There’s little doubt that social media and the pervasive nature of digital connections have become deeply rooted in our everyday lives. The opportunity for brands and customers to connect online through social interaction is not only massive, but it’s now available everywhere you turn. We’re now starting to understand the impact that social engagement has on consumers’ choices and how those choices are influenced by social media.
We know that a vast majority of adults around the world use social media. Facebook has over 1 billion users (see link) and Twitter has over 300 million (see link). Social media is no longer an introductory tool, but a mature and relevant force. As adoption rises and acceptance becomes more normalized, marketers everywhere are still catching up to levering these forces.
What's the Goal?
We all want "engagement", but what does that really mean? How will we measure and quantify "engagement"? We help you draw specific outcomes and expectations for measuring the purpose and point of social media management.
Our client was looking to launch a new product. There were many established competitors and we needed to stimulate demand and pique interest in a crowded marketplace. After successfully establishing a strong web presence, we were able to design multiple social channels that encouraged customers to use a trial offer of the product. The product trial resulted in social reviews and feedback, which influenced other audience members. After consuming the reviews, further trials and full product purchases were increasing and our client successfully penetrated a very complex and mature market!
The New Customer Life Cycle
“People who engaged with a brand on social media on a daily basis were likely to make twice as many purchases from that brand than someone who engages only monthly.”
The results indicated that people who engage regularly with brands on social media tend to be better customers. For example:
71% of customers who engage through social media a restaurant chain were likely to prefer that chain to similar restaurants, compared to 47% of non-engaged customers, and 75% of engaged customers were likely to have bought something in the restaurant in the past 12 months, compared to 66% of non-engaged customers.
This might not be a big surprise, but what we did find striking was that engaged social followers follow a four-phase customer life cycle in which they:
1) discover your company and products; 2) explore whether what you offer is right for them; 3) buy your products and services; and 4) engage with you, and with their friends and peers, after their purchase.
At each stage they turn to social media. The sales funnel of the past was linear, starting with awareness and ending with a purchase. But today the consumer journey is cyclical — and offers huge opportunities for brands.