed that moms are more likely to make a purchase decision based on social media recommendations versus non-moms. 50 percent of them own a smartphone, as compared to 32 percent for non-moms.

Moms also make big purchases as a result of social media — things like automobiles, travel, telecom, entertainment, and apparel, and they also love contests and sweepstakes. 53 percent of them have already participated in company and brand contests, as opposed to 44 percent of non-moms. Don't overlook this very important group when you're looking for the new social customer.

It's also interesting to note that in 2012, BlogHer did a study of its audience of women versus the total U.S. population and found that both audiences trusted information from blogs the most in relation to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. The general population said that they trusted blogs and Pinterest (a tie). If you think social media isn't playing a large part in your audience's choices, think again.

Personas help the team focus on all they ways they can develop relationships with customers.

A study by Aimia called Staring at the Sun: Identifying, Understanding and Influencing Social Media Users identified six social media personas that can help you begin to think through your own company's target customers. Look at them and see if you see your customer profile there.

Name Percent of U.S. Population Income Age Description Favorite Social Platforms
No shows 41% $30K 65 Doesn't participate. None
Newcomers 15% $75K 39 Mainly observes. Facebook and YouTube
Onlookers 16% $85K 36 Consumes but doesn't contribute. Facebook and YouTube
Cliquers 6% $95K 47 Engages with family and friends. Facebook and YouTube
Mix-n-minglers 19% $95K 29 Engages with a wide group. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
Spark 3% $80K 24 Uses social media daily and creates content. Facebook, Twitter, and blogs

Don't assume that the personas discussed here relate only to B2C or B2B buyers. If a consumer is comfortable with social media, that will translate into her use of social media for business purposes. People don't switch off their social media skills when they enter the office.

You can use the previous information about social media personas to help you create your company personas. For example, you could look at the age groups of the social media personas and see how closely that matches your audience. The age range they cover is approximately 20–50. If your audience fits somewhere in there, see if you can narrow it down by income.

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