Blog : Social Media

How to create audience personas so your content resonates with your targets

How to create audience personas so your content resonates with your targets

It’s amazing what a difference knowing who you’re trying to target can make to your content. Trying to appeal to everyone can leave you appealing to nobody at all. So in order to create content that resonates with your target audience – i.e. the potential customers for your business – you need to know who they are.

If you’re not sure why you should be creating content for your business, check out this blog post Why you need content on your website.

One way to ensure your content is targeted is to create audience personas and bring your audience to life. Fetch a clean sheet of paper and get ready to start scribbling.

There are 6 simple steps to creating basic audience personas.

You might have multiple target audiences for your business. Customers, press, business contacts, etc. For this exercise, concentrate on one at a time.

Step 1: Who are they?

We need to know some demographic information to be able to start creating our persona. Think about your average customer, what do they look like? Try to answer these questions:

  • Are they male or female?

    Identifying your target audience exercise at Business Glitter workshop
    Me doing this exercise at a workshop
  • How old are they?
  • Are they single, married, divorced…?
  • Do they have children? If so, how many?
  • Where do they live?
  • Who do they live with?
  • Give your persona a name

Step 2: What do they do?

Next, think about their everyday life. We want to set the scene and get to know our persona a little better.

  • What job to they do?
  • Do they work for a big corporation or a small, family-run business?
  • Do they work long hours?
  • Are they a stay-at-home mum?
  • What does an average day look like for them?
  • What are their hobbies and interests?

Step 3: What’s their pain point?

Now we know a little more about who they are and what they do, it’s time to consider what their pain point is. This is a problem that your service or product will solve.

  • What is it that they wish they had a solution to?
  • What’s keeping them up at night with worry?
  • What would make their job 10x easier?

Step 4: Where do they hang out online?

So we can target our audience online we need to know where they spend their time. Are they glued to their favourite vlogger’s YouTube channel 24/7, or do they spend most of their time on social media networking in LinkedIn groups?

  • Which social media platforms do they use?
  • Are they active on any forums?
  • Is Reddit their second home?

You can find out this information using user statistics for the various social networks, or you could ask your existing customers using a survey or poll.

Step 5: What are their offline influences?

I’m not suggesting you have the finances available to take out a newspaper ad or run a TV commercial, but getting an understanding of who and want influences your persona when they’re not online helps to flesh out their personality and gives you an idea of what else they’re interested in.

  • Which magazines and newspapers do they read?
  • What are their favourite TV programmes?

Step 6: What do they want from you?

  • What is it that your target audience wants from you?

This may or may not be attainable (for instance a magic wand to take away their child’s behaviour issues) but thinking about this question will help you to word your offering in a way that will speak to your persona.

Put a face to a name

Now you have a great idea of who you are going to target. You need to keep this person in the front of your mind whenever you are creating content. Ask yourself, would Sarah like this? Would Mike think this is interesting? Would Alison find this video funny?

To finish off your persona, go online and find a photo of someone who you think embodies your persona. Print that picture out and stick it up in your workspace so you can’t forget to consider your persona throughout any content creation process.

What are you waiting for, glitter bugs? Once you’ve created your personas I’d love for you to show me. Take a photo of your work and tweet me @businessglitter.

What is Pinterest and how can it be used for small business marketing?

What is Pinterest and how can it be used for small business marketing?

What is Pinterest?

Did you ever spend hours on end circling things in the Argos catalogue as a child? Er… just me? Pinterest is a like virtual version of this. You can ‘pin’ images from all over the internet or upload your own and curate your pins into boards based on themes.

People use Pinterest to find inspiration and look for ideas. It’s predominately used by women, and some of the main themes are fashion, travel, interiors and food. Some people think that Pinterest is only useful as a marketing tool for businesses that sell physical products that are visually appealing. This isn’t the case. Many pins are actually text based and link to useful articles and resources.

What’s the point of Pinterest?

