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Harness the Power of Personas for Social Media Marketing

by Keith Quesenberry  |  
August 21, 2015
  |  5,274 views

Personas are not new. They have been around since the 1990s. What is new is taking personas and applying them to social media.

A persona is a tool to summarize research about a target audience and help marketers and advertisers see the world from a single target person's perspective. A great tool, it is often used by Web developers, user experience designers, and B2B marketers.

This article provides four approaches to creating personas to increase the relevancy of your social media marketing methods.

Personas: From Usability to Social Action

In Web design, personas help in creating a digital experience that optimizes usability; in social media marketing, personas are about delivering more customized messages.


Communicating the right message at the right time in the right channel improves the performance of the one-on-one personal communication that happens in social media.

Understanding consumer personas can help content creators produce more meaningful day-to-day, one-on-one social media communication. Personas help marketers take a customer-centric approach that connects with consumers in meaningful and relevant ways.

Brand message, voice, and promotions still matter, but social media engagement requires customizing messages for specific situations.


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Keith Quesenberry is a professor at Johns Hopkins University and an award-winning advertising copywriter/creative director for Fortune 500 and startup clients.

Twitter: @Kquesen

LinkedIn: Keith A. Quesenberry

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  • by Nico Mon Aug 24, 2015 via web

    I really enjoyed reading this article because it broke down and described the varies social media personas very well. My question is when using different personas on social media to grasp or better market toward consumers is there an overall "best" persona to use to grasp the attention of the general social media users? When you first start to market on social media how is one to know wether a person is a regular social media user or a new comer? I understand that it takes time to figure out who is who, but would there be general persona used toward all social media users? If "there is no right way to create a persona" to reach out to social media users then even through researching how would one know the persona another is using through social media, especially if that person has multiple personas spread out through different social media sights? Great insight and i definitely look forward to reading more on this topic! thanks

  • by Keith Quesenberry Tue Aug 25, 2015 via mobile

    Hi Nico,

    Thank you for your comment and questions. I understand what you are saying, but I think before using personas a marketer must first take a step back to market segmentation. We can't be all things to all people and must focus limited resources on a well defined target audience that will best respond or desire our product or service. Once you have a narrow target defined by demographic, psychographic and behavior varriables then creating personas will help you better understand that target audience to create engaging content. In my opinion you can't grasp the attention of the general social media user because they are not a homogeneous group with common interests and needs. Also, once you define a narrow target audience you should find that they will favor or be active on certain social media and not others and should have similar personas across channels.

  • by Vivien Reyes Mon Sep 28, 2015 via web

    Not knowing your market behavior is like shooting without a target. Just imagine how can one good post not shared and read and what if half of those people turns out to be your prospects. Indeed, wise marketer studies the movements and behavior of their target then carefully draft a plan before they run the campaign. As we all know time and money are vital resources, so let's not waste it.

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