Innova Communications | Today’s Buyer Journey: Social Media Matters
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Today’s Buyer Journey: Social Media Matters

27 Jun Today’s Buyer Journey: Social Media Matters

94% of online adults now have an account with at least one social media platform, while on a global scale, internet users engage with social for a daily average of over two hours.

The influence of social networking has transformed how we communicate, dramatically reshaping the buyer journey – impacting how consumers research and compare products, and interact with brands. This presents companies with both an opportunity and a challenge.

Where o’ Where Are They?

Developing that in-depth understanding of your audience is key when it comes to effective social media marketing. This starts with knowing where they are.

Facebook remains the most popular social platform as 88% of internet users (outside China) now have an account with at least one of the company’s platforms (Instagram is included in this.)

Despite this, according to HubSpot, only 45% of marketers think their Facebook efforts are effective. This highlights the need for more granular data to dig deep into exactly which platforms your audience is using and how to clearly align your marketing goals with the right consumers.

Many consumer-centric brands are putting data to the test to drive more ROI. L’Oréal did this by turning to YouTube knowing that a huge portion of its audience was using the platform to follow beauty vloggers and influencers. With 61 video properties in 39 different countries, L’Oréal’s targeted channel approach was a big win, quickly becoming the most watched beauty brand of 2016.

Look at the analytics. Where do you have the largest audience? Which platform gives your content the most engagement? That is where you should put your efforts. If you are a B2B brand trying to play on Snapchat, we are guessing you are putting a lot of effort into something with little payout. You don’t have to be everywhere to be successful.

The New Buyer Journey

Once you know where your audience is, producing relevant content is the key to engagement. This is most definitely not one-size fits all.

Instagram and Pinterest are largely image-led, for example, while over half of Facebook users watch video on the platform. This is significant as according to Brightcove, 46% of consumers say they’ve made a purchase as a result of watching a brand video on a social network.

Knowing where to place your message depends on what your audience needs and where they’re positioned along the path to purchase.

With 40% of 16-24 year-olds using social as a key research channel, social media can play a role in every part of the journey, all the way from awareness through to purchase.

Using consumer data to understand when to deliver a timely video tutorial to those researching a product, for example, can help guide consumers from research to consideration. Equally, those in the consideration phase may benefit from a retargeting campaign on their preferred social platform, gently prompting them to make a purchase.

Micro-Moments Mapping

The key to success here lies in knowing the right moments to provide the right content. Marketers are growing increasingly aware of the value that lies in dissecting micro-moments (those exact moments when a person engages device with specific intent to either learn something, do something or buy something).

Brands can capitalize on this acute consumer interest by delivering the right content at the right time on the right channel.

Taking note of what your consumers need and want helps you create detailed customer journey maps that can further ensure you are delivering content that’s going to build brand awareness and even spur buying decisions.  

With almost four in 10 internet users following their favorite brands on social media, a quarter of whom are following brands from which they’re thinking of making a purchase, the opportunities to engage consumers on a more personal level are mind boggling and exciting!

Want to know more? Give us a ping and let’s chat!

Amy Chilla
achilla@teaminnova.com

Amy Chilla is an interactive marketing and public relations professional. Since 1999, she has been a partner at Innova Communications, a boutique public relations, social media, and marketing firm based in Southern CA. Current industry specialties include: luxury consumer goods, translation/localization, and sports business/sporting goods, apps and financial services.

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