Pins are visual bookmarks and boards are a way to organise those bookmarks for future reference. Unless you create a secret board, your boards are public. Each Pin links back to the website it was pinned from. This means that you can visit the site to read the recipe, buy the product or just learn more.

Pinterest can be used to plan holidays, special events, all sorts. I used Pinterest to help plan my wedding. Collecting loads of ideas for flowers, hairstyles, table plans and so on, inspired me to create the perfect wedding. One of the most popular pins on my personal Pinterest account is that of a wedding table plan that I found on Etsy.

I’d be interested to learn how many sales that Etsy shop has made because that pin has been repined 1,579 times. That means it’s featured on over 1,500 other people’s boards. Another of my pins is some bunting wedding stationery that I pinned from Ebay. It’s been repinned over 2,000 times, and in the last 30 days alone has been seen over 28,000 times. Imagine if that pin was of your product and linked back to your website.

How can Pinterest be used by small businesses?

Pinterest can be a great source of traffic for your website. As I mentioned above, each pin links back to where it came from so if you’re pinning things that are interesting for your audience, they can click on the pin and then go to the relevant page or blog on your website.

Create ‘pinnable’ images on your website and pin them to your boards yourself. Images that do well on Pinterest tend to be long, vertical images. But test what works for you. Many brands create an image with a pretty background with text over the top. Kind of like a front cover of a book, your pin should tempt people to click and find out more. Although it’s always said that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you know that’s exactly what you do!

Pin at least one image from each blog post that you publish. You can also create images of your products if they’re physical or if you sell a service, create an image to represent it. Take a look at what businesses similar to yours do to get some ideas.

Many businesses have used Pinterest to drive traffic – aka potential customers – to their website, increase awareness of their brand, engage their audience, and increase sales. Take a look at some of the success stories of brands on Pinterest.

How to create a Pinterest account for your business

If you go to Pinterest.com, you can sign up as an individual. This is ok, but as you’re using your Pinterest profile for marketing your business, it’s best to set up a business account.

Go to https://business.pinterest.com/en-gb and click on sign up as a business. If you have created a personal account, you can also convert that into a business account on this page. One of the main benefits of having a business account are access to analytics so you can see which of your pins and boards are most popular, which images are being pinned from your website and gain insights into the interests and demographics of people who like your pins. This helps you to understand what your audience wants, which is vital in marketing your business.

Once you’ve signed up you can start choosing some people (pinners) to follow. When the people you follow add new pins to their boards they’ll show up in your feed. You can also choose just to follow individual boards. For example, if you just want to see food ideas but someone has boards on all sorts of topics, you can just choose to follow the foodie board.

You can name your boards however you like. There are limits on how many boards and pins you can have but I challenge you to reach those limits! The limits currently stand at 500 boards and 200,000 pins. That’s A LOT of pins.

Time to start pinning!

On Pinterest

On Pinterest itself, you can either pin to your board directly from your home feed or search results, or you can click on the image to make it larger and pin it from there. When you hit the Pin it button you choose which board to save it to, or you can create a whole new board. You can also change the pin description. It’s this description that helps make the pins searchable. Saving pins to your boards that other people have created is known as repinning.

On the app

There are Pinterest smartphone apps so even when you’re not at your computer you can still happily pin. I only have experience of the Android app but it’s likely the iPhone app is very similar. You can touch and hold your finger down on a pin and the option to pin it will appear. This makes creating boards really quick and easy. You can also change the pin description on the app.

Off Pinterest

You might have noticed that many websites and blogs have Pin tt buttons that allow you to save an image onto one of your Pinterest boards. You can get this Pin tt button as a plug in if you have a WordPress site.

If you use the Chrome browser, you can use the Pin it extension which allows you to pin images from almost any website even if they don’t have the button. It creates a little pin it button that hovers over pinnable images. Just be aware, that some sites, such as Facebook, are coded to prevent people from pinning images.

