Using Facebook Insights to create personas

3 min read
Jonny Pathan
FaceBook on a mobile

Creating personas can be an overwhelming task, there are so many sources of data to choose from that it can be difficult to know where to start. In this short post, we’re going to focus on using Facebook Insights to put together some personas.

Girl working at a desk in a sparse white room

If you’ve never heard of the term before, here’s a brief overview courtesy of Wikipedia.

‘In user-centered design and marketing, personas are fictional characters created to represent the different user types that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way.’

‘Personas are useful in considering the goals, desires, and limitations of brand buyers and users in order to help to guide decisions about a service, product or interaction space such as features, interactions, and visual design of a website. Personas may also be used as part of a user-centered design process for designing software and are also considered a part of interaction design (IxD), having been used in industrial design and more recently for online marketing purposes.’

How to use Facebook Insights to create personas

We’ll be sampling the whole of Facebook for this example, you can sample people who follow your page only, however, unless your followers are in the tens of thousands your data will most likely be very limited.

First thing to do is to whip over to Facebook Audience Insights – All you need to use this tool is a Facebook profile.

Let’s assume you work for Health Company ‘A’, you’ve created a new skin cream and you want to appeal to the relevant audience. We’re going to pop in a general interest related to our new products, let’s go with ‘Beauty‘.

Facebook Insights about Beauty

So, our first set of results show us that out of those interested in beauty, 63% of them are Women. That’s our biggest group, so we’ll start with them to create our first persona. Narrow down the results by selecting Women in the gender field. Once you’ve done that you’ll notice the next biggest group is those aged between 25-34, let’s narrow down the data again by selecting 25-34 as our age range.

Facebook Audience Insights

Now we have a specific group that are the most interested in the term ‘Beauty’ we can start to look at some demographics. Here are some of things we can gather from our data:

The majority are Married, University educated and work in sales. We can also look at a variety of information related to this group. This list shows the type of things that are popular within this group. You can also look at how users behave, where they’re based and what devices they are using

Facebook Audience Demographics

We’ve started to build up a picture that will allow us to create out first persona. I’m sure you’ll want to create multiple personas and I would recommend starting again and using the next biggest demographic and so on.

This is my first persona based on all of the above

Name: Smart Susan

Age: 25-34

Relationship Status: Married

Job Title: Sales

Education Level: University

Location: London

Interests:

MAC Cosmetics
Disney
Malibu Rum
Dirty Dancing / Fifty Shade of Grey / Eastenders / Hollyoaks
Mothercare

Device Usage: Her primary device is the mobile phone and she is most likely to be using Apps on an iPhone to view information.

Spending Habits: Susan likes to shop at Asda, Next, Notonthehighstreet and Very. She likes to look at holiday deals online.

Social Media Habits: Susan is fairly receptive to Facebook advertising, enjoys liking and commenting on posts but tends not to share articles that much.

I hope this gives you some insight into how you can use a free tool to start building personas. Once you start to understand your audience you can start to look at how to market to them. In truth, this is skimming the surface, it’s also only one data source and really you want to be pooling data from as many places as possible.

Let us know your thoughts.

‘In user-centered design and marketing, personas are fictional characters created to represent the different user types that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way.’

Social Media Management Software

In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.

By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.

In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.

At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.

Screenshot of Hootsuite's homepage

We recommend: Hootsuite

There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).

They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.

The free version of this software lets you:

  • Manage up to three social media profiles from a choice of channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Schedule up to 30 posts in advance at any point in time
  • Track follower growth, likes and comments
  • Integrate two RSS feeds in order to find and share compelling content
  • Access Hootsuite’s online help center and community forum

Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.

But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.

Website Tracking Software

We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.

By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.

There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.

Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.

Screenshot of Hotjar's homepage

We recommend: Hotjar

Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.

Hotjar tools include:

  • Click, move, scroll, download and share heatmaps that can also be split by device type
  • Visitor recordings that allow you to replay sessions of real site visitors
  • Conversion funnels that identify on which page and at which step the most visitors are leaving your site
  • Form analysis that can help you to discover which fields take too long to fill, which are left blank and why your visitors abandon your form and page
  • A customizable widget that allows you to create pop-up feedback polls
  • Responsive surveys that can be distributed through web links and emails, or featured your site just before your visitors abandon the page in order to discover what their concerns are
  • The ability to recruit test users in order to get instant feedback on your site

Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.

While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.

For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.

Remember

Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.

What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.

If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.

Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.

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