Published on March 14, 2018

"Marketing has always strived to guide consumers from point A to B, while capturing their attention and providing reasons and channels for them to take actions towards engaging with a particular brand.

Today, 40 percent of the global population (3.3 billion) has adopted Social Media as an extension of their lives. From moments of leisure to productive time, social media has provided users around the world with a vast range of information so that it works for multiple purposes for each person. Social Media’s starring role in a person’s life has forced brands to understand the new social consumer behavior that determines how people consume information, relate to brands, and take action. It is a critical opportunity for the next generation of marketing and the modern concept of loyalty, where consumers think about social platforms in an interactive and transactional manner."

THE SOCIAL PURCHASE JOURNEY "Today, social media use has gone beyond sharing content with friends and family. Users now turn to social networks and branded content to discover products and services before making a purchase decision. This process has introduced an additional step in the purchase path, giving brands the opportunity to better understand user behavior and to participate actively in a conversation.

Brands first started using social media to drive traffic to their eCommerce platforms, trying to drive sales. But users don’t always want to be taken away from their feed, and when being entertained, they are not always thinking about shopping. They do, however, like to discover and explore ideas, products, and much more. Pinterest is a good example of a platform with discovery at its core; 93% of people on Pinterest use it to plan purchases months in advance."

To help brands measure offline sales, Facebook integrated store visits into their analytical platform. They also developed an open API that integrates into the Point of Sale system to match purchases with customers that have been reached through Facebook ads.

THE SOCIAL PURCHASE JOURNEY

"Today, social media use has gone beyond sharing content with friends and family. Users now turn to social networks and branded content to discover products and services before making a purchase decision. This process has introduced an additional step in the purchase path, giving brands the opportunity to better understand user behavior and to participate actively in a conversation.

Brands first started using social media to drive traffic to their eCommerce platforms, trying to drive sales. But users don’t always want to be taken away from their feed, and when being entertained, they are not always thinking about shopping. They do, however, like to discover and explore ideas, products, and much more. Pinterest is a good example of a platform with discovery at its core; 93% of people on Pinterest use it to plan purchases months in advance.

data

Social networks understood the need for a business model that wouldn’t send people off their platform, but would instead encourage users to stay. They saw the need to integrate new capabilities for users to discover, consider, purchase or recommend their favorite brands and products while staying within the platform.

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and WeChat, among others, have integrated eCommerce features that make them seem native to the interface and experience. This, in turn, has opened new doors for brands to integrate social investment with business results."

socialmedia

SOCIAL ROI

"With the idea of taking advantage of the time and attention users spend on social platforms, industry leaders challenged social networks to adapt. Either the platforms evolved to satisfy the brands’ business objectives and KPIs, or brands would take their media investments elsewhere.

Media investments in social weren’t small: In Q3 2016, Direct Response was 46% of clients’ spend on Facebook and Instagram, up from 34% in Q1 2015 and still growing. Social platforms became more flexible and developed new products to better integrate brands’ business needs, which are most frequently online and offline sales.

To help brands measure offline sales, Facebook integrated store visits into their analytical platform. They also developed an open API that integrates into the Point of Sale system to match purchases with customers that have been reached through Facebook ads.

Yet it goes beyond technical integrations; since social has become a forced step in the purchase process of most products, social content has become critical in influencing purchase decisions. For example, Amazon created the Amazon Influencer Program, designed for social media influencers with a large following and high frequency of posts containing shoppable content. The program allows influencers to earn fees from purchases they drive through their social media channels. Most recently, Amazon has added Spark to its arsenal, a way of sharing product photography and information that could be comparable to Instagram."

THE SOCIAL CHALLENGE

We challenge brands to test the potential social media has for encouraging transactional behavior. Social media is at the core of online marketing plans, especially as platforms get more sophisticated in the way they optimize media spend and attributions towards online and offline sales. If you haven’t already, you need to seize the challenge to take part in the business opportunities of the new tools and formats social media platforms have to offer, along with the growing understanding of your consumers’ behaviors to an ever more detailed level.

Originally Published on Medium on August 22, 2017.

Natalie Garcia

Natalie GarciaStrategic Planner - M8

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