It’s also not a good idea to pin images directly from a Google search. This doesn’t really help your audience because there’s no link back to a useful article or resource. You’re also not giving the owner of that image the credit they’re due.

Top tips for becoming a Pinterest pro

  1. Always edit the pin description so that it’s personal to your business.
  2. When pinning images from your own website, make sure you use words that your potential customers would use when searching for your products or services. This increases the chance that they’ll find your pins and then click through to your site.
  3. Create your own style for pins and try to use your own pins as the board covers. This keeps them consistent and inline with your branding.
  4. Use your business logo as your profile picture so it’s easily recognisable.
  5. Fill in the descriptions for your boards and use relevant keywords.
  6. Browse http://pingroupie.com/ to find group boards relevant to your business. Collaborating on joint boards opens your pins up to a huge audience. I just found out about this the other day and it’s something I’m defintely going to try.

Pinterest ninja moves

Once you’ve got the basics of Pinterest nailed you can start to learn some ninja moves. I’m not going to go into them here but you can create rich pins that include things like prices, recipes, maps, etc, and you can also create promoted pins, which is paid promotion. The promoted pins would be possible to manage yourself, but unless you’re a coding wizard you’ll need a developer to help you implement rich pins.

I’ve been using Pinterest ever since you needed to request an invite! I was involved in the Pin It Forward campaign as a blogger back in 2013 and have attended a lomography workshop in Brighton with the Pinterest community crew. You could say I’m a bit of a fan.

Pinterest has some great features for businesses, which are only growing. Promoted Pins have only just been released in the UK so it really is a case of watching this space to see what they have up their sleeves next.

It wouldn’t be a post about Pinterest without a link to my own Pinterest profile.

Get in there and have a go! If you need any help, leave me a comment below and I’ll come back to you.

What’s the difference between a Facebook profile and a Facebook page?

What’s the difference between a Facebook profile and a Facebook page?

Example of a business using a personal Facebook profile

A common mistake amongst micro businesses is to set up a Facebook profile for their business. Instead, it’s necessary to create a page. This is the most professional way to market your business on Facebook and it opens up the features that the social network offers to businesses, which you wouldn’t get otherwise.

Your Facebook profile is your own personal profile. With a profile you’d have to put in your business details as if they were a person’s, including a gender and date of birth. For some this will sound immediately odd but for others this is the most basic way they can think of to set themselves up a business presence on Facebook.

What you might not realise is that creating a personal profile that’s not actually for a real person, such as for Mrs Business Glitter or for Pipers Cottage in the picture above, is actually against Facebook’s terms and conditions.

Facebook says; “It’s against the Facebook Terms to use your personal account to represent something other than yourself (ex: your business). If you’re using your account to represent something other than yourself, you could permanently lose access to your account” It’s not all doom and gloom. Facebook goes on to say that, “if you have created a personal account for your business you can convert it into a page”.

What are the benefits of having a Facebook page for your business?

Business Glitter Facebook Page

  • Having a page means that you don’t have to accept friend requests from your customers. All they have to do is click ‘like’ on your page.
  • You won’t need to keep logging in and out to switch between your personal profile and your business profile.
  • As mentioned above, you get access to the Facebook for Business features. This includes:
    • Advertising options to help you promote your page
    • Call to action button to whisk customers straight to your shop, sign up page or somewhere else you want them to go
    • Access to insights so you can learn how often your posts are shared and who by, allowing you to form your strategy
    • The ability to write posts and schedule them in advance. This means you don’t have to be online at the exact time you want your posts to be published. Handy!

Learn how to create a Facebook Page

If you’ve got a personal Facebook profile but are unsure about creating a page for your solo business, you’re not alone. There are plenty of other ladies in the same boat. That’s why I’m hosting a free workshop in Folkestone on 2nd July 2016. Click here to find out more and secure your place.

