If you’re building a marketing strategy, you have to start with your customers. That means building on solid, data-backed buyer personas. But, it can be challenging to build accurate personas. It’s often tough to find sources of accurate information, even for enterprise marketers. When you’re working with a startup or a smaller brand, it’s even tougher.
Many ecommerce platforms, data automation solutions, and CMS variants offer insights into details such as consumer behavior and content performance. The trouble here is, the breadth and complexity of the data can be overwhelming.
So it can help to initially focus on one area, and build your strategy from there. This is where Twitter has proven to be particularly useful to startups and established brands alike. Twitter for Business offers a selection of easy-to-use, yet highly informative analytics tools which, coupled with Twitter’s iconic format, can provide a range of highly targeted insights.
These insights can be used to establish specific and relevant personas which you can use to inform your future marketing decisions. Here are a few of the features of Twitter’s service that can help you develop your understanding of your audience.
Identify Follower Demographics
The most obvious advantage to using Twitter to generate buyer personas is the wealth of demographical information on offer. Via the network’s Audience Insights Dashboard, you can view a range of details about your followers, from general information such as their age group, gender, and location, to more niche details such as their marital status and whether they own a house.
The information can be refined according to your needs, and even displayed in comparison to another organization’s statistics. It also provides a valuable framework upon which to build buyer personas.
Even better, you can take those personas back to Twitter afterward and use those same tools to identify lookalike prospects.
Discover Your Organic Audience
Beyond your followers, you probably have a significant organic audience. That’s everyone who engages with your tweets, maybe even visiting your profile, yet does not follow you.
These individuals are in many ways as important as your existing followers. They have begun to show an interest in your brand, but still haven’t gotten to the point where they’re ready to sign up or follow you. Ideally, you’ll be able to entice them just enough more to get them to become a follower; or better still, to click through to your website and make a purchase.
Twitter’s data is invaluable here. It enables you to identify the key interests and habits of members of your organic audience. This gives you the information you need to reach out to them at the right time, with a message that is relevant to their needs.
To discover more about these individuals, simply go back to the Audience Insights Dashboard and select “organic audience” from the dropdown menu.
Analyze Follower Interests
Remember, your buyer personas are not the same as your target audience, although there is some crossover. Twitter’s analytics tools can provide a list of the top interests and buying habits of your followers, and those of your competitor’s audience.
However, rather than trying to appeal to, say, every homeowner with the the 25-40 age bracket, you could be focusing on a theoretical self-employed father, who enjoys the Grand Prix, and browses content on his lunch break from a mobile phone.
The marketing content aimed at this persona is not designed to be a perfect match for everyone within your target audience. Instead, by identifying common interests and traits within that audience, you can create believable, relatable personas that reflect a number of characteristics of your typical customer.
Learn Which Devices Your Followers Use
Knowing when and why people browse the internet, watch video content, or read through their emails is valuable enough on its own. But Twitter can also provide information on the devices your audience uses to access the internet.
This aspect of your persona construction can have a significant impact on design aesthetics, as your content should be optimized for the devices most likely to be used for viewing.
Of course, ideally your content will display equally well on both computers and mobile devices. If you are operating on a tight budget, or if you need to compromise on features when switching between the two formats, it might benefit you to focus on optimizing for one format at a time. (if you’re designing anew, most folks should concentrate on mobile first.)
By analysing usage data, you can discern which platforms to prioritize, and which subsections of your audience appear most likely to be using said platforms at any given time.
Monitor Tweet Performance
Once you have your buyer personas in place, the next step is to see how they perform. Twitter Analytics offers a range of tools that enable you to track the performance of individual tweets, and monitor engagement across specific audiences.
By revisiting the demographic data, you’ll be able to discern whether your tweets are reaching the correct audience. You’ll also know whether yor tweets are having the intended impact. Twitter’s business tools are extremely useful for identifying widespread trends within your follower data. Many factors can affect the success of a tweet, so be wary of misleading results.
Compare the performance of your tweets with those of your competitors, and if there is a significant difference, try to figure out whether there is anything you could do to improve your chances of success. Refining any aspect of your marketing approach can be a delicate matter, so it is vital to think carefully before taking action.
Refining your buyer personas will take time, patience, and a certain amount of intuition. However, the ultimate return will certainly be worth the effort invested.
Remember that, just as your customers change as time goes on, so should your personas. The same approach won’t work forever. Pay attention to changes in your engagement and conversion rates to develop a sense of when it may be time to switch up your approach.
Fortunately, once you have your personas dialed in, keeping them that way becomes significantly easier.
Building better personas will help to reinforce the positive image of your brand, while simultaneously freeing up more time for you to focus on other areas of your marketing strategy.
Victoria Greene: Brand Marketer & Writer
I have helped multiple ecommerce brands deal with the demands of the global marketplace. I know what it takes to succeed as a global brand — and buyer personas play a big part in that.