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Social Networking and Your Business – Part 2

by Trish Bertuzzi on Tue, Jun 09, 2009

 
Last week, I outlined 4 approaches businesses can take towards Social Networking. Read Part 1 here. By way of a recap, here is the approach I recommended:

Approach #4 - Aim Before You Fire

You must invest some time and research in understanding your Buyer Personas and how they use Social Networking before you build out your strategy.

Now onto Part 2:

Step 1: Know Thy Buyer Personas

People still confuse their Ideal Customer Profile with their Buyer Personas.  Your Ideal Customer Profile typically looks something like this:

Verticals: Healthcare, Financial Services
Revenue: Over $1B
Role: Anyone with "security" in their title

Ideal Customer Profiles point you in the right direction and make it easy to purchase lists, size target markets, etc. 

Buyer Personas, on the other hand, provide you with the information you need to communicate with your buyers in a way that is meaningful to them.  Think The Bachelor - you need to make a "connection" with your buyers and that connection has to be personal, emotional & relevant.

So, how do you do that?  Well, you start by fleshing out your Buyer Personas to the point that they are people with faces, names, specific challenges & goals.

Let's walk through a high level example which is a representation of Jennifer, a Director of Marketing.

What do we know about Jennifer?

  • We know her background
  • We understand her role and how she is measured
  • We understand the things that frustrate her
  • We know how she defines a "win"
  • We understand her expectations of vendor relationships

If you are like most companies, you will have multiple Buyer Personas and you should execute this exercise for each of them.  It will provide you with the language you need to communicate with these buyers.  They don't want to hear about how wonderful you are. They want to know how you are going to help them solve the challenges they face on a daily basis.
 

Step 2: Find the Jennifer's

Now that you know what Jennifer looks like, you can find sample Jennifer's in your customer and prospect base.

Next, go do some research to find out how they are using Social Networking. It has never been easier to conduct this research: Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook - they all provide search capabilities.

The matrix displayed above is all you need to create your Social Networking strategy.  That matrix will tell you where to invest your time for your specific Buyer Personas.

In this instance, the strategy is clearly laid out for you.  You want to invest significant time on LinkedIn, establish a presence on Facebook and then investigate Twitter to connect with your Jennifers.
 

Step 3: Find the Conversation

So, now we know who to target and we know what networking sites to target.  Next, find the conversations that are meaningful to Jennifer.

We already know our Jennifer's are active in LinkedIn groups so why not start there. Your research on Jennifer's groups will provide you insight into where your Buyer Personas are spending time.

Join those Groups with the goal of engaging in meaningful conversation, not indulging in self promotion. Ask questions, answer questions - establish yourself as a thought leader. This is about sharing information and becoming part of a community with your buyers.
 

Summary

Ready...Aim...Fire is a great approach to Social Networking.  Taking the time to understand your buyer is an investment that will pay off!  It takes some planning (and requires some work), but would you trust any Sales & Marketing strategy that didn't?
 

Agree? Disagree? Please share your thoughts on getting started with Social Networking!

Topics: lead generation, technology

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