Where to find content to post on social media

Where to find content to post on social media

Regularly posting to social networks is what enables you to gain followers, create engagement and drive traffic to your website. How often you should post will depend on:

  • Your business
  • Your audience
  • Your choice of social network

Having to come up with loads of content to post on social media can be intimidating and stressful. Did I just see another grey hair sprouting?

But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are so many places that you can find content to share on social media. The first stumbling block many solopreneurs come across is the thought that they have to write everything themselves. You want to post on Facebook five times a day, so you need to have written five different blog posts or web pages first, right? Wrong, luckily!

But first, remember the 80/20 rule

Only 20% of what your business shares on social media should be about your brand, company, services and products. In other words, 80% of what you post should be non-promotional and exist to serve your audience, not your business.

Click to tweet: 80% of what you post should be non-promotional and exist to serve your audience, not your business http://bit.ly/1XprL12 by @businessglitter

What should I post on social media?

Use your social media accounts to provide value to your audience and give people a reason to follow you and like your page. Think about why your audience is on social media and what they want to consume. Is it interesting facts, insightful articles, or hilarious cat videos? I, for one, believe there is always a place for a cute kitty.

Types of content to post on social media:

  • Written content
  • Images or memes
  • Videos or GIFs
  • Infographics

Get your free list of 10 social media resources and a whole host of other exclusive goodies by joining the Business Glitterati.

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Where to find content to share on social media?

Your own website

  • Service pages – write a post about one of your products or services
  • Blog posts – share posts that you’ve written for your blog
  • Testimonials – let others blow your trumpet for you by posting some quotations from your lovely customers – you could pretty these up by creating a graphic on Canva or Pablo for Buffer (see below)
  • Case studies – show your expertise and give examples of what you have achieved for your clients

Social media

Find interesting tidbits to share by seeing what others are sharing on social media. You don’t have time to spend all day on Twitter so you need to find a way to curate all the great content into the same place. Twitter Lists are a way to do this.

Twitter Lists

By creating lists and placing relevant people into those lists you can quickly see their updates in one space without all the other noise in your Twitter feed.

Adding people to Twitter lists GIF
To add someone to a list go to the person’s profile, click on the settings cog, choose add/remove from lists and then choose which list to add them too. Create lists from the same settings menu on your own profile page.

Be aware that when you add them to a list, people get a notification so be careful what you name the list!

You can now scroll through your lists and quickly retweet the posts you want or click through to the article and share it via a scheduling took, like Buffer or Hootsuite.

Pinterest

Pinterest is also a great source of content for you to share on other social networks. When you click on a pin it takes you through to the page where it was created. There are some great how to articles, recipes, etc that you could create a post around for Facebook or Twitter.

Pablo by Buffer

If you’re a fan of inspirational quotes, Pablo is a quick and easy way to create gorgeous graphics to share. Choose an image and scrop through to find the quote you want to add. You can add your own text for a custom graphic, and adding a company logo means it’s branded for you.

Audrey Hepburn quote

Other websites and blogs

Sharing articles written by others is a good thing for your social media profiles. Ensuring that everything you share aligns with set themes means that you become known as a font of knowledge in that arena.

Remember what I said earlier about not having all day to spend on Twitter? Well nobody has time so by sharing useful articles you are saving your fellow humans from having to follow loads of different accounts. Instead, all they need to do is follow you.

You could easily lose hours looking for articles to share on social media by searching and browsing. Reclaim those hours to spend on other activities by using RSS and Google Alerts.

RSS readers

Many websites, and most blogs, have an RSS feed. RSS stands for really simple syndication and it’s a standardised way to distribute content. Using an RSS reader, like Feedly, means you can collate all your favourite websites’ content in one place. Organise the feeds into categories and easily scroll through what’s new today. You can share directly from Feedly but I like to go into the article and share from there as I can grab an image into Buffer and schedule that to post alongside the article.

