Social media is changing the way many consumers make purchases. Today, consumers use social platforms before, during and after a purchase.
Whether you’re a small business or a Fortune 500 company, having a plan in place to target social buyers is a critical component of your marketing strategy. This article provides 5 steps to targeting your social buyer:
1. Identify Your Target
Within the 5 steps to targeting your social buyer, the first step is to identify your target buyer. One way to do this is to link the known contact information with your buyer’s social profile information. Facebook has an ad product called Custom Audiences that can identify Facebook users from your buyers’ email addresses.
You can also use tools such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Adobe Marketing Cloud or Hootsuite’s Ubervu to listen to conversations about your brand. When using these services, you can tag your social buyers and craft relevant marketing messages to engage them.
Key Insight: In many B2B markets, its useful to define your buyer based on his or her role in the organization, industry and company size. For instance, an executive from a small to medium sized enterprise may be active on Twitter or LinkedIn. Use his or her social activity to help with your prospecting.
2. Research the Buyer
Once you have a target buyer in sight, begin gathering qualitative information such as buyer behavior and psycho-graphics. You want to understand what makes them tick and why they would buy your product over your competitor’s.
Key Insight: This research should also be used when creating relevant marketing messages for your target. Compare this research with your current customers to get a comprehensive picture of your overall buyer behavior.
3. Create a Buyer Persona
A buyer persona is a representation of your target buyer. This persona is used in all marketing and advertising for most organizations. For example, when creating marketing communications, your marketing objective is to ‘speak’ to that persona. This persona captures key facts about the buyer, the decisions they make, and the journey they take when purchasing a product in your market.
Key Insight: Don’t forget to include how the buyer uses social media when developing the persona.
4. Understand the Buying Experience
You should understand each step your buyer makes during a purchasing decision and how they feel about it. It is important to understand the interactions your buyer has, the content they consume and what social media networks the use.
Ultimately, you should use social media to make the purchasing process easier for the buyer. An analysis of the buying experience will allow you to identify any friction in the buyers purchasing process.
Key Insight: As all marketers know (or should know) the more friction there is in this process, the higher the likelihood of a failed purchase.
5. Map content to the buying experience
Develop a plan that maps content to the buying experience. For instance, understand what content is needed to push buyers further along the purchasing cycle. Understand the individual milestones each buyer has during this cycle and use this map to optimize that experience.
Key Insight: This article lists 5 steps to targeting your social buyer but you also must consider the various steps in the buyer’s purchasing cycle. In the awareness phase, piggybacking on social trends is an effective way to engage potential buyers early in the cycle.
For consideration, use testimonials about your product or service. For post-sale, encourage buyers to share and submit product or service reviews.
Once you’ve developed this map, you’ll be well on your way to increasing purchases from social buyers.
Do you think “social” buyers are any different than traditional buyers?