(Engine) Effective social media marketing isn’t as easy as having a basic understanding the most popular channels. It requires a system to enhance growth, not simply surface-level knowledge.
For example, let’s say you’re scrolling through the ‘gram in an attempt to find some sort of inspiration for your brand’s next post.
“Eggs seem to be trending,” you say to yourself. “Maybe I’ll take a picture of my product next to an egg…”
For some of you, that might not be a bad idea. But that kind of guidance doesn’t provide you with a system for effective social media marketing. There is no clear process, and because of that, there is no scalability.
Effective social media marketing is the driving force behind digitally native brands. To quote Engine CEO John James, “These brands separate themselves from ordinary e-commerce brands in that they seek to establish a direct relationship with their consumers from the very beginning.”
This article will be a part of an extensive series breaking down effective social media marketing. For Part 1, we’ll be focusing on mapping out the customer journey and creating marketing funnels that are optimized for your target customer.
Mapping out the customer journey
Too many marketers tend to get excited and think about the end goals before building out the bones of the marketing plan. This is a trap I’ve fallen into more often than not in my career. It wasn’t until recently that I realized every marketing system needs to start with the customer journey.
In order to create the marketing funnel that moves your customer through the proper sequence of events, going from brand awareness to purchase to a brand loyalist, you must first map out the steps the buyer makes when purchasing products you sell.
By doing this, you can tailor the funnels you build to complement the customer journey, ultimately reducing friction during the buying process. This will increase opportunities for you to bake in actions that improve customer lifetime value.
This exercise is best visualized, so grab a sheet of paper and your favorite felt-tip pen, and place yourself in the mindset of your target customer. In the image below, I sketched out the potential customer journey of someone who buys handbags.
The first part of this potential customer journey (remember, it’s your job to know your customer and their journey the best) starts with a high-affinity influencer post about the product. This kicks off the research phase, with the ultimate goal of finding social proof (the nature of luxury goods).
Once the social and intrinsic value is validated, the customer will have purchase intent, and if all goes well, will buy the bag. After the purchase, they will share the experience with their peers in search of social validation. The reception to their story will significantly affect their affinity for the brand in the long term.
This is half of the equation in effective social media marketing. You’ve established the customer journey, and now it’s time to build your marketing funnels to complement it and reduce friction as much as possible.