With a business plan and your goals set up to measure progress, you’re ready to move on to another aspect of your startup phase: increasing brand awareness and visibility. You’ve set up your social media strategy, but have you thoroughly thought through your communication approach?
How you communicate with your audience makes all the difference in connecting with them on a deep level and building that relationship of trust, which increases your visibility with them and transforms them from leads to customers. In order for them to trust you and be interested in what you say, you need to talk their lingo. This means:
1) Using the words they use to talk about the problems they have; the problems that your newly started business solves for them.
2) Knowing what stops them from making a purchase.
3) Knowing in what ways they look for information regarding the issues they face depending on the role they occupy within their company and industry.
4) Having a clear picture of what keeps them up at night.
5) Knowing where they are in the buyer’s journey.
These components make up your buyer persona, a.k.a. your target audience, potential and active customers; basically, the people you help through the startup you’ve founded. The same way you ask questions and have a list for your business plan, works for your social media strategy too; and the buyer persona piece of your online strategy has its own set of criteria.
If you haven’t built your buyer personas yet, you can get started with the following steps:
6) Best practices advise that you have three to five buyer personas and at the very least, you should build one.
7) Identify their role (i.e. are they a CEO or general manager, or if an end consumer, are they the head of the household).
8) Gather background information such as average age, income, and interests.
9) Know what decisions they oversee.
10) Know their common objections.
11) List who and what influences their purchase decisions.
12) Know their values and fears.
13) Note their goals and objectives.
14) List a couple of real quotes from interviews you’ve conducted with your target audience (existing customers are the first ones you could turn to for this type of information).
Building your buyer personas takes time and research; but it is well worth it, due to the value they will give you in being able to talk the language that will get through to your ideal audience.
I’m not saying that if you wing it, you can’t reach your ideal buyer; but the importance of planning, like the time you took to ensure you had a business plan, will strengthen the likelihood of your startup success.
Why? Because a solid and in-depth foundation is always stronger than a fragile and superficial one.
Have you built buyer persona profiles for your social media strategy and if not why? Let me know on Twitter!