Social Media: A Buyer's Journey #Semrushchat

Liza Voronkova

Jun 20, 201612 min read
Social Media: A Buyer's Journey

Social media can help you build long-term relationships with clients willing to purchase from you.

Businesses know it’s important to create original content that influences the buyer’s journey to meet a customer’s need.

So how can social media interest buyers enough to make the ultimate justified decision? What social networks should they use to connect with their customers and convert their prospects?

Join us in a Semrush Chat with marketing professionals and special guest, Steady Demand, to answer these questions.

What is a Buyer’s Journey?

Simply put, the buyer’s journey is the process a customer typically goes through in order to make a purchase.

There are three main stages of the buyer’s journey are: 

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision

From a marketer’s standpoint, the Awareness stage is a crucial phase of the buyer’s journey. 

Question 1: What Stages of the Buyer’s Journey Does Social Media Affect Most?

Social media has an impact on a customer’s buying decisions and their path toward making a purchase. 

So we asked participants what steps of this journey are influenced by social media the most.

Our special guest expert, Steady Demand suggests that the Awareness stage is most affected by social media.

Steady Demand explains that during the Awareness phase, a buyer needs to understand two important things before buying—they have a need and your brand exists.

Other chat participants, like Amel Mehenaoui (@amelm), agreed on this point, believing that during the Awareness stage, social media reinforces your brand presence in a customer’s mind. Your potential customers want to know more about your product and company, so be sure to have various forms of content available to educate them.

Some chat participants believed that although social media affects the Awareness stage, the situation can change depending on the context. 

Even if buyers have narrowed down their choices to you and a few websites, they’ll continue researching for more endorsements to justify a purchase. They need proof that you’re a trusted company and that purchasing your product or service will enhance their lives or solve a problem. 

This is where the research and Consideration stage begins, which is also strongly influenced by your social media.

Bill Slawski (@bill_slawski) ‏also says that social media affects how buyers learn about your products: 

Social media strongly impacts the discovery and information gathering aspect of buyers learning about products and services.

— Bill Slawski

Your presence on social media greatly impacts a user’s first impression. The content you post, your brand, the way you present services, and the way you interact with users all factor into their decisions. Your social profiles’ performance can determine if users, follow you, join your devoted audience, click through to your website, and purchase the products you’re offering.

A1 in most cases social media is where happen the first touch between the customer and brand. You must give a good impression #semrushchat

— Obed M. (@MrClics)

Some experts, on the other hand, believe social media affects every stage of the buyer’s journey, not just the Awareness stage. 

If a buyer feels ready to make a purchase, they still need informative articles, guides, and tips, to reinforce their decision. During the Consideration and Decision stages, be sure to keep providing them with valuable information while remaining active on social media.

ThinkTank ‏(@Think_Tank_Mktg) suggests that by effectively using social media channels, companies can get their customers to move beyond the funnel: 

Social media can affect every stage; it just depends where the buyer is at. You can use social to help push them down the funnel!

— ThinkTank ‏(@Think_Tank_Mktg)

Also, you can find out more on this topic from Steady Demands’ article, “Social Media: A Buyer’s Journey.”

Question 1 Recap

Most participants agreed that Awareness is the stage social media affects the most. 

Social media strongly impacts the buyer’s discovery and information-gathering process when they’re learning about brands, products, and services. It can also help the decision-making process by demonstrating your value and competitive advantage to customers. It influences people all along the way and helps you build and maintain trust.

That’s why it’s very important to use social media properly at every stage. With the right approach, it can be a powerful, influential tool.

Question 2: What Social Networks Are Most Effective for Communicating with Clients?

Social media is a widely used tool that allows many companies to engage with their audience. But how do you decide which social media channel is right for you?

We asked our chat participants to name social networks proven most effective for connecting with clients during the buyer’s journey.

Many experts point out that it depends on your specific industry. For example, if you’re a travel influencer who is constantly posting photos of your adventures, Instagram or TikTok would be great avenues for connecting with users and selling your product.

