Once you’re convinced that you need to create buyer personas as part of your marketing efforts, it’s time to get to the drawing board so that you can outline a few of your ideal customers. At that point, you might stop, scratch your head, and ask yourself: “What’s the best way to create a persona?”

The answer to that question can be summed up in one word: data.

You’ll create buyer personas based on data that you harvest from various marketing channels. Fortunately, that information is often available free of charge.

Social media and Google Analytics both offer great insights about your top customers.

Create A Persona

Social Media

One of the best features about the more popular social media channels is that they all provide analytics. That gives you an opportunity to learn a lot about the types of people who respond to your social media marketing efforts.

Twitter

Of all the social sites, Twitter probably offers the best analytics. That’s where you should start if you’re gathering data for buyer personas.

Just visit Twitter on your desktop or laptop, click on your avatar in the upper, right-hand corner, and select “Analytics” from the drop-down menu.

In the new window that opens, select “Audiences” from the very top menu. On the “Overview” page, you’ll see a wealth of information about your followers, including gender, interests, income, net worth, occupation, and buying styles.

You can get more data than that, though. Click on the “Demographics” tab at the top and you’ll see a more detailed demographic breakdown of your followers.

Click on the “Lifestyle” tab and learn even more about your followers, including their political affiliation and favorite TV genres.

If you’re running an e-commerce site, you’ll love the “Consumer Behavior” section that gives you fairly extensive information about the buying habits of people who follow you on Twitter.

Finally, check out “Mobile Footprint” section to learn about the mobile devices and carriers your followers prefer. Also, if you are running Twitter ads you can get some excellent data their as well.

It’s not just Twitter that gives you great insights into your customers, though. You can also learn a lot from Facebook.

Facebook

Fire up your Facebook business page and click on “Insights” at the top. On the Insights page, click on “People” on the left-hand sidebar menu.

The “People” section will give you some great demographic info about the folks who’ve liked your Facebook page. You’ll see gender, age, and location information immediately.

Pay particular attention to the three tabs at the top of the bar chart. They’re labeled “Your Fans,” “People Reached,” and “People Engaged.”

That third tab (“People Engaged”) will most likely include information about your best customers. It gives you demographic data about people who “like” or comment on your posts.

In addition to Twitter and Facebook, be sure to check YouTube for analytics as well. That’s especially true if you post a lot of videos.

YouTube

Just head over to YouTube and click on your image in the upper, right-hand corner. Select “Creator Studio” from the drop-down menu that appears.

Once you’re in the Creator Studio, select “Analytics” from the menu on the left-hand sidebar. Click on “Demographics” from the menu that appears below.

The page that appears will show you the gender and age breakdown of people who watch your videos. You can also learn about which demographics like to watch your videos the most by checking out the “Percentage Viewed” stat in the “More metrics” dropdown.

Below the chart, click on “Geography” to gain insight about where your viewers are located.

Keep in mind that it’s not just Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube that offer great analytics. Be sure to check other social media channels such as Pinterest and LinkedIn as well.

Google Analytics

Social media is a great source for gaining insights about customers, but it’s only valuable if you have a lot of followers. If you’re running an up-and-coming company, with few followers on social media, then you might need to look at other options for mining data.

One of those options is Google Analytics. Even if you don’t have a lot of social media friends, you still might get a lot of clicks on your website thanks to online advertising.

The people who’ve already visited your website bring with them some great data that you can use to create buyer personas. Thanks to GA, you can grab the most important information about people in your target market.

Just fire up Google Analytics on your desktop or laptop and select “Audience” from the left-hand sidebar. From the menu that appears below, select “Demographics” and “Overview.”

The page that appears will give you a couple of nice charts about the age and gender of people who’ve visited your site. It’s a great starting point when building a persona.

Next, select “Interest” from the left-hand menu and once again select “Overview.” The page that appears will give you information about the interests shared by your visitors.

On that page, pay particular attention to the “In-Market Segments” section. That gives you information about the buying habits of people who’ve visited your site.

Next, select “Geo” from the left-hand sidebar and “Location” from the menu that appears below. The page that appears will give you a world map showing you where most of your visitors are located. The table below gives you a more detailed breakdown.

Finally, don’t neglect to check the “Mobile” section. That will give you valuable information about how many people visit your site with a mobile device.

Get Started Now

Social media and Google Analytics offer a wealth of data that you can use to build buyer personas. If you don’t have a large following on social media, though, you’re probably better off using Google Analytics. Just be sure that you’ve got enough website visitors to give you a healthy amount of information about your ideal customers.