When Social Networking Fails When Social Networking Fails, Nine Steps To Social Networking Success. See Joe and Josephine Customer for on targeting your readers, customers, clients.

If you don’t know specifically who your are trying to reach in your marketing campaign, you’re doomed to failure. Here’s a solid technique to find out. This information will lead you to a profile of your clients, customers, readers. Like any profile, it shows you the average customer, never a specific customer, and profile may not specifically fit every customer. That’s not a problem. It doesn’t need to.

All that’s required is to give you a profile of the average customer.

We use the term Joe Customer, Joseph or Josephine, because both names can be shortened to Joe. We could have used Robert and Roberta, but chose Joseph and Josephine because we like it best. Why two names? Well, we do business with men and women, and this way you do not unintentionally build in gender bias. Also, this way women don’t get angry thinking that they are being ignored or left out. Which, of course, they aren’t. Please remember that this in an in-house tool. We never go out in the world and call or refer to any client as Joe client. This is a tool for us to use internally to better understand the needs of our clients, and that’s all.

Buying decisions are not made on the basis of cost alone. Joe Customer will pay a premium for convenience and/or reliability. What you see here is a list of things that you can choose from to learn more about your clients. The first 16 points are general in nature and may suffice for your needs. After that we discuss specifics in separate categories. Several points may appear twice.

  1. Name: Joe Client
  2. Is Joe a veteran?
  3. Can Joe refer business to you?
  4. Where did you make first contact with Joe?
  5. Why did Joe hire you, and not your competition?
  6. What will Joe use your product or service for?
  7. Is your product or service suitable for giving? If the answer is yes, do not neglect the gift market.
  8. Where does Joe live?
  9. What’s Joe’s age?
  10. Is Joe retired?
  11. What is Joe’s approximate income?
  12. Is Joe married? Divorced?
  13. Does Joe have children, grandchildren? If yes, what are their age(s)? Gender? Do they live with joe? Are they adults?
  14. What is Joe’s level of education?
  15. What does Joe do for a living?
    1. Work for hire?
    2. Does Joe own a business?
    3. Is this the only business Joe has owned/run/worked for? Does Joe have a business partner?
    4. What does Joe’s business sell?
    5. How long at current business?
    6. Has Joe worked in this industry for other businesses?

Is Joe social networking savvy?

  1. Does Joe have a Website? A blog? Does Joe use online social networking?
  2. Does Joe network in person?
  3. Is Joe a member of a Chamber of Commerce? Business Network International (BNI), or other formal networking group?
  4. How many business cards does Joe give out every year?

Demographic Customer Data

This is of data that deals with Joe’s inherent characteristics. Capturing this data is important because it is often the most important of the six types we discuss.

  1. Age: Birth date or age range.
  2. Gender
  3. Race Ethnicity: Caucasian, African-American, Asian, Hispanic, biracial, multicultural, etceteras
  4. Religion: Catholic, Muslim, atheist, etceteras
  5. Marital status: Single, married, divorced, domestic partnership, etceteras
  6. Number of children: Zero, one, two, etceteras
  7. Level of education: None, high school, some college, college graduate, doctorate, life-experience, self-educated

Occupation: Current and past jobs

  1. Income: Monetary range

Nationality

  1. American, French, Italian, British, Chinese etceteras

Geography

  1. Residence, work location, etceteras

Psychographic Customer Data

These factors measure aspects of Joe’s personal life. This influences Joe’s willingness get involved in your social networking campaign, or in any social networking campaign.

  1. Lifestyle: Parent with young children, grandparent, frequent flyer, empty-nester?
  2. World traveler or does Joe stay close to home? Frequency of travel and destination?
  3. Attitudes, interests, and beliefs.
  4. Political views.
  5. Interests, hobbies, and pass times.
  6. Will purchased products be for Joe’s use, be a gift, or used in Joe’s business?
  7. How often is your product used? Every day, week, month, or as needed?

Customer Preference Information

Joe’s preferences online and offline are important for you to know about.

  1. The days of the week and the time of day that are best to reach Joe so that your message has a better chance of being read.
  2. How many times would Joe like you to contact him or her per week or month?
  3. What is Joe’s preferred mode of contact? Is it your blog, E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, a video, what?
  4. Joe’s mobile device. What is it, how do you access it?

Geographic Customer Data

  1. Where does Joe live? City, state, zip code, country. Own a home, condo, live in an apartment, with parents, have a room mate?
  2. Where did Joe and Josephine grow up?
  3. Where does he, she, they work?

Behavioral Data

  1. What are Joe’s pertinent past decisions?
  2. What are Joe’s likely future decisions?
  3. Does Joe procrastinate, or decide quickly?
  4. Is Joe an impulse buyer?
  5. Does Joe shop online?

Financial Data

This is really none of your business, so tread carefully. You may need to infer from related questions. For example, by knowing a zip code you can get a good idea of how expensive it is to live there. You may be able to ask things like:

  1. How many credit cards does Joe have?
  2. Did Joe ever miss a mortgage payment?
  3. Does Joe own a home, condo, or own more than one?
  4. What kind of a vehicle(s) does Joe drive? How old is/are it/they? Did Joe buy for transportation or eye candy?