Did you know: 71% of consumers are likely to purchase an item based on social media recommendations?

What people say on social media about your business means more than you probably realise. So much goes into making a purchasing decision on social media that not many of us know about.

The first of two articles I am going to sharing with you over the next two weeks looks at the science behind both social media decision making, and social media engagement.

Have you ever wondered WHAT makes a customer purchase from you, or WHY they won’t purchase from you? Truly understanding the science behind social media decision making will not only help you better understand your customer, but also increase engagement, traffic and sales.

If social media is a key part of your digital marketing (it most definitely should be) this is the article for you. Keep reading to find out the science behind social media decision making.

The Science Behind Social Media Decision Making

David Edelman said; “”Social Media across the consumer decision journey is not monolithic. There are four specific functions.” David has simplified the customer journey, and calls it the “social journey”. This is the journey a customer will take from being a prospect, to actually making a purchase. See below for a visual of the “social journey”.

social media decision making

Let’s break this down.

1. Consider

You need to look at this as the first interaction you will have with your potential customer, and the first time they “touch” your brand online. This is also where you begin to build a relationship. I’m going to use Twitter as an example throughout this process.

The first stage is to gain a new follower on Twitter. Once you have a new follower, thank them for following you, and nurture them through the content you share. Make sure your content is engaging, interesting and actionable.

2. Evaluate

This is when your Twitter follower will look at your product or service for the very first time. This has been done because you have established trust with your follower, and they are now interested. I try to fast-track this process by offering complimentary downloads. These downloads contain great content that I know my audience will love. This also gives me a chance to capture their email address where they are then entered into my email marketing funnel.

This stage becomes extremely important and there are a few things you need to take into consideration. Make sure that you are giving, giving and giving. The more you ask for, the less trust you will build. If you are offering something at a cost, make sure there is a special offer. We are all creatures of habit and the more we have to pay for something, the more anxious we get about spending our money and trust soon disappears.

3. Buy

This is where all your effort in the last two steps should pay off. This is when the person that once clicked the “follow” button on your Twitter page, now becomes a paying customer. This is the ultimate goal when it comes to a successful business, but the work definitely doesn’t stop there.

Whilst your customer may have found you on social media, they are most likely to make a purchase away from social media after going through the evaluate and consider stages.

Your goal at this point will then change. You have the customer purchasing a product, but now you need to continue nurturing them to make them a repeat customer. Have them share their experience with you, whilst also becoming a brand advocate. This will then encourage them to purchase again, and again.

I hope this article on the science behind social decision making has been interesting for you to read. Stay tuned for next Friday where I will be sharing with you the science behind social media engagement!

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