Social monitoring is a game changer for marketers. We can now keep our ear to the ground for tweets that contain any questions, pain points, or comments that are central to our business. Once we find the people posting these relevant conversations, we can reach out with helpful content to draw them into our inbound strategy.
However, many of our monitoring efforts result in tweets that come from industry competitors and spammers who have no intention of ever becoming a customer.
Why do those tweets show up in our steams, and what can we do to fine-tune our listening to make sure we can focus on those who matter most to our business?
The reason why so many irrelevant tweets show up in our social monitoring streams is because we’re listening to the wrong people. The people we should be listening for are our most qualified prospects who have challenges and needs that we can solve. In inbound parlance, these qualified prospects who represent our ideal customers are called our buyer personas.
This blog post will dive into five tips to help us take control of our monitoring efforts by speaking the language of our buyer personas -- all while silencing the irrelevant noise from our competitors on Twitter.
How to Speak (And Monitor) the Language of Your Buyer Personas
1. Know Your Personas’ Demographic Information
Before thinking about which keywords and phrases to monitor, think about your personas’ demographic information, such as the languages they speak and where they’re from.
Instead of listening to streams of tweets from all over the globe, try segmenting your personas’ tweets by language and geographic location. With HubSpot’s Social Monitoring Tool, you can segment tweets by:
If your business is based in Boston, MA and your target demographic only speaks Spanish, you can choose to segment the tweets that appear in your monitoring stream to match your persona’s criteria. Let’s take a look at how you can parse out the tweets from the Social Monitoring tool in the example below.
Now your streams will only include tweets in Spanish from people in that specific geographic area!
2. Target Personas Based on Certain Phrases They Use
Next, think about the certain way your target persona talks -- specifically the phrases he or she might use. If you’re using social monitoring to target personas in a management role, think about how they would express business needs, which might also indicate whether or not they have purchasing power. Some key phrases that indicate seniority are:
- My team...
- We're looking for...
- Our department...
This example shows a tweet from someone who is looking for suggested project management applications for her team.
3. Listen to Pain Points and Emotions
Twitter is a great forum for users to express a garden variety of needs and emotions. Think about the needs and challenges that your personas typically experience in reference to your business and use them to guide your monitoring efforts.
If you’re in the math tutoring business and would like to target qualified prospects, ask yourself how your personas typically express their pain points in their tweets. If your personas are high school seniors and stressing over college-entrance exams, how would they express those difficulties and challenges?
Some emotions and questions to monitor in a tweet are:
- Frustration for how difficult math can be
- Excitement for learning something new
- Urgency for receiving immediate help
- Hashtags that indicate the above emotions
Here’s a sample screenshot of a stream of tweets that express common challenges related to math. This would be a gold mine for a math tutor! A person looking to expand their tutoring business could reply to these individuals by offering to help, and that could then lead to a business conversation.
4. Zero in on How Your Personas Express What They Value Most
Another way to find qualified leads is by listening for phrases that would indicate they already love what your product of service offers. You can do this by jotting down key phrases that indicate what your prospects find most convenient, exciting, or life-changing about your industry.
For example, if your business does adventure travel, ask yourself what gets your persona excited about travel. Is it to spend quality time with family? Forge team-wide relationships for companies and organizations? Or have the most unforgettable time? Most likely this audience is sharing these feelings on Twitter. Think about how they would express that via a tweet.
Once you determine these key phrases, you can do targeted searches for instances of those words. Then follow up when relevant!
5. Pro-Tip: Silence Jargon from Other Marketers Targeting Your Industry
When it comes to silencing the noise of irrelevant marketers, competitors, and spammers; we're not messing around. The Social Monitoring Tool helps you exclude any terms that your competitors would most likely include in a tweet, as well as Twitter accounts that populate your monitoring streams. (Check out the screenshot below.)
Some common phrases that marketers use in tweets are:
- Check out
- Industry hashtags (e.g. #SEO)
- Your free guide
Keep in mind that the typical marketer speaks a lot of industry jargon, with no intention of seeking help or expressing a need. Knowing that will also help make sure you zone in only on the prospects who matter most.
How to Respond Now That You've Found Your Persona
The best way to introduce yourself to a potential prospect on Twitter is by using what we inbound marketers do best -- add value through content! You can open up a conversation with potential prospects and share a blog post that would make for a great addition to the discussion.
For example, if you’re in the online consulting space and would like to initiate a conversation that discusses how non-profits can benefit from social media, think about the most relevant content in your collection that would make you stand out as a thought leader.
There are two types of people out there discussing your industry: your buyer personas and your competitors. The latter speaks the language of marketers, whereas your personas speak … like humans!
By better understanding how your personas express their challenges, goals, and questions in a tweet, you’ll be on your way to silencing marketers and pulling up streams of tweets that look a lot more like this:
What other ways are you finding your buyer personas on Twitter? Do you have additional tips to help others focus on the individuals who matter most?
Originally published May 12, 2014 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017