Using Facebook Insights to create personas

3 min read

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Jonny Pathan

Creating personas can be an overwhelming task, there are so many sources of data to choose from that it can be difficult to know where to start. In this short post, we’re going to focus on using Facebook Insights to put together some personas.

Girl working at a desk in a sparse white room

If you’ve never heard of the term before, here’s a brief overview courtesy of Wikipedia.

‘In user-centered design and marketing, personas are fictional characters created to represent the different user types that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way.’

‘Personas are useful in considering the goals, desires, and limitations of brand buyers and users in order to help to guide decisions about a service, product or interaction space such as features, interactions, and visual design of a website. Personas may also be used as part of a user-centered design process for designing software and are also considered a part of interaction design (IxD), having been used in industrial design and more recently for online marketing purposes.’

How to use Facebook Insights to create personas

We’ll be sampling the whole of Facebook for this example, you can sample people who follow your page only, however, unless your followers are in the tens of thousands your data will most likely be very limited.

First thing to do is to whip over to Facebook Audience Insights – All you need to use this tool is a Facebook profile.

Let’s assume you work for Health Company ‘A’, you’ve created a new skin cream and you want to appeal to the relevant audience. We’re going to pop in a general interest related to our new products, let’s go with ‘Beauty‘.

Facebook Insights about Beauty

So, our first set of results show us that out of those interested in beauty, 63% of them are Women. That’s our biggest group, so we’ll start with them to create our first persona. Narrow down the results by selecting Women in the gender field. Once you’ve done that you’ll notice the next biggest group is those aged between 25-34, let’s narrow down the data again by selecting 25-34 as our age range.

Facebook Audience Insights

Now we have a specific group that are the most interested in the term ‘Beauty’ we can start to look at some demographics. Here are some of things we can gather from our data:

The majority are Married, University educated and work in sales. We can also look at a variety of information related to this group. This list shows the type of things that are popular within this group. You can also look at how users behave, where they’re based and what devices they are using

Facebook Audience Demographics

We’ve started to build up a picture that will allow us to create out first persona. I’m sure you’ll want to create multiple personas and I would recommend starting again and using the next biggest demographic and so on.

This is my first persona based on all of the above

Name: Smart Susan

Age: 25-34

Relationship Status: Married

Job Title: Sales

Education Level: University

Location: London


MAC Cosmetics
Malibu Rum
Dirty Dancing / Fifty Shade of Grey / Eastenders / Hollyoaks

Device Usage: Her primary device is the mobile phone and she is most likely to be using Apps on an iPhone to view information.

Spending Habits: Susan likes to shop at Asda, Next, Notonthehighstreet and Very. She likes to look at holiday deals online.

Social Media Habits: Susan is fairly receptive to Facebook advertising, enjoys liking and commenting on posts but tends not to share articles that much.

I hope this gives you some insight into how you can use a free tool to start building personas. Once you start to understand your audience you can start to look at how to market to them. In truth, this is skimming the surface, it’s also only one data source and really you want to be pooling data from as many places as possible.

Let us know your thoughts.

‘In user-centered design and marketing, personas are fictional characters created to represent the different user types that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way.’