Just Googling “social media marketing strategy” without any specifics, and you’ll get buried in content. From how to take advantage of each platform’s algorithms to paid strategies, best post schedulers to when to post, you’ll find your head swimming with info.
A cohesive social media strategy follows the same structure as a cohesive content marketing strategy. And by that we mean both should be following the buyer’s journey
The buyer’s journey is a tool you’ll use to guide potential customers from the point of seeing your brand to become company evangelists on your social platforms.
All you need to do is identify what each stage of the journey looks like for your brand, find relevant social media content for each one, and know when to share it.
By the end of this blog, you’ll not only understand your audience’s journey — from being introduced to your company to becoming loyal fans — but you’ll also have an idea of what content to share on each social media platform that will satisfy them each step of the way.
Let’s get those gears turning and start converting, shall we?
Using the Buyer Journey in Your Social Media Strategy
The path a customer takes before purchasing your brand’s product or services can vary person to person.
Some buyers might get a recommendation from a trustworthy friend, and go straight from introduction (awareness) to ready-to-buy (decision). Other potential buyers need to compare your brand to your competitors, and need to spend some time getting to know their options first (consideration).
By pushing for a conversion as soon as someone sees your brand, you might be turning away those who need to get to know you first. Posting only brand products with a push to purchase can make your company seem gimmicky and hard to relate to.
People are already bombarded by ads on their social feeds, and don’t want to follow a company who only cares about their money.
On the flip side, using all your social media content to explain your brand and mission can seem like a waste of time for those ready to make a quick purchase. No matter what the individual’s journey might be, you’ll want to be sure you’re covering all the bases.
The buyer can journey be broken down into 5 equally important stages: awareness, consideration, action (also known as “decision”), engagement and advocacy.
1. What is the Awareness Stage?
In the awareness stage, people are just beginning to identify they have a need — whether it’s for a product, service, or more knowledge on a certain topic.
They’ve likely began to casually scan social for companies who know how to better define said need. This is where you’ll want to introduce yourselves by posting top-level content — the specifics of which we’ll dive into below.
2. What is the Consideration Stage?
The consideration stage is where people begin to do some research on how to meet their needs.
They’re doing research with a bit of a better grasp on what they’re seeking, and are comparing brands and resources that might help them.
Now, you’ll need to show them your experience in helping people just like them, and your motives behind doing so.
3. What is the Decision Stage?
By this stage, your audience has narrowed down their options. They’re ready to take the leap and fulfill their desires.
This is where you establish a relationship of sorts with them, let them know why you’re better than competitors, and seal the deal.
4. What is the Engagement/Loyalty Stage?
While social media engagement can occur during any part of the buyer journey, in this case it’s referring to the beginning of a long-term relationship.
Customers received their product or service, enjoyed it, and plan to stick around. They do so by engaging with your posts, checking out sales, and more.
5. What is the Brand Advocacy Stage?
Your customer is happy as can be. They feel a bond with your brand, and are so excited by your company that they can’t wait to spread the word.
The Best Content to Share for Each Stage of the Buyer Journey
Now that you understand the state of mind your audience members are in for each stage of the buyer funnel, it’s time to map out what content you’ll want to share on your social media platforms to meet their desires.
Each stage has different categories that will appeal to audiences as they move closer and closer to becoming loyal customers, from seeing your pages, to engaging in content to converting.
Best Awareness Stage Content for Social Media
In the awareness stage, the priority is to attract social media audiences. You can do so by positioning your brand as educators in your industry.
Skip the CTAs, and instead begin showing your knowledge about the topic your customers are exploring.
To draw people in the awareness stage, focus on educational materials. This could include flashy infographics on the topics you know like the back of your hand, ebooks or toolkits. It’s also a great stage to share your blogs, webinars, and video tutorials.
You’ll also want to be aware of the language you use in this stage. Steer clear of any sales jargon, and focus more on the value and mission of your company.
Share advertisements and produce content that displays your values without asking anyone to make an immediate purchase
This ad for Coca Cola is great for the awareness stage. Right off the bat, it’s telling us that the mission behind the brand is to make people smile.
They demonstrate this with the “happiness machine,” a humorous and wholesome twist to the everyday vending machine.
Customers might not have even been searching for a soda to drink, but the appeal of having a special treat to make them smile could very well be enough to grab their attention and build a meaningful brand connection.
