3 Jun 2017 Strategy

What is an audience persona, and do you need one?

Professional man walking across the street in a city

Whenever we take on a new client, one of the first exercises we do is to build an audience persona. But what is it and should you be looking to create one? In this post, we’ll look at what it is, the types of things to consider when creating a persona and whether you should bother.

What is an audience persona?

Social media is a noisy old place and, as a business account, you have to cut through the very busy newsfeeds. You can be outrageous or controversial if you like, but often the best way to engage with social media users is to give them what they are looking for. Talking to your audience like a friend will keep them interested.

An audience persona is simply a creation of your imagination. An imaginary person, your friend to whom you are talking when writing on social media. By creating a persona, your audience becomes closer, real even (I know your audience is real, but I’m hoping you’re so successful that you don’t know them all personally).

What information should you include in a persona?

In my view, the easiest, and best, thing to do is to list everything about the person. Think about what they like and don’t like.

1. Core Information

  • Name (Janet, Ahmed, Dave)
  • Job (or equivalent)
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Household composition
  • Level of education

2. Relevant Interests

  • Brands they like/dislike
  • Social media accounts they may already follow
  • Hobbies
  • TV shows/Films/Books/Magazines
  • Websites
  • Shopping habits

3. Other things to think about

If you can, also think about how the persona may think about the following:

  • Current affairs/politics
  • Causes they care about
  • Celebrities they like

The importance of tone

You need to speak to your audience in a way that they will love, so putting some time into thinking about the tone of voice you’ll use is important. Do they just need the information or do you need to add in a few extra words that suit and express how you feel about it (fab, lush, awesome)? Do you need to add emoji or a kiss at the end of your content?

Whilst it’s important to be yourself on social media (it really is impossible to totally fake it), if you are looking to convert your audience into paying customers, then you do need to think like them and provide information they need in a manner they will love.

Creating a persona allows you to be considered when writing content and helps build trust that, over time, will convert.

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