The Intersection of Persona Building of Non-Obvious Groups and Young Adult Literature

Confession time! My favorite genre to read is Young Adult (YA). My fellow book club members tease me about the fact that most of my picks are in the YA genre. But so what? I know that I am not the only something-something year old reading a genre traditionally meant for teenagers. To confirm my suspicions, I ran a comparison report on our PersonaBuilder platform on the followers of @JohnGreen (you might have seen the tearjerker movie Fault in Our Stars based off of his tearjerker book), the followers of @RainbowRowell (if you haven’t read Eleanor & Park then get yourself to the library or bookstore now) and the followers of @VictoriaAveyard (whose Red Queen novel is in movie development). How similar are their followers to me?

The three different groups of followers are very similar in gender, age, income and net worth compared to each other. The one demographic area where they differ is occupation. The followers of @VictoriaAveyard are more likely than average to work in an administrative role, while both teachers and students are more common for @JohnGreen and @RainbowRowell. Not much like me so far…

JB Occupation index

So I’m ready to create a Persona on these findings, correct? Not so fast!

The favorite nonprofits for each group show a love of books, as do their top indexing categories with the exception of @JohnGreen followers, who don’t index highly for SpotRight’s “reading” category, which again is not like me!

JB YA non profits

JB YA distinguishing categories

Diving into the highest indexing brand handles I learn that the followers of @VictoriaAveyard and @RainbowRowell have similar brand rankings while the followers of @JohnGreen engage with other brands. Here’s an example: JB YA brands

So at first glance, while the demographics for @JohnGreen and @RainbowRowell appeared to be very similar, the topics the two groups are interested vary. Turns out the interests of @RainbowRowell and @VictoriaAveyard’s followers are more similar. This is important to note as you build personas, because it is vital to consider both demographics AND interests when crafting personas of your ideal customers. Only looking at one or the other could give you some very strange, or worse, inaccurate information. The 16 year old reader of The Red Queen will shop at very different clothing stores than the 40 year old reader (we hope).  Most likely they’ll watch different TV shows (but maybe not – have you seen my post about Pretty Little Liars?). Only by understanding your goals and the purpose of the persona will you be able to tailor your audience segments in the best way to be relevant to them. And when you do that, you’ll be able to find the (not so) young readers of YA literature, just like me.