As a consumer, the options to purchase a particular item or service can be overwhelming given the vast amount of options available in stores and on the web. With this in mind, companies and marketers have been studying the considerations of customers and how they can potentially sway these individuals into buying their own item or service. Tracking the behaviour of customers requires a significant amount of effort, and often this can be conducted through the use of customer surveys or even using analytic tools to assess the actions of your consumers on social media, as previously discussed in our blog.
However, there is another method that companies and marketers always rely on, and that is the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey is the three steps that a consumer takes when buying an item or a service, according to HubSpot. In this three-step process, companies and marketers can utilize different methods to persuade consumers to buy their product or service, and one of those ways is through the usage of social media marketing. In a study conducted by the International Data Corporation, 84 percent of CEOs and VPs use social media to make purchasing decisions. As a company, this is the perfect opportunity to invest in social media marketing.
Since the buyer’s journey consists of three steps, social media marketing can be inserted into each step to help guide customers towards a product or service owned by a specific brand. We will break down each of these three steps, and explain how you can use social media to potentially persuade consumers into buying your product or service.
The Awareness Stage
At this stage, the consumer is not yet fully aware of what they need, but they are conducting research to pinpoint what they may be looking for. This is the first stage of the buyer’s journey, and this is a prime opportunity to use social media to promote your products. In this stage, the focus is to bring your brand to the attention of a consumer. This can be accomplished by promoting your social posts with a targeted audience in mind, but it is important to remember that this method is paid as it appears as a promoted ad on social media. Alternatively, you could try and organically reach audiences by utilizing hashtags or reaching out to consumers through posting and interacting with them.
Often, effective advertising is creating a need for consumers, and its goal is to entice people to purchase a product that may satisfy that need. At the awareness stage, your consumers are still uncertain about what exactly they do need, but given the popularity of social media, this can be the outlet where you can reach the right audiences, who may take interest in what you have to offer.
The Consideration Stage
In the second stage of the buyer’s journey, this is where the consumer is aware of the need they are looking for, and they are actively looking for an item or service to fulfill that need. At this stage, consumers are doing extensive research and they are likely looking at different brands and companies to see which would provide them with the best solution. It is important to note that the consumer is not yet ready to make a purchase, but they are certainly collecting information from different sources.
In social media marketing, this is where you can step in and amplify your brand to compete as a viable option for the consumer. While you can follow the previous step by using paid advertising, this step should focus on the benefits and uniqueness of your product or service. For instance, a consumer looking at a brand’s social media page would likely play a role in their perception of the brand depending on what content is available and how it is presented. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer, how many times has a creative ad or visually intriguing social media page become a relevant factor into your buying decision?
The Decision Stage
This is the final stage of the buyer’s journey, and it is the step that determines whether a consumer decides to purchase a product from your brand or from a different one. In this stage, the consumer has finalized their options and they are no longer actively searching for products or services that would fulfill their needs. The consumer has already compiled a list of options, and they are beginning to narrow down the list by eliminating certain options.
It is important to note that in this stage, a consumer is analyzing every little aspect of a product or service, and while advertising is certainly key in persuading consumers, it still ultimately comes down to the actual product or service itself. However, one of the most important considerations is what other consumers think of the product. Arguably, this factor is also relevant in the consideration stage, but it could even stretch towards the decision stage as many consumers are swayed by the opinions of others who have purchased the same product. In regards to social media marketing, this is the perfect opportunity to insert customer reviews or even influencer collaborations which we previously discussed into your brand strategy.
Creating a social media strategy can be complicated, and trying to connect the buyer’s journey into it may be overwhelming. But if you cannot invest time into it, our team at Qode Social has years of proven experience to assist you with marketing your products or services on social media.
Qode Social is a Toronto-based social media marketing agency that specializes in community building, account growth, ad analysis, Facebook and Instagram support, and more. Led by experienced social media experts, Qode Social has worked with companies such as Gay Lea Foods, Days Inn Canada, TP-Link and more. Qode Social is a division of Qode Media, which is the parent company that focuses on SEO and graphic design.