Social Media and the Right Customers

Posted by John H. Heinrichs

Jun 18

Social Media and the Right Customers

Before I knew Social Media and the Right Customersanything about call-to-action (CTA) or landing pages, I knew about wanting to give companies information about me in order to get more information about them.  In planning a quarter-life cross-country move from Michigan to Texas, I wanted to get all the information I could about education opportunities in my future home.  I even went so far as to fill out a few forms for schools, giving them my true full name, phone number, and email address - all of which were *required.

This leads to me to my area of topic: Influence & Mobilize Social Media Selectively for the Right Customers.  Was I a customer at the point when I gave them their *required information?  And what happened next?

You can guess that I received a phone call every other day for about two weeks from one school in particular.  At first they would leave messages that they wanted to give me more information about their program.  Eventually, the messages waned and I was left with only different phone numbers with the same area code on my missed call log.  I hadn’t even moved yet!  I was simply trying to - as I know now - begin my top of the funnel investigating who was the most reputable and trustworthy school.  I was not interested in signing up for classes as this point, nor was I ready to discuss this with a live person.

I was searching Google for schools in a specific area of Texas.  A few organic and some paid searches came up on my (aha!) work computer.  At the time, I always disregarded paid searches as untrustworthy, not knowing about the bidding process.  I clicked-through to the schools web page and found a call-to-action.  This button or information usually is intended to stick out a little bit and attract the website visitor to it.  As I clicked on this CTA, I was redirected to a landing page.  The landing page is the form that had the *required information.  We are all familiar with these, but the jargon may be new to some readers.  At that point, I was redirected to a thank-you page with another CTA on it.  I was told I would be contacted with more information. I appre ciated the heads-up, but where was my information? It wasn’t my plan to discuss everything over the phone.

The targeted audience - the buyer persona - is distinct at the kind of schools I was looking into.  Rather than investigating universities, I was more interested in trade schools at the time.  This clearly shows how important buyer persona in social media is.

Prospective trade school students may be working in fast-paced industries that they want to move out of. There may not be a lot of time to spend on the internet collecting information. The best way to reach some people is to catch them on their lunch break! Often, prospective students of trade schools are trying to make a better life for themselves but may be limited on resources like social media.

Overall, what they did was right for the buyer persona the school marketers were serving. However, upon not reaching me via telephone, could they have done something different to reach me? Absolutely! I would have happily accepted a tweet inviting me back to their website to take a look and get my questions answered. Or a weekly email with relevant content to help me make my decision.

While this may seem like a counter-intuitive “weeding-out” process, it is actually not so. Mobilizing social media selectively for the right customers will ultimately convert leads, like me, into customers with the right social mix.

Boy, were those schools in Texas persistent. I still get calls occasionally, three years later and after a cross-country trip back to Michigan! But my lesson about buyer personas and selectivity of social media stuck with me, and hopefully they will stick with you, too!

(All credit and accolades for this tremendous blog post are for Mindy Boroska who is the author and content creator.)

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