SOCIAL MEDIA: Create your ideal customer profile

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Social media columnist

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Creating an ideal customer profile, often known as an avatar, is something that will help you market better to your audience, create better products and services, as well as improve your existing products and services.

Not only will it help you with your marketing and product production efforts – it will also help you with improving your delivery systems by learning more about how your customer chooses what to buy as you learn about their product-buying process.

1. Understand your products and services

The first step to creating an ideal customer profile is to truly understand your products and services. You need to know everything there is about each product or service that you provide. Whether you outsource some of the work or not doesn’t matter; you need to be able to walk the walk and talk the talk clearly and intelligently.

2. Stay aware of your industry

No -ne is still making VHS tapes. Did people stop watching films? No, of course not, but the technology changed. Smart companies and business owners who stayed on top of the technology didn’t go out of business, instead they just changed their products and services to fit what their current audience needed.

3. Describe your customer

Write a full description of who you believe is your ideal customer. What are their ages, sex, income group and other demographics? What are their fears, needs, and what problems do they need to have solved? Write it all 
down, and be ready to alter it later as you learn more about your audience or as your audience changes due to technology.

4. Determine where your customers come from

How are you currently getting customers? What links are they following online? What are you doing right now to attract them, and what’s working? Did they see something you wrote, or shared, or said in an interview? What makes the current customers you have buy from you? Ask them. Send them a survey.

5. Identify the process they use to make a purchase

Every customer has a process they use before, during and after making a purchase. They usually research a problem they have as they look for solutions. Once they find them they evaluate each solution in order to choose the right one for them. Then they determine if they can afford the solution, and if so, they make their purchase. After the purchase, they either become a lifelong customer or they go elsewhere.

6. Ask for feedback from current customers

One of the ways to determine what is going to happen in the future is by looking at what has already happened. Once your customer has made a purchase, or signed up for your list, or somehow connected with you, it’s imperative that you always follow up.

It’s a lot less expensive to keep a customer than to get a new one. Ask for feedback right after the purchase so that you can improve the process. If your customer has purchased a product from you, you can set up an auto responder to deliver a feedback survey directly to their inbox.

7. Create customer profiles

From the information you collect, keep creating customer profiles. You may end up with as many as five different groups and customer profiles for each of these groups, based on their demographics and what they have or have not purchased. For instance, we all know that everyone uses laundry detergent, but if you watch TV ads they are targeted specifically to the people who make the purchases, usually women.

8. Be consistent

Make it a habit to continue customer profiling so that you can always stay ahead of your customers’ needs, desires, and problems. You want to be the first to offer answers and solutions over the competition and you can only do that if you always keep your customer first and foremost in your mind and marketing practices.

Don’t rest on your laurels and stop there. Keep your ears to the ground in order to continuously improve your customer profiles so that you can always be at the top of your niche and industry.

Profiling what your customers really need to solve their problems and fulfil their expectations is something that you must do to stay ahead. It will also save you money, time and effort by focusing on the right audience.

BREAKING NEWS

Not just Facebook and Twitter this week, though they are still making improvements, however, a variety of networks have been making changes in the past two weeks.

Facebook

Facebook Adds Video Support and New Features to Lead Ads: Facebook adds “new CRM partners and support for video” for lead ads. Other updates include customizable disclaimers, duplicate lead ad forms, and making lead ads available in the Ads Create tool.

Facebook Prioritises Facebook Live Videos in News Feed: Facebook announced that it is “making a small update to News Feed so that Facebook Live Videos are more likely to appear higher in News Feed when those videos are actually live, compared to after they are no longer live.”

Facebook Rolls Out New Video Tool to Showcase Businesses: Facebook launched Your Business Story, “a tool that makes it easy to create a video that shows what your business brings to the world.”

Twitter

Twitter Improves Links in Moments: Twitter is “making it easier for people to explore links within Moments on iOS and Android” and rolling out support for “the AMP versions of news articles when available.”

Twitter Rolls Out New Features for Twitter Ads API: Twitter now offers a “more mature and stable Ads API with major technical enhancements including versioning, improved analytics, and developer sandbox capabilities.”

Google+

Google Launches Google+ Create Program: The newly launched Google+ Create program is designed to offer “people who create standout Collections” access to the “latest Google+ features before anyone else,” “global attention and exclusive perks,” and other tools and resources.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn Streamlines Account Management Settings: LinkedIn is “making ‘Privacy & Settings’ even more convenient for you, with a streamlined hub to help you easily manage your LinkedIn account.”

LinkedIn Introduces Account Targeting: LinkedIn launched LinkedIn Account Targeting, “a new way to run effective account-based marketing campaigns on [the LinkedIn] platform.”

Pinterest

Pinterest Opens Pinterest Ads Manager and Rolls Out Additional Targeting Options: To let more businesses see results from promoted pin campaigns, Pinterest is “opening the Pinterest Ads Manager to all small- and medium-sized businesses in the U.S.” I’m sure other markets will quickly follow.

Instagram

Instagram Blocks Deeplinks to Snapchat and Telegram Profiles: Instagram has “removed the ability to include ‘add me’ links on Instagram profile pages” that go to personal Snapchat or Telegram accounts. However, Instagram confirms that “other types of links are still allowed.”

Blab

Blab Introduces New Embeddable Player: “Your Blab will pop up in the bottom corner of your website when you go live. That way your audience won’t miss anything!”

Blab Rolls Out New Way to Find Your Friends on Blab: “It’s called On Blab, and it’s going to make finding your friends much easier.”