Social media “eco-system” – wow! That sounds very “organic” and kind of “hippie-like”!
Well, maybe so – but the social media/business synergies are very much “organic”. After all, it is all about people – your customers – about feelings, relationships and loyalties.
To further elaborate on the workings of this “eco-system”, first of all, it should be said that it is one consisting of several consecutive components. But how does this social eco-system work in practice?
Which social media platforms are used for which steps?
Below we will briefly introduce the various stages and break them down under the following categories: ´stimulus´, ´find´, ´understand´, ´engage´, ´purchase´ and ´advocate´.
The initial stage of communications – where the ´eco-systems´ has its roots – is the ´stimulation stage´. Basically, this refers to the initial stimulus perceived by prospective online users/ consumers, aiming to push them to advance to the next ´step´ in the system.
Most often that initial stimulus was received via inputs from ´non-skipable´ media such as TV, printed media, inspiration from the outdoor environment or regular mail correspondence – i.e. non-internet exposure. Today however one has the option to get the same stimulus/ exposure from banners online. This is the basis of most display-ads, social media or not.
Following the triggering stimulus (stage 1), the consumer is then inspired and aimed to proceed to ´find´ by his/her own effort, having switched to the most basic ´skippable´ media, which refers to internet based portals. Among the predominant skippable media, of course, are Google search, Youtube search, owned media, TrueView, advertisements, as well as non-google media.
In direct extension of the ´find´-component, it is critical that the online consumer is efficiently made to understand the next (convenient) steps in the eco-system process and guided towards the desired behaviours.
Among these desired behaviours, on the part of the online vendor, would be actions as, or related to, making a purchase, further researching, using a service and further engagement with the vendor or service provider. What platform is suitable varies depending on your product or service. We find that Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube and Facebook works better than Twitter and Linked In for products and Twitter, Linked In and Facebook work well for services.
Separating out the stage of ´engagement´ reflects the critical importance of forcefully impacting site visitors to connect with your brand identity and the product or service offered. Efficient communication skills really comes to its own at this stage and should be applied across a range of stimulation techniques, including short texts, design considerations, photo and/or video.
In communicating the ´Brand Story´ and an impression of brand identity, visual inputs are often key. To further engage and retain site visitors (potential customers) we recommend also including links to customer reviews (the all-important “testimonials”), more video material and short descriptions of how your business/ service works.
It is also at this step you want to try to move the traffic from platforms owned by others to platforms owned by you.
Oh! – and not to forget. Of course, from a vendor´s perspective, the very important step of the actual purchase!
Indeed, being obviously the ultimate goal of your online presence as a business, the sale is critical. However, do not ´stare yourself blind´ by focusing only on this element! After all, the application of the concept of ´eco-system´ here serves to underline the all-important need for a holistic approach to your online efforts.
That said, the aim of the ´Purchase´ component is to make it convenient and desirable for your online visitors to follow-through on the decision to make a purchase or to advance approximation for buying. In the cases where purchases are not completed re-marketing can be applied as a natural follow-up.
After an eventual purchase has been completed by your online customers, you should make very sure to follow-up immediately with suitable Customer Retention Management (CRM) – essentially, good service!
More specifically, an online sale, ideally, will be followed up by relevant advocacy regarding e.g. logistics, use of product, further options and services etc. It is also advisable, at this point, to present ´reassurance ads´ to your customers, confirming that they have made “the right decision”/ “a good choice” etc. and that now you will be available as a partner and a “friend” – hoping for return visits and more business! This advocacy also acts as stimulus for people in their network, hence the social media eco-system.
Here we recommend that one makes it easy for customers to make their recommendation on what ever platform they choose. However it is important to take ownership of the content that is pushed forward through their networks. Hence it is better to supply the pictures, videos and statements and make sure they are really easy to share and formatet properly for what ever platform is chosen.
What Resultify does in this eco-system
In what can sometimes seem like an overwhelming social media marketplace, Resultify will be your trusted partner in devising the most suitable approach to your marketing efforts. For any business, of course, marketing budgets are limited. Therefore it is very important to ensure the efficiency of what you are doing. It is of no use if you simply pour your entire marketing budget into one channel/ effort, while neglecting or being completely unaware of other critical components of the “eco-system”.
Resultify consists of a very strong team of highly competent and experienced online marketing professionals. We are here to ensure that your online presence generates real growth and effectively contributes to the fulfilment of your ultimate business goals.
We would love to hear from you. What are your best tips for creating tools for CRM/ recommendations or other values? Just write here in the comment-section.