How do social media personas influence marketing?

The personas or people your brand targets are an essential part of knowing your marketing strategy, to help you stand out from competitors.

A social media persona is a word for a quintessential customer for your business, with specific qualities and characteristics that define who they are. Brent Barnhart refers to personas as “fictional representations of your ideal customers. Taking into account factors such as demographics, desires and pain points, personas paint a picture of the individuals you’re trying to sell to.”

If you want your business to stand out from the crowd, you need to know exactly who you’re targeting, and this will influence how you market your brand via social media.

For example, the bubble-tea company, Tealith, has young customers in mind, aged perhaps 16-20, and as a result they have regular posts on their Instagram with a rainbow of bright colours, as well as memes and giveaways that attract young audiences. A persona for Tealith might be a female university student with a group of friends who needs to unwind after a long day of lectures.

Alternatively, a persona for the Caffe Nero brand might be adults aged 25-45 who are busy working and are more likely to rush somewhere for a coffee with a brand they’re familiar with. Their Instagram page shows high-quality photography of their coffee, with models holding reusable cups in public, the infamous latte art, or even hand-drawn art pieces to promote the joy of coffee. These showcase the “premium” standard Caffe Nero wants to represent and will appeal to the persona who lives a cosmopolitan lifestyle and craves a high-quality beverage.

In summary, the social media persona is a key tactic for knowing exactly how to promote your brand, and pinpointing exactly what voice is suitable for your intended consumers. Will you go for a playful tone, or a more serious one? Will your audience prefer you to be approachable and friendly, or professional with direct answers to questions? If you know the intended persona, it “allows you to uncover a more meaningful social strategy and produce messages that resonate with your prospects.”

Have a go at drafting a profile for your intended customers, with all their desires and obstacles, and see how it helps you define your marketing voice.

  • How to use social media personas to boost brand engagement by Brent Barnhart:
  • Tealith Instagram Page:
  • Caffe Nero Instagram Page:

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