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Selling with Empathy: Social Media Marketing for Different Buyer Types

Every human is unique, but more often than not, they can be categorized into four personality (buyer) types. By identifying your buyer's personality type and what motivates them, you can tailor your sales approach to meet their specific needs. This sounds like a clinical approach, and it can be, but it can also be about empathy. Catering to different buyer types is about meeting people where they're at and acknowledging that everyone has different boxes that need to be ticked before they feel secure enough to make a purchase.

Not sure what the buyer types are, and how do you go about communicating your offering to them? I got you:

Methodical Buyers Methodical buyers are primarily driven by logic and a thirst for information. They exhibit tendencies towards perfectionism and pay exceptional attention to detail. These folks will read the fine print and want to go through your FAQ before taking the next step. They love precision and order and are looking for facts.

At first glance, they might come across as indecisive, introspective, or even withdrawn, but don't let this facade fool you. Their seemingly cautious behaviour stems from their desire to have all the necessary information before making any decisions. Accuracy is their top priority, and they aim to minimize risks as much as possible.

How to Sell to Methodical Buyers:

  • Provide them with a wealth of information, ensuring they have all the facts they need.

  • Give them the time they require to analyze and consider all information thoroughly.

  • Repeat important points for clarification.

  • Support your claims with statistics, testimonials, and case studies.

Spontaneous Buyers Spontaneous buyers tend to make snap buying decisions based on emotion. While there is an emotional component to each buyer type, the spontaneous buyer is highly driven by emotional triggers such as hope, excitement, embarrassment, or validation.

This buyer type craves immediacy. They don't want to wait, they want it now!

They're easily influenced by people they look up to, like celebrities, thought-leaders, and influencers. They rely heavily on their social groups and online reviews. This means they can easily be presold. It also means they can easily be unsold on something because of someone else's negative opinion.

How to Sell to Spontaneous Buyers:

  • Use wording like "Buy Now," and "Limited Offer." Scarcity and urgency strategies are effective here - in short, FOMO.

  • They want you to make it easy for them, so provide as many contact options as possible.

  • Will choose the fastest and most convenient option.

  • They respond well to aesthetics and will enjoy beautiful packaging and well presented social media feeds.

  • Social proof is important, and user generated content can go a long way with them.

Competitive Buyers Competitive buyers are motivated by power and respect. They are most concerned with how others perceive and follow their directions, and they're often looking for ways to improve their skills and abilities.

This persona sees themselves as being highly competent. They want to give their business to people who are uniquely qualified to give them what they're looking for. Their greatest fear is being taken advantage of or disrespected, so they tend to need more convincing before making a purchase. Feel-good testimonials will come across as wishy-washy to them, so focus on testimonials that focus on facts.

Competitive buyer types are likely to have a look at your background and credentials, so make sure you have a good About Us page on your website. They'll also look for you on platforms like LinkedIn, so make sure your presence there is spot on too.

How to Sell to Competitive Buyers:

  • Present proof of your service's effectiveness.

  • Keep your statements concise, brief, and active.

  • Prepare a list of options they can control and emphasize the big-picture benefits.

  • Avoid emotional arguments, as they will be seen as flaky or wishy-washy.

Humanistic Buyers Humanistic buyers are driven by recognition and approval and tend to make slow, drawn-out, emotion-based buying decisions. They rely on their intuition and value relationships with those they purchase from. They also love being a part of a like-minded community of product enthusiasts.

These are people who excel in customer relationship management - which means you have to be exceptional at it too. They value people above all else and need to feel needed, so they respond well to marketing that highlights their value as a customer.

Humanistic buyers will evaluate on three major criteria:

  • How will buying and using this product make me feel?

  • Who else uses these products?

  • Do I trust this company and the people running it?

How to Sell to Humanistic Buyers

  • Demonstrate how your product or service enhances their image and relationships.

  • Build a personal relationship with them, using personal information, testimonials, and anecdotes to illustrate your product's value.

  • Be engaging and incorporate humour into your interactions.

  • Focus on social proof

  • Benefits over features

So, how does this tie into social media marketing?

The answer lies in understanding the diversity of buyer personality types and tailoring your social media marketing strategies to suit their preferences. Your target demographics tell you who you're showing up for. Buyer personas inform how you show up.

How do I figure out which buyer types are in my audience?

The short answer is that all four of them are - but you may have some buyer types who are more present than others. Social media insights tools, like Facebook Insights, Instagram Analytics, and Google Analytics can provide invaluable data about your followers. Look at how your content is performing. What is your top-performing content? Your lowest performing? Which personality types are those pieces of content most aligned with?

Content Tailoring

Once you have a grasp of your audience's personality types, it's time to tailor your content to each and every one:

  • Methodical Buyers: Present data-driven content, share case studies, and provide thorough explanations. These individuals value accuracy and need to see the facts.

  • Spontaneous Buyers: Create content that leans into FOMO, and make your offering look so good that they can't help but make a purchase. They'd be missing out if they don't buy from you.

  • Competitive Buyers: Engage them with powerful and authoritative content. Be concise, present options, and focus on the results they can achieve by choosing your solution.

  • Humanistic Buyers: Craft content that highlights the social aspects and personal recognition. Show how your product or service can enhance their personal relationships and social status.

Engagement Strategies

Interacting with your audience on social media is a vital part of the equation. Here are some engagement strategies for each personality type:

  • Methodical Buyers: Engage in detailed discussions, provide sources for your claims, and encourage them to ask questions.

  • Spontaneous Buyers: Respond quickly and be very customer-focused in your responses.

  • Competitive Buyers: Be assertive and confident in your responses, offering quick and efficient solutions.

  • Humanistic Buyers: Respond warmly, acknowledge their contributions, and engage in conversation to make them feel valued.


Personalization is the name of the game. Use data to tailor your messaging to individual preferences and demonstrate that you understand and value each follower. This is how you elevate your online presence and sales game and create strong, lasting communities of brand advocates. It's all about relying on marketing psychology instead of posting without a strategy.


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