11 Ways to Help Leverage Organic and Paid Social Media Through the Customer Journey

December 13, 2018 Carol Forden

Every business and brand knows they need to be leveraging social media as part of your overall marketing plan.

With organic social media reach for businesses falling to all-time lows, it can seem like the time spent on social is a waste of time with little ROI for the investment.

With the right strategy, that is a combination of both organic and paid social media tactics moving both new and existing customers through the customer journey.  You can turn clicks and shares into revenue.

After talking with numerous businesses, many believe that social media exists only at the top of the funnel – they view social media as a place for new customers to find their brand not realizing that you can utilize social throughout the buying cycle.

By not using social media at every stage of the customer journey, they’re missing key touch points with current and potential customers.

Here are some essential tips to help boost your social media marketing results.

Use Social Media To Drive Brand Awareness

At the top of the sales funnel, social media is about being seen in as many places as possible.

Sprout Social commissioned a study that found that 84.9% of customers won’t purchase an item until they’ve seen it multiple times and are familiar with the brand.

Given this data point, you should be using a combination of organic and paid tactics to increase brand awareness.

Don’t try to do everything at once.  Select a few items to use from the “organic” and a few from the “paid” category to cover your bases.  This can be content that is used to drive traffic back to your website or promotional ads to drive brand awareness.

Tips for organic social media use:

Organic social media reach has dropped significantly, today the expected reach of Facebook posts has dropped from 16% in 2014 to under 2%.

You should not give up on organic posts – social media post helps build your brand voice, creates touch points with potential customers, when used strategically to combat low reach.

  • Leverage the power of video. Use product or tutorial videos uploaded to YouTube and Instagram stories. Create shorter highlights of these videos for Facebook, and Twitter
  • Consider hosting Facebook and Instagram Live sessions.  These which generate more organic interactions than most other social media posts
  • Host contests on social media
  • Host quizzes on social media
  • Repurpose and re-package your content. If you post a link or intro to a blog post with a link, repurpose the content into other formats, such as an infographic or video to post later.

11 Ways to Help Leverage Organic and Paid Social Media Through the Customer Journey


How to use paid social media:

Supplementing organic social media with paid social media ads will offset the reduced reach of organic engagement.

Combining organic social with paid social media efforts can improve brand awareness. This effort moves new customers into the funnel and creates additional touch points with existing fans and consumers.

  • Paid social media ads are a great way to make first contact or introduction with new customers.  (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter all offer paid advertising.)
  • Influencers enable you to expose your product offering and the benefits of on their feeds.  You then can repurpose the images they create on your social media accounts.

11 Ways to Help Leverage Organic and Paid Social Media Through the Customer Journey

Using Social Media in The Consideration Phase

Consideration is what the  middle of the funnel is all about:

  • How are you different from the competition?
  • Do your products or services meet the specific wants and needs of the customer?
  • How does your product or service solve the customer’s problem?

On social media, a consideration stage is an excellent place to engage with social media users; it allows you to target a more customized audience based on the pain point they want to resolve.

In the consideration phase, social media users have identified the problem they need to solve; this is where brands have the opportunity to wow these users with valuable and visually stunning content that sells them on your brand and product offering.

How to use organic social media:

  • Reply to comments across on every social media platform
  • Publish and retarget with customer testimonials
  • Ask for positive product reviews on Facebook, Google, etc. from your customers and fans that use your product offering
  • Don’t hesitate to comment on posts where consumers have mentioned your brand (and repost/republish when appropriate) You can use tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, Mention, or  Awario, and be notified when your brand is mentioned
11 Ways to Help Leverage Organic and Paid Social Media Through the Customer Journey

How to use paid social media:

Retargeting with social media is a powerful way to remind customers who’ve already shown an interest in your brand and product offering. Being reintroduced to your product, in the consideration phase in their social feed can help move them to purchase.

  • Create a custom Facebook audience including users who have liked or commented on your social media posts in the past so that you can retarget them
  • Set up full retargeting campaigns on Facebook, Google, and Instagram
  • Use sponsored posts with a link to informative blog posts or a customer review
11 Ways to Help Leverage Organic and Paid Social Media Through the Customer Journey

Using Social Media in the Consideration and Purchase Stage of the Funnel

Your primary goal with a social media sales funnel should be to move people to the purchase phase. To get there, you need to put your position products  in front of a potential customer

The tricky or hard part is not to come off as “salesy.”

If your social pages are promotional, customers don’t have a strong desire to follow you.

A good rule of thumb is that your social media presence should be around 80% neutral with informational and educational or entertaining posts, and the balance promotional messaging.

How to use organic social media:

You need to keep your bottom-of-funnel, product-focused, and promotional brand posts to a minimum.  The ability to post content that’s fresh, exciting, and informational, can help nudge social media users the rest of the way to purchase.

  • Host a Facebook Live or Q&A session about a particular product and its benefits
  • Link to specific products, mainly if there’s a timely or relevant angle
  • Post about sales and promotions across all social media platforms
11 Ways to Help Leverage Organic and Paid Social Media Through the Customer Journey

How to use paid social media:

At the purchase stage, paid social media can help close the deal with customers need a small push and who are ready to buy but need a reminder.

An example would be customers who have abandoned a cart.

  • Here’s where you want to create a landing page designed specifically to convert customers.  Use social media to promote the landing page
  • Use social media to retarget to customers who have abandoned their shopping carts
11 Ways to Help Leverage Organic and Paid Social Media Through the Customer Journey

By utilizing social media marketing as part of your larger digital marketing strategy, you’ll begin to see additional opportunities to grow your audience and reach them at various points of the customer journey further down the funnel, leading them to purchase.