Social marketing today is a Catch 22. Rely on yesterday’s social marketing tactics and you risk losing relevance. Jump on the latest social media bandwagon and you risk wasted effort and diluted results by not aligning tactics with investments and outcomes. But even with that delicate balancing act, marketers can examine their customers’ journey for insights to develop innovative content and approaches for social channels that drive improved business results.
Online fashion subscription service Birchbox adopted live streaming content on Periscope and Facebook Live early because the company recognized that live, interactive Q&As could improve consumers’ understanding of the service. This helped accelerate the Evaluate and Select moments within the Buy phase of the customer journey. The relatively low cost of producing live streaming content, coupled with the long life of the content beyond the initial broadcast, meant that Birchbox received long-term value from its broadcasts. The broadcasts lasted nearly 40 minutes and upward of 50,000 viewers watched for an average of 10 minutes.
Focus on new networks, content types, tactics and analytics that support customer experience and drive business results.
“Before establishing a presence on a new social network or investing in content creation to take advantage of a hot new content format, mature social marketers revisit their existing social strategy in the context of customer experience,” said Jay Wilson, research director, Gartner for Marketers.
Align social tactics to the customer journey
Start with the customer journey. Ideally, you’ve aligned your existing social program to this journey, and positioned tactics that help accelerate it. (See Gartner’s Buy Own Advocate model for more details on the customer experience journey.)
Clothing brand MeUndies took an unusual approach and aligned its Snapchat efforts to the Buy phase of the customer journey. This was uncommon, given Snapchat’s lack of commerce functionality. However, the brand recognized that the social network aligned to its target audience and the network’s casual storytelling format created low-cost brand awareness. The brand added unique URLs to the end of each story and, as a result, drove conversion rates of 10% to 12% for the products featured in the stories.
Ask the right questions
To determine if an emerging social network or tactic is right for your brand, check to see where it aligns to the customer journey and if the audience and content format help move that journey forward. Answer these five questions to assess alignment to the customer journey.