Blog Insight

How to Leverage Social Across the Customer Journey

Social media is a powerful channel that can be used to support all stages of the customer journey. From initial brand awareness to customer loyalty and retention, leveraging social media for your brand means creating a positive and cohesive customer experience.

Understand how to support your customers along each step of their journey.

Awareness: Encourage discovery!

Social media is all about discovery and giving your brand the best opportunity to gain exposure. Beyond creating engaging and consistent content, make sure to use hashtags within your posts to increase your brand reach and awareness. Pair topical hashtags (for example: #travelbug) and trending hashtags (for example: #motivationmonday) in your post copy to build relevant associations. This puts your brand in front of the right customers and gives customers the opportunity to see your brand in an authentic and visual way.

Encouraging content sharing is another great way to boost brand awareness. Utilize peer credibility by asking the members of your community to share content with their friends. Offering a “share to win” contest gives your audience members the motivation to promote your brand to their community.

Consideration: Build credibility.

At the consideration stage of the customer journey, customers need education, trust, and validation before making a purchase decision. Give your customers the inspiration they require to put your brand on the top of their consideration list. Build brand trust by showcasing your expertise and thought leadership. Creating infographics, how-to videos, and behind-the-scenes photos helps foster consideration.

Building brand trust with your customers can also be accomplished through third-party credibility. First, encourage existing customers to submit product reviews that will in turn inspire others. Second, make use of user-generated content to evangelize customers and showcase your brand in an authentic and relatable way. Third, partnerships with influencers can also give your brand credibility and exposure with a passionate and trusting audience. Ultimately, creating genuine content and building trust will help boost brand consideration.

Conversion: Make buying easy.

Whether your goal is to drive leads or sales, making that process easy is key. Consumers expect a seamless experience from any social channel to your site or store. Include links in your posts to specific products and offerings to not only encourage site traffic but also drive conversion with a single click of a button. Offering customers the opportunity to shop but not forcing them into a sale is important. Focus on creating genuine copy and engaging visuals paired with a site link, an in-store offer, or contact information.

Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram each offer unique and engaging shopping experiences. For example, carousel posts on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn can be used to encourage customers to scroll or “shop” products and offers and then direct them to purchase on your brand site. Stories on Facebook and Instagram should be used to build purchase desire with the ability to add a “swipe-up” call to action that drives conversion.

Retention: Show your support.

The ultimate goal of social media is to turn brand customers into brand loyalists. This means that your customers should feel supported, heard, and inspired. To support your customers, begin by making sure your brand’s social practice is seamlessly integrated into your customer service program. Direct messages from consumers should receive prompt responses, in less than 24 hours. Automated messages can be applied to answer commonly asked questions such as store hours, location, or contact information.

When building brand loyalty, social media should be used to encourage customer conversations and not a one-way dialogue. Make your brand customers feel heard and known. Ask customers for their input and participation through post questions and polls. This engagement can be used to obtain product feedback, understand customers’ behaviors, encourage discussion, and ultimately gain audience insight.

Make sure to tie it all in!

Many of your customers will be at different stages in their journey. Consider this while perfecting your social practice, and leverage the tips provided to create a smooth and joyful brand experience.