Some advertising agencies charge you hundreds of thousands of dollars to create what they call the “ideal customer persona”. I discussed how you can do this for FREE with Facebook in a prior post called Generating a Buyer Persona with Facebook Advertising but unfortunately you do get what you pay for.

What if there was a way to build the ideal customer persona by using social data? Well there is – and I am here to say I have done it and the results were actually quite surprising.

After a recent win here at Networked Insights that took under 2 months to close I began to think we struck a chord with this buyer as we have done previously with some of our best and long standing customers. So some close examination of the pipeline yielded a bunch of high velocity sales that could be modeled to create the ideal customer persona.

I personally conducted the interviews with those customers to understand things like: what do they read – physical print pubs, what do they read online – list of sites, where do they go online for news – list of sites, how do they get their news – Twitter, RSS readers etc, where do they go online to learn – trusted sources, what events do they regard – trusted events, what events have they attended – in the last 12 months, what events won’t they attend again.

From the output I got great data on the places I should post display ads and sponsor events. Plus I can plug all that digital data into an engine like we have here at Networked Insights to find out what topics are trending with those audiences, what words do they use when talking about companies in our space, what new places are they going online.

Who said there isn’t an ROI in social media – I just found another way to save me tons of money and make my marketing dollars more effective using social data!