By Jessica Chen
First things first: What are personas? Personas are profiles or “people” that brands create to represent their target audience. They serve as community managers, customer service representatives, or just “regular” community members, actively engaging with others. Brands such as Staples, Gap, Lululemon and more are utilizing persona-based community management as part of their social media strategy.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Evaluate Your Community’s Needs
Take some time to thoroughly assess your audience and monitor the engagement on your social media pages. A great way to do this is to break down the posts and messages by quantity, type of post (comment, question, complaint) and sentiment (positive, neutral, negative). Comparing this information across time will give you an overview of how you can assist and engage your community.
2. Determine the Intent and Purpose of the Personas
Community management personas can serve a variety of purposes. Some brands have certain persons who specialize in particular areas and primarily respond to the posts pertaining to those topics. Regardless, it’s always all about conveying the “people behind the brand,” allowing consumers to feel connected to the company.
3. Identify the Types of Personas Needed
There is no set formula to follow when creating personas for community management. This is the time to be flexible and fine-tune your strategy as needed. You may need to adjust the number of individuals and/or the role each plays for your brand. Embrace it! Social media (especially community management) is all about adapting.
4. Build Out the Profiles
Take a page from the book of successful writers: Dedicate an extended amount of time to actually deconstructing your profiles. Create a backstory, for example, pick out his or her interests and hobbies. Developing a personality behind the profile will be helpful in incorporating a “real” voice into your responses.
5. Develop a Roll-out Plan for Incorporating These Into Your CM Plan
With the research and prep work done, begin thinking about how you’re going to incorporate this new approach into your community management strategy. Again, there is no right or wrong way to do this – it depends on your brand and your community! Use the information you pulled from monitoring your pages and work out the timing and execution logistics.
The most important thing to remember when developing your own persona plan for community management is to adjust based on YOUR brand’s needs. What works for one company won’t necessarily work for everyone else. Monitor your community closely and adjust it — until you figure out what makes the most sense for you.
How do you develop community management personas?