Bloglovin is a blog reader. It works similarly to Feedly and is mostly used by bloggers and people who read a lot of blogs. Again, it brings together the latest posts from your favourite bloggers, saving you the hassle of checking each site.

Google Alerts

To receive an email with recent relevant articles you can set up Google Alerts. Choose how frequently you want to get emails and pick a search term, such as “dog grooming”. Then you’ll get round up emails with new articles that you can share. It’s also a good idea to set up Google Alerts for your name and your company name so that you can find out if anyone has written about you or your business.

Things to consider before posting on social media

  • At least skim read posts you haven’t written to make sure you’re happy with the content and the opinion. Readers are likely to think you share that opinion if you’re posting it so if the article is controversial consider making it clear where you stand on the matter.
  • Consider how you want your brand to be perceived before posting anything to social media. Your posts could be the first contact a potential customer has with your business. Make sure it’s positive and aligns with how you want people to feel about your brand.
  • Remember that the internet is forever. Although you can delete posts, the damage can already have been done. It doesn’t take long to screenshot a tweet or Facebook update. If you wouldn’t say it out loud to someone’s face, don’t say it on social media.
  • Watermark images that you have created so if they’re shared, the source is clear. It’s good for brand awareness.

Finding content to post on social media doesn’t have to take all day. Setting up your Feedly, Twitter Lists and Google Alerts will take a little while at the start but once it’s done it will save you so much time. I spend about 15 minutes each morning going through and scheduling posts to send out throughout the day using Buffer. Once you know where to look, it’s just a case of sharing the content you believe will appeal to your audience.

Over to you!

Get posting on social media, glitter bug! If you’re looking for ways to make your life easier, take a look at these three invaluable social media tools.

Join the Business Glitterati to get your free list of 10 social media resources and a whole host of other exclusive goodies.

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3 invaluable tools for social media to make your life easier

3 invaluable tools for social media to make your life easier

1 – Buffer
I love Buffer! And no, I’m not being paid to say that. I wish! Buffer is a really easy and attractive way to schedule social media posts across multiple social networks. And best of all it’s free. There is an ‘Awesome’ upgrade but as a solopreneur the free account should give you enough options. It’s possible to connect your Buffer account to your:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook profile
  • Facebook page
  • Facebook group
  • Google+ page
  • LinkedIn profile
  • LinkedIn page
  • Pinterest (currently only a 7 day trial available with a free account)

You can create posts within Buffer to share across your social media profile or adding the Buffer extensionBuffer extension to your Google Chrome web browser allows you to schedule social media posts from anywhere on the web with just a couple of clicks. It’s a super easy way to share content with your audience. If you read an article that you want to share, simply click on the Buffer button, choose which social networks you want to share to and personalise your post.

Another great thing about Buffer is that you can create a schedule and then spend a little time creating and curating content to share by adding it to your ‘queue’ and it will then be shared throughout the day. When you have installed the Chrome extension, the Buffer button also appears within Twitter, giving you the option to add a post to your Buffer queue directly from Twitter, and Buffer retweets. As a busy solopreneur juggling your social media with the nitty gritty of running your business, Buffer is a fantastic time saver.

Buffer schedule screenshot

Buffer also gives you analytics so you can see which of your posts have been the most successful. You can requeue these posts to be sent out again and repeat the success. Buffer also lets you drag and drop images to add to your tweets. Tweets with photos have been found to drive 313% more engagement. A pretty compelling statistic if ever there was one.

If you’re really pressed for time you can share the same post across multiple social networks, although this isn’t ideal. Audiences differ on the different channels so it’s best to tailor your social posts if possible.

Remember though, social media is about being sociable and having real time conversations. Automated posts should not be your only activity.

2 – Crowdfire

Crowdfire Screenshot

When you’re trying to grow your Twitter following, chances are you’ll be following lots of accounts in the hope that they’ll follow you back. Over time you might want to unfollow some of the users that aren’t following you back or that have become inactive. One of the reasons you might want to do this is that once you’ve followed 2,000 users on Twitter, you’re only allowed to follow 10% more than the number of your followers. The idea is to stop spammy accounts from following loads and loads of people.

