Some social media marketing thoughts: The persona

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Are you getting your social media right? See some thoughts in this post.

Benchley Design accurately describes what many AEC businesses do for social media marketing:

Funny thing is happening right now.  B2B companies (specifically those that are architecture, engineering, and construction) are starting to realize social media is a part of their marketing strategy.

Shocker.  (Read that in a sarcastic voice.)

So the folks that develop marketing strategy have told the implementers of the strategy to create a social media presence for the company.  Creating a social media presence is easy.  Click a few buttons and *poof* … presence is on social media.

Of course, there is a better way, and that is to build a model (persona) of your clients and adapt your social media messages in the different media to reflect that character.

The company persona should be tailored for each social media platform.  This takes effort!  This is not a walk in the park!  It involves a social media specialist, a strategist, and leadership buy-in.  The company persona will survive a lot longer than a single individual and it will evolve at the company evolves.

Here are some items to help get you started with building a company persona:

  • Is your company male or female?
  • How old is your company?
  • Is your company a new hire, seasoned employee, middle management, or senior level?
  • Does your company work in the field or at corporate?
  • What kind of sense of humor does your company have?
  • What hobbies is your company interested in?
  • Who are your company’s friends?
  • What kind of traits does your company embody? For example, genuine, honest, blunt, innovative, calculated risk-taker, etc.
  • Does your company live in an urban, suburban, or country area?
  • Is your company a morning person or a night owl?
  • The idea — translate these questions to your target, which will be truly different if you are trying to reach 57-year-old male CEOs rather than 20 something Pokeman players.

The persona approach “gets everyone on the same page as to what kind of social media presence your company will work towards.”

And it will attract social media users that have similar traits.  So if you are trying to reach the C-suite level decision-makers at commercial real estate development companies on LinkedIn perhaps your company persona looks something like this …

  • My company is male.
  • My company is 58 years old.
  • My company is senior level.
  • My company is at corporate.
  • My company is classy and enjoys a chuckle but does not find fart jokes funny.
  • My company likes deep sea fishing, spending time with the grand kids, and tailgates at their alma mater’s collegiate football games.
  • My company’s friends are the C-suite at my company, college friends, owners of other similar companies, a few dignitaries, a couple of friends from back home, and the raising leaders in your company.
  • Our best clients say we are trustworthy, forward-thinking, and honest.
  • My company lives in a suburban area.
  • My company is a morning person.

As you read this sample of a company persona did you get a picture in your head of what this company looks like?  This is a similar process that authors take to develop characters in fiction books.  Once you understand your company’s persona then creating the posts for your company for that specific platform will become easier and have more impact.

Finally, see this observation about focusing and specializing your message.

And don’t try to be everything to everyone on every single platform.  As an individual person, trying to do that is a life suck.  Find the platforms that fit your business as well as fit your potential customers.  It is good marketing strategy.

These are certainly valid ideas — and are a reminder that, as for most marketing initiatives, the quick-and-easy superficial approach may have appeal, but rarely is effective. There can be some big wins with effective marketing, but you need patience and thoughtfulness to succeed.

Have you been able to develop effective social media personas? You can share your observations in a comment or by emailing buckshon@constructionmarketingideas.com.

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