Oct 10, 2014 113 reads by Navneet Kaushal

This session at Salon E covered the important issue of matching campaigns to personas and how selfies can assist in the attainment of vital business objectives. Brand engagement and campaign optimization with measurable objectives were also discussed.


  • George Aspland (@gaspland) – Founder & President, eVision, LLC


  • Kendall Bird (@simplymeK) – Online Community Specialist – Brand Loyalty, Collegis Education
  • Katy Katz (@katykatztc) – Inbound Marketing Specialist, Collegis Education

The two speakers Kendall and Katy from Collegis Education provided valuable insights regarding personas in terms of their importance, the manner in which they can be leveraged in social media contests and a whole lot more about them.

Importance of Personas

Kendall and Katy explained that personas are very important and understanding them in their minutest detail is critical. Personas are crucial for all social media efforts, both of them reiterated.

Defining A Persona

Katy and Kendall used the following quote from HubSpot to define a persona: “A buyer persona is a semi-functional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”

Personal Research

Research on personas means taking the data and changing it into an actual person. Katy and Kendall explained that the resulting person is the persona and he or she is thought about prior to every type of content creation.

How to Create a Persona

Katy and Kendall provided detailed information about how to create personas. They suggested the following measures:

  • Conducting target market research (surveys, gated content, analysis of social behavior, utilization of external partners such as Simmons Data)
  • Division of results into persona buckets
  • Story creation for every aspect that is to be identified
  • Edit, edit and edit- the two speakers emphasized this with a lot of effort
  • Use personas that are personal and detailed (this includes name, job title, place they work, job title, where they work, details regarding the role, age, wage, sex, educational qualifications, location or area of residence, family, friends, values, fears and so on).

Personas Must Include These

Katy and Kendall advised that content creators and social media contest designers should be best friends with personas as one is constantly building a relationship to target them. Using images of them is also critical, the two speakers stressed.

Social Media Is Where It’s At

Both Katy and Kendall stressed the importance of social media and stressed that this was where the customers were. This is why it is where customer service is conducted.

They quoted the following statistics:

  • 71% of customers closed business relationships due to poor customer service (Forbes)
  • 23% of the consumers think a company values their business (CBS News)

The bottom-line is that responsive social media is the key differentiator.

Social Media Contests and Personas

Personas have a lot to do with the success of social media contests, both the speakers felt. Social media contests are likely to fail if personas are not comprehended, the two emphasized.

Failure to gain ROI from social media marketing efforts arises due to inability to use personas (SquareFish), cited Katy and Kendall.

Where Social Media Contests Failed

Katy and Kendall spoke of where social media contests failed. They cited the following debacles:

  • Audi used a social media contest featuring hipsters instead of cars and they failed miserably. The personal they should have been targeting are 30-40+ successful men who do business and buy such cars.
  • Molson Canadian: they used college students for their contest rather than beer drinking folks such as downhome people. Needless to say, their contest did not work either.

Social Media Contests That Used Personas To Win

The speakers quoted Crowdtap which said that user generated content is trusted nearly 50% more than conventional media. Then they cited Mashable which said that user generated content is excellent for driving sales and getting the audience to engage. This is what you need to get the audience excited, Katy and Kendall felt.

  • Kellogg’s Eggo Waffles contest successfully targeted 30+ moms and won the game because they understood personas well, Katy and Kendall remarked.
  • Burish Buddies is a singing tooth brush and users posted videos of themselves singing with a toothbrush. This campaign with only 30 people managed to drive 230,000,000 impressions and got 65,300 votes which is pretty awesome and this was exactly what Brush Buddies understood: the persona of teenage girls who love to post video and selfies as well as sing.

5 Things To Know About Personas

Katy and Kendall emphasized that the 5 things to know about personas are:

  • Personas are persons, not segments
  • You need to know their inputs and outputs
  • If you don't understand their story, you don't win
  • You need to be personal regarding what they care about
  • Content should be persona driven to succeed

They ended the session with a discussion about the personas.

Utilizing Personas In Social Media Contests: #pubcon Las Vegas 2012, Day 3!, 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal is the Editor-in-Chief of PageTraffic Buzz. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic Buzz as one of the well know digital marketing blog.
Navneet Kaushal
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