If someone told you 10 years ago that you’d be talking to your customers on this thing called Twitter, you’d probably laugh. Now, social media is so ingrained in our culture that it seems crazy not to have a social account to connect with your customers.
This change in online behavior has a big impact on companies. Social media has completely transformed your customers’ buying patterns and the way you do business.
Curious about how? Here are some ways social media has changed the customer journey:
- 55 percent of buyers do their research by using social networks
- 86 percent of consumers buying IT products use social media to help them reach a buying decision
- Customers expect brands to respond on Twitter within two hours
- 42 percent of people will tell their friends about a good customer experience on social, while 53 will talk about a bad one
As these statistics show, social media is the new normal for your customers. And that means an investment of time and money to make sure that you’re actually delivering what your customers are looking for.
The investment in social media is not without its challenges. One of the top priorities for companies is to ensure that their return matches the financial investment they’ve made in social media.
Keeping social ROI at the forefront of your decision-making
Some days it feels like there are a million trends going on in social media. It’s hard to keep up. Stay focused on what matters to your business and make investment decisions accordingly. Follow these five steps to make social ROI a top priority:
- Understand your online audience: Who are they and where do they spend their time? There’s no point investing time in a social network if your customers aren’t there.
- Focus on relevance over trends: In order to be relevant to your customers on social, you need to research what they are looking for and how your product or service aligns with that desire. What kinds of content will be the most useful to share? What kinds of questions are people asking?
- Define clear goals and actions: Everybody wants to engage more customers and grow their business on social media. The difficult part is asking yourself what the tangible steps are to get there.
- Set metrics and benchmarks: How are you going to measure your goals? Who owns what projects? When are you going to check in on progress?
- Try and integrate with existing processes: Social media touches a bunch of core areas of your business, from marketing to sales to customer service. Before reinventing the wheel entirely, look at how you can integrate social media in a way that makes most sense for your team.
Investing in social media is a big commitment, and you want to make sure that you put your money in the right areas of your business.
To learn more about improving your company’s social ROI and productivity, check out our ebook published with Microsoft.