No matter the industry, brand or product, all businesses have one common goal: to get their product or service to their target audience. With how widespread social media is now, it's safe to say that people who are shopping online are also using social media to some degree. So how does the knowledge that online shoppers use social media become important to a business? How does social media affect sales?
A study called "Engaged Social Followers Are Your Best Customers” sheds some light on how social media can affect business. The first thing is to look at the four-step life cycle of the social media follower and how the social touchpoints play out. Here are the four stages of the journey.
1. Discover a company and products.
2. Explore whether what the company offers is right for them.
3. Buy your products and services.
4. Engage with the company, and with their friends and peers, after their purchase.
Social Followers Equals Loyal Customers
The previously mentioned study states, "People who engaged with a brand on social media on a daily basis were likely to make twice as many purchases from that brand than someone who engages only monthly."
Say, for example, a consumer follows a company on Facebook and Instagram. This customer doesn't follow the products or offers until one day when they see something appealing; let's say shoes. Now that the customer is interested, they start to follow products and offers more closely, and then purchases some shoes. The customer likes the shoes and shares them with a friend who likes the same style of shoes.
The customer who bought shoes has now turned into an advocate for the company. Turning a follower into an advocate is a huge reason as to why social media engagement is important to a business, and can help a business be much more successful without a lot of extra effort.