Social Media Marketing and the Consumer Journey

May 22, 2019 / POV
Elleni Paulson

The standard in marketing has been to build campaigns in accordance with a traditional consumer journey map, or purchase funnel. When building campaigns, the first consideration is the audience: Who are they? Where are they most likely to fall in our consumer journey? Is the audience hearing about a product for the first time or are they loyal purchasers? This information determines how to construct a message or experience to build a relationship between a brand and the audience.

Modern marketers adopt a more fluid approach as they build campaigns and messaging systems for social media. Speed dictates the new method. Today, marketers race to understand the nuances of a platform-fee structure, advertising capabilities, etc.-before the platform’s offerings or algorithms change.

At Exponent, we believe social media marketing should closely relate to our clients’ purchase funnels. In fact, these purchase funnels guide nearly all the messaging we produce. We’ve established a method of customizing messaging and producing welcome content for different points in a client’s purchase funnel.

1. Content meant to inspire audiences who have not yet heard of the brand.

2. Content meant to educate audiences who know about the brand but otherwise haven’t engaged with it.

3. Content meant to compel our most likely audiences to make a purchase or a connection with the brand.

Traditionally, the effectiveness of social media marketing has been measured in impressions, engagements and click-through rates. However, social media platforms like Facebook have provided unprecedented access to audiences, opportunities to pinpoint them at certain points in the purchase funnel (as shown above) and options for engaging our audiences in the right way at just the right time.

Marketing efforts are no longer measured by baseline benchmarks. Rather, we split audiences according to their position in the purchase funnel, serve them with relevant messaging and measure the effectiveness of that messaging.

The content groups we’ve built-inspire, educate and compel-are aligned with performance metrics specific to social media. Inspirational content is built (and optimized within social media platforms) to earn as many quality impressions as possible. Educational content is built to engage as many people as possible. And compelling content is engineered specifically to drive people to purchase a product or connect with a brand.

Content can still be evaluated on outputs like impressions, engagement rates and click-through rates. Now aligning these measurements creates more specific metrics and optimization. This process allows hyper-personalization and provides useful information for audiences. Tracking and retargeting enables us to adjust messaging and build better relationships with audiences.

Social media is fluid and fast-moving. In many ways, interacting with audiences on social media is as much an art as it is a science. However, by combining our knowledge of social media platforms with creative messaging and an intimate knowledge of our clients’ businesses, we are able to harness the nuanced power of social media marketing and provide more useful content for social media users.