A2: Varies by industry. FB huge for our market/product. We're unpacking SC now. @SteadyDemand @semrush #semrushchat

— Jerome Joseph Gentes (@JJGentes)

If you’re interested in connecting with your audience and growing it, any social platform can be effective, as Steady Demand proposes: 

With that said, we believe any social network can be effective if you are genuinely interested in connecting with others.

— Steady Demand

With so many social platforms available to share content and connect with users, our guests named some social networks they found most effective.

1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is considered a top business networking social platform. It’s also a great place to prospect for new clients and build better business relationships. 

On LinkedIn, you can also create lead forms that help you share content and gather subscribers. 

This platform works for anyone in any industry, but can be especially helpful in industries like technology, law, editorial, financial, education, and healthcare.

2. X

X, formerly known as Twitter, allows users to easily share content with other people. If used properly, it can be an effective tool for both large multinational companies and individuals. 

X can be used by anyone. People who like to create punchy posts that get engagement may find success on this platform. You can even have long and engaging conversations with users in threads from original posts.

3. Facebook

On Facebook you can share absolutely all types of online content, as well as events and ads. However, Facebook can be seen as a more text-based platform. Using Facebook, you can effectively increase awareness of your brand, reach out to your audience, and answer any customer service queries.

These days, almost everyone is on Facebook. However, younger generations are flocking to image and video-based platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat.

4. YouTube

Another way to tell people about your business is by creating and sharing video content. Because of such platforms like YouTube video is the primary form of communication. It provides additional opportunities for brands to encourage discussion between subscribers.

Interacting with users on YouTube is simpler, only allowing comments on videos you create. nonetheless, it can educate your audience and offer value that might influence a user’s buying decision.

5. Instagram

A picture is worth a thousand words. With Instagram, images, reels, and stories are the main focus. Using Instagram, brands can resonate perfectly with their targeted audience and younger generations.

It’s also interesting that different networks work best for different countries: “For sale explains, B2C here in Germany it’s definitely Facebook, Instagram and YouTube,” according to Marcus Guhlan ‏(@marcusguhlan).

6. Snapchat

If you’re not using Snapchat already, you should consider at least testing it. Snapchat users watch stories more than ten billion times per day, which is a huge audience of potential customers.

A2: We have a lot of success with @kik @craigslist @blogger and @twitter New on @snapchat though! Get ready marketers! #semrushchat

— ThinkTank (@Think_Tank_Mktg)

Ben Fisher (@TheSocialDude) ‏gave a great piece of advice, saying that the most effective social network is the one where your customers are hanging out: 

This is a key thought; choose your platforms carefully, and focus on where your customers are.

— Ben Fisher (@TheSocialDude) ‏

Quest 2 Recap

For X, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, Medium, and Instagram—each platform provides different contextual opportunities to craft a narrative for specific audiences.

Each company should decide which social network to use based on its particular audience. Some marketers make the mistake of counting solely on social giants, like Facebook and X. But there are many other opportunities. 

If you want to make communicating with users on your social platforms easier, you can use a tool like the Social Inbox to make correspondence easier. 

Question 3: What Elements Create a Social Media Experience that Converts Prospects?

For many businesses, an effective social media campaign might not be easy to define and execute. Your online presence should attract the right people and help you achieve your goals.

Our chat participants shared their tips on how to create an excellent social media experience that will help convert prospects.

Here are the elements of an excellent social media experience:

  • Two-way conversation with your brand
  • Good customer service with fast personalized answers
  • Engage clients by showing them how a product works or how it’s made
  • Producing good content
  • Making users feel a part of your brand
  • Refusing to let negative comments influence the tone of your conversation with clients/customers
  • Listening and responding to every mention you get

These key components will help you expand your social reach and create an amazing social media experience.

Question 4: How Can Marketers Integrate Social Media to Create Stronger Client Connections

With diverse social networks and live chat platforms, businesses have the opportunity to communicate with their customers in a more transparent way. 