You can use Crowdfire for free to quickly identify inactive accounts and those that don’t follow you back and unfollow them directly within the app. Simply click on the red minus button. Crowdfire only lets you unfollow/follow up to 50 users per day on the free account, which is a good thing because Twitter can flag and suspend accounts that regularly follow and unfollow large number of people because it can be seen as spammy.

Crowdfire isn’t just for unfollowing people. You can also use it to find people to follow based on a keyword or hashtag search and you can quickly follow other users’ followers, your competitors’ perhaps?

3 – Canva
Unless you’re a graphic designer or have a flair for art, creating images for social media can be a bit of a nightmare. My unique ability to make any image look like an eight year old made it has become a bit of a running joke amongst my colleagues. However, with Canva, even I can make something that looks acceptable.

Canva Screenshot

Canva is a design tool that helps you to create images for social media posts, blog posts and now they’ve expanded into presentations, flyers, ebooks and more. There’s quite a lot you can do with it for free but if you want to use their paid options, it’s not expensive at all – each of their items costs $1. What’s awesome is that the templates are perfectly sized, simply pick the template that matches what you want to make, including Etsy banners, Facebook ads, YouTube channel art and Twitter posts. No more guesswork or faffing about with Photoshop. The image at the bottom of this post was created with Canva.

These are just three of the social media tools available. If there’s something you want to do but it’s taking you too long, chances are there’s a tool that can make your life easier. Give me a shout in the comments below and I’ll try and find you the tool you need. On the other hand, if you currently use any social media tools you want to recommend, please also leave a comment.

3 INVALUABLE TOOLS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA BUSINESS GLITTER

Pin this image for further reference 🙂

How to use Twitter chats to market your wedding business

How to use Twitter chats to market your wedding business

Twitter chats are a fantastic networking tool. You can chat with likeminded people and no one will know if you’re sat in your jammies. There are hundreds of chats that take place at set times on Twitter, covering a huge array of topics. For entrepreneurs in the wedding business you can join in with business and wedding chats to network with other business owners and chat with brides in a really informal way.

What’s a Twitter chat?

A Twitter chat is a discussion on Twitter that takes place on a particular day and time. Everyone taking part uses a certain hashtag in all their tweets so it’s possible to follow along. Twitter chats usually follow a certain topic each week and predetermined questions are posed by the host (preceded by Q1, Q2, etc.). Participants answer the questions with A1, A2, and so on. However, sometimes they are just open forums for people to chat and promote their businesses. Twitter chats generally last for an hour.

How to take part

To take part in a Twitter chat you just need to be on the social media channel at the right time. To help you keep track of some wedding and small business related chats I’ve created this public Google Calendar. You can click on the Google Calendar button in the bottom right hand corner to add this calendar to your own. From here you can set up notifications so you’ll never miss your favourite chats.

Tools

If you want to join in a Twitter chat it’s quite tricky to do it within Twitter. That might sound a bit crazy but chats move pretty fast and the Twitter interface isn’t the easiest to use for chats. Tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck let you create a stream from a Twitter search.

Seeing a fast moving Twitter chat can be a little intimidating. But please don’t be put off! Generally people taking part in the chats are friendly and very welcoming to newbies. If you don’t feel up to wading in, you could always just follow along the first time.

Twitter Chat Tips from Business Glitter
Pin these tips to keep them for future reference.

How does taking part in a Twitter chat aid your marketing efforts?

  • Getting involved in chats can help you to build brand awareness by getting your business name out there
  • Find new people to follow and gain new followers
  • Talk directly with brides aka your potential customers
  • Network with other wedding professionals

If you’d like any help getting involved in a Twitter chat or want to know how to create one of your own, leave me a comment below.