In our third post about the influence of Social Media on the Customer Journey we will tackle it’s importance and share some tips of how the right content at the right time can help you close the sale. If you are curious about the previous stages, check our posts for the Awareness Stage and Consideration Stage.
The Decision Stage
After getting informed, consuming your content and diving deeply into your digital properties, now your prospects are one step away from making the purchase. They are ready to act based on what they’ve read and heard about you, but especially based on how they have felt about your brand during their journey.
According to neurosciencemarketing.com “Making a decision is an emotional process. The more difficult or intense the decision, the more emotional it is. We cannot separate emotion from the decision-making equation. But often emotions have varying degrees of impact upon a decision.”
“Decisions are often made when emotions override rational thought processes.”
Unfortunately, your potential buyers have done a similar research with a bunch of other companies, so the question is: what’s going to tip the scales in your favor?
Return the love to your influencers
Now is time to harvest your efforts and time invested in building and nurturing the relationship with those potential buyers. At the decision making stage, social media can play a key role in turning your prospects into customers.
Let’s check again this graph we’ve published in our first post. As you can see Social Media is still on the top 3 channels that can help you close the sale. Why? People care about what their friends and people they are identified with say and recommend.
Influencers can be your most powerful allies at this stage of the journey. According to emarketer the average earned media value (EMV) from US influencer marketing programs was 1.4 times higher in H1 2015 than the overall average in full-year 2014, at $9.60 for every $1 spent, vs. $6.85 2014.
In fact, social media influence varies depending on every age group and product category. According to a Deloitte study “47 percent of millennials are influenced in their purchases by social media, compared to 19 percent for all other age groups.” And based on an emarketer study, average EMV was highest in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) food industry, at $14.29, followed by tourist destinations and travel ($12.54) and bath, body, skin and beauty ($12.21).
‘That’s nice, but I don’t who my brand ambassadors really are!’
Active listening and actionable analytics will help you find who your engaged fans are, separate ambassadors (influencers) from regulars from detractors, and also optimize your marketing spend for the current and future campaigns aimed to this specific audience.
Capitalize on UGC and Amplify the reach
Influencers are a good way to reach your target audience, but as audiences become more savvy, they begin detecting the ad behind the influencer campaign. And the thing is: You have more influencers than you know. Maybe they don’t have 7 figure followings on Social Networks, but hundreds of people trust them. They are the average Joes and Janes that love your products and share content about them.
User recommendation can be more effective, genuine and proven to be more valued by customers than any other kind of traditional advertising. Capitalize on those posts, tweets, Pins and shares and make UGC the main raw material of the great story you want to tell about your brand.
- Showcase UGC in the right place at the right time: Think contextually. Imagine that you sell a particular product in different stores and you have managed to drive hundreds of walk-ins. Now is the perfect opportunity to captivate their attention and take them to the decision stage of their purchasing journey. Nothing says “this product is great” better than happy customers using it. If you have a great product, your customers are likely generating hundreds or thousands of posts on social media talking about it. Even more if you promote them with engaging Call-to-actions. So why not use this powerful endorsement where the purchase decisions take place? Social walls can be help you surface your audience’s opinion and help convince undecided customers.
- Bring UGC to your digital properties: Give potential customers an excuse to visit your site and expose them to thousands of positive comments talking about your brand. Social Hubs allow you to create a large number of social experiences within your digital properties. Bringing the best content to your owned media is a great way to add new value to your site and amplify the reach of that UGC.
- Broadcast the best UGC: Imagine you have recently launched a new product with a great TV Spot, probably it will generate awareness and drive more sales, but wouldn’t be great to add people’s opinions as an endorsement? Of course it will be. Adding social to your TV commercials will make audiences feel closer to your brand’s story and also effectively multiply your reach and recall.
This part of the journey is over and you managed to turn potential customers into clients. Congrats! Now is time to turn them into one of your most valuable assets: Brand’s influencers.
The consumer journey is a circular process and this relationship has just began. Although this requires a dedicated blogpost, here some tips to keep continuously nurturing and building long lasting relationships using Social Media.
- Make them feel like the MVP: Be constantly re-engaging them with innovative experiences and showcase their participation to million of other persons.
- Learn from them: Use social analytics tools to understand their behaviour, learn and act based on that information
- Care: They've made a great decision by choosing you. Make them feel that way with a great social customer care.
The cost of acquiring new customers is 7x greater than the costs of retaining existing customers (Forbes). So we hardly recommend to invest time and resources to plan and execute a proper customer retention strategy and make Social Media be part of it.