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This week we have a quest post from Jo Middleton, Slummy Single Mummy aka @mummyblogger, an award-winning blogger and a copywriter with amazing Twitter following. 

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I work a lot with social media. I also teach other individuals and businesses how to best use social media to connect with their customers and drive sales. Social is a fantastic tool after all, we’d be fools to ignore it.

While my clients might be keen to know about the latest scheduling and analytics tools though, there is one exercise I often do that has nothing to do with hashtags or trends, it’s about getting to know your customer – really knowing them.

“Oh yes,” you might be thinking, “I already know my customer. They’re 35-55, they work in a managerial post…”

OK, but hold on a minute. How many actual people do you know who are 35-55? Real people have real ages – they are 36 or 43 or 52. They aren’t a demographic; they are unique individuals with hopes and dreams and fears. When you really begin to understand your customer on this level, then you can start to make your marketing shine.

Let’s take my life for instance. I was the school swot – best GCSE results in my year, and pregnant at 16. Baby under one arm, (quite literally at times), I went to college and to university and graduated with a first class economics degree when my daughter was four years old. I’ve been a dual parent, single parent, employee and business owner. I own a brand new car but I’ve never skied. I don’t fit naturally into a typical demographic.

Now, with two children, 18 and 11, my life revolves around working and being a mum. My key issues are a lack of time, a strong desire to be a positive role model for my daughters and a permanent sense of being pulled in different directions at once. I like things that make my life simpler or more efficient. I dislike clutter and feeling out of control.

The advertising and marketing that really grabs my attention is the stuff that promises me a solution to the real problems in my life or taps into a fear or insecurity. A tweet that promises ‘7 quick ways to make your children believe they are more important to you than work’ is going to get me clicking.

If you do one thing this year then to improve your social marketing, get to know your customer. Give them a name, cut out a picture from a magazine, build a personality for them and ‘interview’ them about their fears and ambitions. Stick this person up near your computer and every time you write something, think about how it’s going to be useful or entertaining for them.

Give it a go. You’ll very quickly feel how the messages you’re putting out suddenly have more meaning, and the connections you form will be stronger because of it.

Jo Middleton

Jo will be running our ‘Social Media for Start-ups‘, a hands on starter session for women entrepreneurs on 27.2..

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