3 Proven Steps On How To Use Social Media At Each Stage Of The Customer Journey
It’s no secret that engaging your customers is crucial to achieving continued sales, and it’s also well known that it is usually far easier and costs less to get repeat business from existing customers than it is to acquire new ones.
The hard truth is that marketing is not a one-step process. Oh no it’s not. It is a consistent process that requires a lot of implementation, evaluation, engagement and the right intent – solving their problems.
Now, there are 8 stages that every potential client must go through to become a new customer. And your job will be to use your marketing sauce to move prospects and customers seamlessly and subtly through each stage of the customer journey.
Let’s use the picture below to go through these stages.
Most business owners and marketers know a lot of tactics, but they lack an effective strategy. They perform various marketing activities, but they don’t know why or when to use each tactic successfully.
So before I go on into the nitty gritty about the customer life cycle or journey; who is your customer?
We want you to really think this through… because consumers are constantly evolving. And as human beings, it is based on our identity and how we are viewed as humans.
We are evolving. Something new always comes along. Take a look at the Millenials, who are richer than Gen X; they are socially savvy and educated. And we grapple for their attention most times, and “attention, being the rarest commodity, is needed to convert prospects to customers”.
We push to make our content about the customer, and not about our company, and whatever platforms on social media we use, we need to know why the people are on those platforms. Most times, it’s not to connect. Most times, its to showcase our personal brand which shouldn’t be the major reason why you want to be visible on social media. You are there to connect and solve problems not shove your product or services in the face of people that may be your customers in future.
So your customer is a person that views your content, product or service as a solution to their problems. Now if you have a customer that is now eager to share their testimony with the next would-be customer, then you are already moving successfully through the customer journey with ease. (Please see above picture – Ascend)
A couple of questions for you…
How do you end up becoming the curation engine for your customers or prospects?
How do you become the filter they sieve through, amongst the information they are bombarded with, so they can make good buying decisions?
How do you attract your ideal audience, convert them to regular consumers of your content who trust your recommendations, and then transform them into enthusiastic ambassadors who will share your content and success with your product/service with their networks?
No matter what business you are in, the goal is to leverage social media content so it works well for your audience. Give your audience the secret sauce; solving problems with words.
In her recent Social Media Marketing World 2017 presentation, Shama Hyder, visionary digital strategist, acclaimed international keynote speaker, and bestselling author of “The Zen of Social Media Marketing” and “Momentum: How to Propel Your Marketing and Transform Your Brand in the Digital Age,” mapped out how to use social media to evolve your audience from strangers to consumers of your content and finally to brand enthusiasts.
The following takeaway tips will help you devise digital strategies to achieve specific business goals throughout the customer life cycle.
Hyder’s methodology for using social media at each stage of the customer lifecycle is ACT: Attract, Convert, Transform.
ATTRACT: How do you attract attention and get people to flock to your website, app or social channel?
To earn it, you must create content and curate products that appeal to your core audience. Remember, it’s not about you — it’s about them. And it goes beyond providing people with information they want and need; Successful marketers know that sharing a wealth of knowledge, for free, builds authority and credibility, which in turns helps people trust your product recommendations. And don’t worry that you’re giving away too much free information; your best bet nowadays is to out-educate your competitors.
People want to do business with other humans, so be transparent and use social media to interact, be personable, have an opinion, and be helpful. When you’re being challenged, have a real, human exchange. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about being authentic and responsive.
Give your audience lots of ways to engage with you. Choose the right social platforms for your audience — you don’t have to be everywhere — just where your readers, subscribers and/or followers are.
This falls in line with the AWARENESS, ENGAGEMENT, SUBSCRIBE stages of the customer journey.
CONVERT: How do you change a stranger into a consumer or customer?
Once you’ve attracted your audience, and they’re consuming your (free) information, there’s a simple formula that explains how passive readers become your best active referrals.
Consumer + Time = Customer
People who consume your information over time get to know, like and trust your content, which leads to more sales. Help them make meaningful connections with your content, and make it easy for them to click through to find quality products that you’ve selected especially for them.
Your customer has passed through the CONVERT and EXCITE stages of the journey
TRANSFORM: How do you take that attention and conversions to build your business?
Hyder says it’s by “combining both attract and convert into a magnetic force.”
Once you’ve built your following, look for new ways to connect with your audience to keep them engaged and coming back for more.
Now you ASCEND, ADVOCATE and make your customer PROMOTERS of your brand.
Social media opens up opportunities at all three phases or 8 stages of the buyer/customer lifecycle/journey, so use it to make those invaluable connections to attract, convert and transform your audience from passive lookers or readers to active ambassadors that support you, your content, and your marketing success.