How You Can Build Personas with Social Media Analytics

Social Media Analytics, Twitter Analytics

The foundation of any successful marketing venture resides in your ability to reach the right audience at the right time. The key? Building audience personas with social media analytics such as Twitter Analytics Having a comprehensive understanding of who your customers are eliminates peripheral, resource-heavy marketing initiatives that aren’t being targeted to the right demographic.

Marketing strategists can gather dynamic, detailed information on their audience through research, online surveys, phone interviews, focus groups and auditing social analytics. While an amalgamation of these approaches provides insight into your audience’s behavior, analyzing data from different touch points is time consuming and doesn’t necessarily reflect the bigger picture.

Once thorough research has been analyzed and conducted, an audience persona is developed; an audience persona is the synopsis of your research and observations based on users who conveyed similar behaviors, interests and interactions. Identified users are then distilled into audience buckets based on similarities, which are then used to optimize business decisions and marketing initiatives.  

Social media is another advantageous data collector that provides marketers with important insights that expose how audience segments interact and progress down the funnel. Unlike other data collection methods, marketers can glean more granular information on a user by tapping into an individual’s engagement and finite interests.

Facebook Insights

Over the past 2 years, Facebook has been more transparent with the massive amount of data it collects on users through its Audience Insights platform. Facebook’s Audience Insights is an analytics platform that informs marketers about the kind of traffic your page is attracting, who has clicked on your Facebook ads (information such as gender, age, location and language), how users are interacting (such as likes, comments or clicks) with your posts and lastly, who has been served your ads or posts.

Facebook Insights is especially valuable in understanding how users are interacting with your posts, and can help discern what content/ads work and don’t work. Just using Facebook analytics alone, marketers can build audience personas based on a user’s age, gender and geolocation. To further understand the impact your brand has on specific demographics, Facebook allows marketers to take advantage of polling apps – on-page installs that grant the user freedom to choose a response to your inquiry.

Twitter Analytics

In late 2014, Twitter unveiled a wealth of Tweet stats that marketers could lever to augment customer engagement and drive ROI. Twitter Analytics is Twitter’s native platform that offers information and data on how promoted and normal tweets are performing, showcasing and tracking Tweet impressions, retweets, favorites, replies, etc.

On the Twitter Analytics dashboard under the ‘Followers’ tab, a detailed breakdown of your following is housed. Like Facebook’s Audience Insights, Twitter Analytics conveys gender, written language and geolocation. Upon auditing and comparing the data from both Facebook and Twitter, your brand can determine which content is resonating with each demographic and strategically adjust your content accordingly.

Furthermore, Twitter contextually identifies the primary interests of your audience, illuminating the intersection of interests between your followers and your brand. Like Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics exposes Device Categories, which can help your brand determine the importance of a mobile-friendly website (especially for e-commerce brands).

Another useful Twitter Analytics feature is the ability to see your organic audience – those users who don’t actively follow your brand’s account but have been exposed to your Tweets on their newsfeed. Your organic and existing audience may share similar interests, but probing additional interests of your organic audience can lead to more social growth.

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn has 433 million users (as of September 2016), with nearly 40% of those users checking the networking platform each day. While these numbers are sizable, brands should be more concerned with the one in three global professionals with a LinkedIn account, with 49 percent of key decision makers leveraging their LinkedIn for business decisions.

LinkedIn’s professional groups are beneficial for expanding upon the data collected from the aforementioned social media sites, and conduct supplemental audience persona research. Assuming that a marketer has perused through Facebook’s Audience Insights and Twitter Analytics, they are confident in the overarching industry/interests of their specific target. Taking this information to LinkedIn, marketers can then cross-reference this data with information found on industry-specific LinkedIn professional group. By cross-referencing social media data cross-platform, marketers can isolate trending topics or insights within this specialized community and determine which type of content that audience has a higher propensity to share.


Google Analytics (GA) should already be implemented in your tracking and auditing strategy, but GA offers auxiliary information that explains the route users took to land on your social media sites and describes user browsing behavior.