Personas are over, you will think ‘communities’

Personas are over, you will think ‘communities’. In 2023, brands will focus on building communities instead of using traditional persona marketing to connect with consumers who are adapting rapidly with new interests and drivers. Brands will engage influencers, employee advocates, and average consumers within brand communities to generate authentic connections and consumer-led content, utilizing private social media platforms such as Discord, Signal, and Geneva. Successful community partnerships are rooted in creating equitable space for communities to share their ideas and rewarding them for their contributions.

This trend originates from the report:

Talkwalkers - Social Media Trends 2029

Personas are over, you will think ‘communities’. 2023 will mean more community building, creating more loyal, engaged, and connected consumers. The pandemic and its aftermath left behind a very different breed of consumer.

One rapidly adapting, with a new range of interests and drivers. Persona marketing will no longer work, as consumers are now too changeable to pin down. So in 2023, brands will move further away from personas and target their broader brand communities.

They will focus on gaining a deeper knowledge of their consumer ecosystems, with a need to understand exactly who is driving and sharing brand-focused conversations. Influencers of all sizes, employee advocates, and even average consumers will be engaged within brand communities to generate authentic connections and consumer-led content. Private social media platforms like Discord, Signal, and Geneva will enable this, with genuine connections instead of streams of content.

9.2% of Americans now use Discord at least once per week, so there’s demonstrated community demand. With 66% of brand communities saying that their community has led to increased loyalty, it’s no wonder more brands want to boost their closeness to their consumers when spending power is spread thinner.

Why it’s important now While influencers still get started on the most popular social media platforms (TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), we see a growing number of calls from these public figures to join private communities on alternative platforms such as Discord or Telegram to create closer connections with their audience. In these spaces, it’s less about the influencer broadcasting content, and more about the exchange between all community members. 2023 will be the year that brands start to understand these community ecosystems to create more organic relationships and connections.

“TikTok has changed our perception of the way advertisers should understand their audiences; moving away from demographics and towards values, interests, and mindset. As of 2023, consumers have thus been reimagined as communities; groups who should be understood, and advertised to, based on a more human, modern frame, and it will be advertisers who take this approach, who win in the coming year.” - Ben Jeffries CEO Influencer.

Take stock of your current community, stakeholders and those you may not have considered as contributors to your brand. Observe how these communities are already showing up! Next, identify the most engaged players and gather conversation themes. As your community starts taking shape, remember the most successful community partnerships are rooted in creating equitable space for communities to share their ideas.

Brands who not only recognize the ingenuity of communities but who also find ways to reward them for their contributions will stand above the rest..