Best Consideration Stage Content for Social Media
In the consideration stage, customers have started casually shopping around to see their options. Here’s where you’ll want to acknowledge that you have competition, and show why you stand out from the crowd.
Try sharing a product comparison guide on any social media platform you’re focusing on. With a product comparison guide, you can acknowledge other options your audience might be exploring, and use a visual to lay out all the ways in which your products or services compare.
If you have an outdoor gear company, do they have more features than your main competitors? Create a visual list laying out all the features you have vs the short list of features your competitor provides.
You can also provide this information without calling out competitors with a “Pros and Cons” list. Here, you address any hesitation someone might have with buying your product and show all the pros that can help ease their indecisiveness.
Another way to ease any qualms is word of mouth. And while they might be the first person they know who’s explored your brand, there are still plenty of ways to humanize your products or services.
Share an image or video of a customer who had a positive experience, or an attractive graphic with a brief testimonial.
Colorado First Time Home Buyer shows an image of a smiling, relatable real-life couple sharing the joy of their first home. They avoid a call to action, and instead offer a bit of a teaser and the option for potential homebuyers to receive more guidance.
Best Decision Stage Content for Social Media
Here’s where you make your move!
Your audience is ready to make a purchase. They just need the one last nudge to assure them that their time and money will be well spent when they do it.
This is where you give them a taste of what they’re in for.
Create and share platform-specific content that includes ways to connect with you that give a firsthand experience of your products or services.
You can do this with samples, consultations, and special deals that lower the risk of purchase.
Ease the customer’s mind by showing them that your company adheres to its promises of quality and value.
In the decision stage, there’s no time to waste.
Share a call to action that connects the person to your product or service in just one click, whether it’s clicking a “shop now” button on Pinterest or Instagram, or a direct link to a product deal on Facebook.
Best Engagement Stage Content for Social Media
The engagement stage isn’t just having people who have made purchases follow you for more news and products, it’s the stage in which your job is to help them feel like part of a community.
Provide opportunities for customers to interact with others who have made purchases.
You can do this by creating special brand hashtags where people post their product, use the hashtag and can scroll to see the experience of others.
You can also create special spaces for customers to ask each other questions and engage in company-driven conversations.
The Roofnest Flock is a special Facebook group for people who have purchased their hard shell rooftop tents from Roofnest (or are about to).
Here, customers share pictures of their Roofnest adventures, ask questions, and share hot tips for Roofnest accessories and camping tips. This creates a sense of community and belonging that helps people become attached to your brand.
The Advocacy Stage
The advocacy stage is the ultimate goal for outdoor marketing, lifestyle marketing, and basically any other industry you can imagine.
At this point you’ve gone above and beyond for your customer to the point where they’re ready to spread the word as brand ambassadors.
Offer rewards to help encourage them to do so. Try things like free products for each referral, giving them shout outs on your pages and stories, and special buy one get one deals so they can give a friend a gift.
This is also a great stage to reach out to potential influencers. If you notice a customer sharing your product who seems to have a lot of followers or industry clout, offer them goods and services or money in exchange for a long-term cross promotion relationship.
You might not be able to tell right away, but by looking at the hashtags, graphic, and clothing you’ll discover this fun, lighthearted TikTok is an influencer partnership with clothing brand Ralph Lauren.
Find Reliable Support When You Need It
Meeting customers at each stage of the buyer journey can be a big undertaking at times. Not only do you need to create fresh, relevant content for each stage, but you need to make sure your timing is strategic.
To determine the perfect content flow, it helps to have the support of a Denver SEO company that specializes in content marketing.
You guessed it, you’re looking at it!
As a digital marketing agency, we use this journey for each to make sure we’re providing the type of content at the right time for your audience.
Take our case study on customer flow. For one of our clients, we noticed that people were skipping over our main “Sign up Now!” conversion button, and were more comfortable clicking our softer sell: “Find a Provider.”
That showed us people who landed on this page were too high in the buyer journey, and just weren’t ready for the commitment of signing up yet. We replaced all “Sign Up Now” buttons with “Learn How It Works,” and saw a whopping 120% increase in sales.
BK Media works to provide a holistic content strategy that shows visible results. We’ll support you all the way from ideation and through analytics reporting and strategy updates.
Simply hand us the reins and watch your social media strategy start converting. Call us today! >