Digital paid media, while complex, has some basic foundational approaches. Ads are created targeting various customer types and use states. Not interested in buying now? Perhaps you’ll want to download our white paper or sign up for future notifications. Looking for a very specific product? Here’s the product page with shopping cart at the ready. But, unfortunately, many of these proven tactics have not yet migrated to the social space. As a result many marketers are leaving revenue on the table and potentially frustrating potential customers, which can hurt their brand.
In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the need to stop thinking of social media as primarily a venue for viral marketing and start getting in touch with actual consumer preference. Ideally, social media can become a tool for nurturing future and current customers to purchase with dynamic language and offers that focus on the need state of each customer. But many marketers simply aren’t using the right measurements to create a customer-centric model. A recent Forrester report found that while 76% of marketers value social media for brand building, only 56% see it as valuable for business performance. Similarly, just 39% actually connect social media initiatives to revenue. Part of this is due to the early stages of the medium; part is due to the marketer’s ability to focus and invest.
If you don’t know what social media efforts are paying off in sales, not only are you unable to gauge efficiency, but you also don’t know what’s resonating best with your audience. Using template language and ads that send individuals to a generic offer or landing page with an aggressive sales pitch is an example of this disconnect. Especially with this medium, the social consumer is looking for a personalized purchase experience that connects the dots between social and shopping. A one-size-fits-all approach will continue to provide poor results, even more so in social than other media formats.
Collecting data at every step of the process—be it a click, a form submission, a download, or an abandoned shopping cart—is the first step to personalizing the user experience. Start by implementing accurate and reliable tracking mechanisms so that you can identify and segment your audience intelligently. Then you can deliver a relevant experience for each consumer and continue to refine as your data and insights grow.
Mining and applying the right data leads to a more personal engagement in social media through the entire sales cycle, and truly demonstrating an understanding of individuality is the best way to drive social media consumers through your purchase path.
Don’t miss the upcoming third installment of this series about how social fits into a multichannel marketing strategy.