Viralstyle Blog

E-Commerce Persona
14 Mar 2017

How to Create a Social E-Commerce Persona

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One of the most common questions we get from new sellers is ‘how do I name my Facebook page?’. It’s a simple question with a complex answer that depends on a lot of things. The way in which you engage with your niche online or what you name your page usually isn’t a make-or-break factor but even the most experienced sellers lose sight of this valuable and inexpensive way of generating lifetime customers.

Having a strategy behind the persona you create can help you save valuable time down the road as you grow your following, pivot into a new niche, or find campaigns with horizontal scale.

Establish Your Persona First

The first thing you need to think about is who your potential customers are and how you plan to engage with them. Since Facebook is usually the primary advertising outlet you will use, this is typically the first place to start. You may also decide to create pages on other social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Other options to drive traffic include link sharing sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon or community-based forums and trade groups.

By establishing a persona that works across all of these platforms and has a strong appeal to the people of your niche can provide consistency of your messages and allow you to get seen by your fans on multiple outlets. This doesn’t mean that you need to be active on every social media platform possible. Our best advice is to focus on what is the most impactful for you and do it well. If you try to stretch yourself across every outlet you may not be as successful with each one.

Brand or Community?

There are two primary ways sellers will define their persona – either as a brand (like Tom’s Awesome Tees) or a community (German Shepherds Only). Neither option is better than the other and the route that makes the most sense for you greatly depends on the niche you are selling to or plan to sell to in the future and the type content you wish to share with your fans.

Community – The community approach is a great way to engage with your audience as an active fan yourself. This can help you establish social influence within a culture as an active member of the community alongside your fans. These personas can often seem less corporate and more authentic to the customer than a brand they have never heard of.

Traditional Brand – The brand approach is typically favored by sellers using VS Premium pagesShopify storefronts, or planning to use these options in the future. It can be difficult to establish a brand name that people of your niche know and trust, but if you can achieve this you can be better positioned for mainstream success.

Hybrid – The hybrid approach achieves both a community-centered brand persona. For instance, if you are selling surfing apparel you could name your persona ‘Hang Loose’. In this case you have a strong niche appeal that is understood by anybody which can grow into a trusted brand-name with mass appeal.

Broad or Specific?

The last aspect of selecting your persona is to decide exactly how niche or interest specific you would like to be. This is primarily a business decision and often when you are first starting out it is helpful to have flexibility with the ideas you can test without having to create a new persona each time.

How specific you should be with your persona also depends on the niche(s) you are active with. If you are selling political products, you probably won’t seem authentic to a customer if you are promoting items to both Republicans and Democrats with the same persona.

Lastly when deciding broad or specific, you should think about the campaigns you may be running in the future and if they would make sense to the same audience. Campaigns with horizontal scale that appeal to many niches may require multiple pages depending on how broad or niche the persona is that you create, or you can plan to have a persona that enables you to advertise campaigns with horizontal scale in the same place. A general persona about dogs would enable you to market products about any breed. If you have a persona centered on a specific breed like German Shepherds you will have a more difficult time connecting with Golden Retriever fans.

Tips for Success

There are many ways to brand your business and there is no single formula to follow. Any successful brand should seek to achieve a few or more of the following;

  • Be Original & Unique – As a marketer you are battling for space in your fan’s newsfeed not only with other e-commerce products, but also with their friends, publishers, artists and more. To stay relevant with all of this competition it helps to be unique and memorable.
  • Create a Brand Identity – Spend some time designing a good logo, or hire an artist to do this for you. Buyers value authenticity and having a thoughtful, well designed logo and cover photo will help you appear more legitimate and create a sense of trust. This will especially help when your page is starting out and has a limited following.
  • Use a Consistent Design Motif – The best way to prevent copycats is to establish your own unique audience. To do this effectively you will need to develop a design aesthetic and portfolio of products that is uniquely specific to your brand. Try to use similar fonts and typography treatments. Stick to similar color palettes and graphic styles that work for your audience and represents your brand and niche.

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