Companies without social media as part of their marketing campaign might be missing opportunities to have real conversations with users.

But communicating with your audience via social channels won’t be beneficial unless you do it properly. Steady Demand provides three steps for implementing social media into your marketing efforts:

  1. Identify customer objectives
  2. Create content that meets your customer’s needs and wants
  3. Keep people interested and engaged

Steady Demand recommends that marketers identify specific customer objectives. This could be a desire to learn how to do something or receive support. 

Once you identify these objectives, you should create engaging content that your audience really needs. To move people from the Awareness step to the Consideration step, you should always keep your audience interested and engaged. 

You can also find useful tips for integrating social media into your marketing strategy in Christine Moorman’s article posted on Forbes.

Maria Podolyak recommends educating your customers with useful content like: 

  • Giveaway
  • Reports
  • White papers
  • SlideShare presentations
  • Guides
  • Templates
  • Ebooks 

There are many options.

With social networks, companies can reply to their clients’ queries about your product or service before making a purchase decision. 

You can also respond to negative feedback from customers. If a disappointed customer writes a negative comment about your product, you can reply as soon as possible, apologize, and take all possible measures to improve their experience. How you respond can affirm that your brand is trustworthy and credible to other viewers as well.

Social sign-in capabilities are important for today’s businesses with an online presence. It allows you to better understand your users and improves your ability to convert them. Once you add a social login option you can make offers based on your clients’ previous purchases, as Andy Drinkwater recommends.

Also, remarketing can be a powerful tool that allows you to maintain a relationship with a user who has already demonstrated interest in the products and services you’re offering.

Question 4 Recap

Marketers can help social media buyers’ journey by first identifying specific customer objectives. 

When it comes to smart re-marketing, remember if clients only get halfway, you can get them back in with attentive customer service or engaging contests and giveaways. And don’t forget to build out your social content calendar with engaging and shareable posts.

Question 5: Has Social Media Played a Role in Your Buyer’s Journey?

At the end of our chat, we asked our guests to share their experience with the social media buyer’s journey. 

Has social media played an early assisting role in the buyer’s journey or was it just their last interaction before making a purchase?

Let’s check out their answers.

To start, Steady Demand provides this example to answer the question. If someone is looking for a new restaurant, hotel, or something else, they will do a search and inevitably find your company on social media.

Jerome Joseph Gentes also said his team shifted their content strategy to social media before redesigning their client’s website.

A6: Early. For 1 client, we even shifted #contentstrategy to #socialmedia before #website re- #design. #semrushchat @semrush @SteadyDemand

— Jerome Joseph Gentes (@JJGentes)

Our other chat participants agree—social media is crucial during the early stages of the buyer’s journey. However, it’s also become increasingly important for brand loyalty and continued growth.

@semrush A6: Very key in early stages, but it also becomes increasingly important for brand loyalty and continued growth. #semrushchat

— ZenContent (@ZenContent)

Plus, many of our chat participants assume that social media plays an important role in every stage of the journey.

As Tim Fawkes explains, social media enables brands to create stories around products, people, and sales. It also provides evidence of trust.

Question 5 Recap

For the most part, chat participants believed social is present at almost every stage of the buyer’s journey, from discovery to aftercare. But in cases where remarketing is used, it tends to play a role at the end of the buyer’s journey. 

Social is very key in the early stages, but it also becomes increasingly important for brand loyalty and continued growth. Then, after you’ve worked social media into the buyer’s journey, you can track your growth with tools like Social Analytics.

Invest in Your Social Media Buyer’s Journey With These Tools

Making sure you hit every stage of the buyer’s journey can be a crucial component for conversion success. You’ll want the right social media tools to help you succeed on social media so you can get more clients and customers.

With tools from Semrush Social, you can learn tricks from your competitors, gather content ideas, monitor progress and performance, and publish and automate content. 

Give it a try and see if it enhances your social media content strategy.

As a final note, we would like to thank our special guest Steady Demand and our other participants who made this chat interesting and productive!

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