A Quick Guide to Social Media Marketing Success

By Madison Taylor
December 1, 2023
Person working at a laptop

Understanding three core principles — your business purpose, buyer personas, and the buyer’s journey — can make or break the success of your social media marketing endeavors. Here we will explore how identifying your brand’s underlying purpose, creating tailored buyer personas, and comprehending the buyer’s journey can serve as the compass guiding your path to effective and resonant social media marketing. These three pillars are the foundation of connecting with your audience, forging authentic relationships, and ultimately achieving your marketing goals.

Understanding Your Purpose With the Golden Circle

Simon Sinek introduced the concept of the Golden Circle in his influential TED talk “Start With Why.” The Golden Circle comprises three layers: What, How, and Why.

The core of this circle is the “why,” and it’s the most crucial aspect to define for your company. It’s about understanding why your company exists beyond mere profit or recognition. What is your company’s underlying purpose? What values and principles do you stand for?

Moving outward, the next layer is the “how.” This layer delves into how you are accomplishing your “why.” Are you addressing a particular problem or alleviating a pain point? Are you helping people overcome challenges?

Lastly, you arrive at the “what.” What exactly do you offer? This is the opportunity to showcase the specific benefits and features of your product or service in comparison to your competitors.

It’s commonly said that people make emotional purchases and then justify them with logic. If you’re solely focusing on the “what,” your customers won’t feel engaged or interested. There won’t be a meaningful connection. But when you start with the “why,” the “what” naturally follows.

The reason we emphasize the Golden Circle is because social media offers a unique platform to communicate your “why.” Through video content, images, links, and interactive media, your brand can be more than just a product on a shelf. It can become a brand with personality, goals, beliefs, and aspirations resonating with your users. They will recognize the authenticity of your message and respond positively.

Understanding Your Target Audience with Buyer Personas

A buyer persona provides a comprehensive view of your ideal customer. Your entire social media strategy should revolve around appealing not to as many people as possible but to those most likely to purchase your product.

Creating buyer personas enables you to tailor your social media content to the specific needs of different customer groups. The initial step is to focus on one or two buyer personas. If your company is large enough that one or two personas don’t cover your entire customer base, you can expand to more personas, but always start simple. Avoid being too broad. Begin by thinking about your perfect customer, then explore other niches.

It’s important not to overlook the customers you don’t want. Negative buyer personas may not seem like a priority, but there are individuals who may not be worth your effort to sell to. Perhaps they don’t make frequent purchases, or they are advanced users who don’t require an entry-level product. Knowing who isn’t worth your time can be just as valuable as knowing who is.

Having clearly defined and distinct personas allows you to customize your entire social media approach to ensure that the people encountering your content are precisely the ones you want to target.

Understanding the Buyer’s Journey: How Customers Discover You

The buyer’s journey, in simple terms, is the process a buyer goes through, from realizing they have a need for a product to ultimately making a purchase. This journey consists of three phases: awareness, consideration, and decision.

To maximize your marketing potential, it’s crucial to engage potential customers at every stage of this journey. Understanding the problems you solve, how your customers shop, and how they decide on a product can guide you in attracting their business.

The awareness phase marks the beginning of the buyer’s journey. At this stage, the buyer recognizes they have a problem but may not be able to define it or identify a solution. Your role is to assist them in pinpointing their problem. By using blogs and social media posts to establish yourself as a valuable source of information, you can guide potential buyers toward recognizing their specific needs.

The consideration phase is when a buyer starts researching potential solutions to their problem. They haven’t yet determined the exact solution they need, but they’re seeking information.

During this phase, your objective is to bring your product to their attention in a way that conveys you can solve their problems. Videos, demonstrations, and testimonials are ideal tools to show that you’ve successfully addressed similar issues before and can do it again.

Social media is well-suited for this phase. Think of the many videos on Facebook or Instagram that not only showcase a product but also educate viewers about it. This is your opportunity to enter the fray and target these videos to the exact people who may find them valuable.

The decision phase is where many marketers typically start, often overlooking the previous two phases. In this stage, the buyer has a clear idea of the product they want and must choose one.

However, if you commence your efforts in the decision phase, you miss the chance to convince uncertain customers that your product is the solution to their problem in the first place.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you manufacture a smart coffee maker.

In the awareness phase, your customer realizes they have a problem: making coffee in the morning takes too long, or they forget to set the timer, or they’ve been overspending at Starbucks. Blogs and articles can help clarify their need: “I want hot coffee ready when I wake up.”

During the consideration phase, the buyer is exploring potential solutions. Can they make coffee the night before or buy instant coffee that’s quicker? This is where your videos and demonstrations can demonstrate that a smart coffee maker is the answer to their problem.

In the decision phase, potential customers have chosen a smart coffee maker, and your task is to persuade them that yours is the best option. Maybe it has a built-in grinder or the most competitive price. They might choose your product, or they might not. However, without engaging with your customers during the awareness and consideration phases, they wouldn’t even be in the market for a smart coffee maker.

Understanding how your ideal buyer progresses through their decision-making process and engaging with them at every stage is essential for maximizing your marketing effectiveness.

A Productive Fusion

The fusion of the Golden Circle, buyer personas, and the buyer’s journey is a dynamic that can make or break your social media marketing strategy. By identifying your company’s “why” and crafting buyer personas, you’re not only shaping your brand’s purpose but also tailoring your message to those most likely to connect with it.

The Golden Circle’s “why” serves as the heartbeat of your mission, enabling you to convey authenticity and create a meaningful connection with your audience. This is particularly relevant in the realm of social media, where authenticity is highly valued.

Furthermore, understanding the buyer’s journey is the key to unlocking your marketing potential. Engaging with potential customers at every phase—awareness, consideration, and decision—ensures that you guide them toward recognizing their needs and positioning your product as the solution.

Remember that success lies in connecting your purpose with your audience’s needs. By doing so, you can craft an engaging, personalized, and effective social media strategy that will not only capture attention but also drive customer engagement and loyalty, making your brand stand out in the crowded digital landscape.