The social consumer process and the rise of social commerce create a simplified path to purchase that includes social proof within e-commerce and social media.
Social consumerism wraps influencer marketing, creator content, product discovery, and social proof into one perfect package.
In the traditional consumer experience, customers would see a print ad in a magazine, trek over to the storefront, buy a product, and bring it home. Then, with the growth of digital marketing, the process adapted to focus on the offline and online. Previously, customers would see an ad on the web, perhaps make a trip to a brick-and-mortar store and make a purchase, or more commonly, order the product off the site’s website.
Now, consumer behavior is starkly different. As they enjoy their daily dose of socials – checking the news, seeing what their friends are up to – users also see advertisements and posts by influencers promoting new products. Their interest is piqued by creator content (and content posted by their IRL friends), making them head down the marketing funnel based on a single post.
Social consumers are involved in the evolution of social commerce: the unity of e-commerce and social media. The social consumer process – and the rise of social commerce – creates a simplified path to purchase that already includes social proof within each space.
Who Is the Social Consumer?
Social consumers learn, engage with, and transact via social media platforms. They get their news, entertainment, product information, and social interaction through social networks like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and TikTok.
Social consumers fall into a variety of demographics, from the cliche phone-obsessed Gen Z to the moderately social Millennial and the Android user to the Apple fanatic. As a result, you can find hundreds of infographics explaining the profile of the social consumer. Still, the one thing they have in common is their appreciation for peer opinion and their use of socials for purchasing decisions.
With regular use of social apps and regular interaction with social media marketing comes a keen eye for inauthentic content within an unsolicited advertisement. Because of that, social consumers are warier of unwanted ads than consumers of the past. They want conversation and engagement, not one-way messaging harassing them on platforms they use for fun.
Instead, social consumers seek responsive, engaging brands that listen to and collaborate with their customers. Social consumers use reviews and ratings to help them make purchase decisions. They value community sharing, the opinions of their peers, and the recommendations of creators and influencers.
If you question the validity of the social consumer experience, look at what leading companies have been doing to keep up with the change. Amazon, TikTok, Meta, and Shopify – e-commerce platforms and social media apps have banded together to reach the social consumer most effectively.
Engaging Social Consumers Along the Marketing Funnel
Social consumers look for quality content, opportunities to share their thoughts, influencer relationships, and ease of use, no matter where they are on the customer journey. So how can your marketing strategy adapt to the new social consumer experience? Use a methodology that addresses each of those demands for customers throughout your funnel.
Quality targeted content
When content is everywhere, mediocre content blends into the background – or stands out as a slapdash attempt at gaining customers. Instead, your content should be created with your target audience in mind and produced with high-quality digital storytelling to captivate and excite viewers. Content that actually moves people can create powerful e-commerce experiences that turn viewers into shoppers, helping hit engagement metrics throughout the marketing funnel.
Shoppable content provides a direct purchasing opportunity and allows consumers to either add products to a cart directly from what they are viewing or be taken to a product page and continue online shopping. Since social consumers are persuaded by their peers and prioritize ease of use in their purchasing process, shoppable content is the way to their hearts. Learn how First Media’s shoppable content solutions deliver powerful e-commerce experiences that turn viewers into shoppers with just one click.
Opportunities for feedback
Customers are excited to share their thoughts in real time about their experience with your brand, so giving them a chance to disclose that information will win you favor. Surveys, requests to review, comment engagement, and more – there are many ways to ask for that feedback and make your customers feel like valuable insiders. Because social consumers rely so heavily on their peers’ opinions, their impressions and reflections on your brand are also essential for your benefit. Focus on getting feedback from new and loyal customers alike to build retention and learn how to improve the customer experience at every touch point.
Influencer marketing is modern-day word-of-mouth. Just as customers used to get their product recs from friends and family, today’s consumers now get most of those suggestions from content creators. One 2017 survey found that 71% of respondents named Instagram posts as the inspiration behind their most recent online fashion purchase – and that number has skyrocketed since the rise of social commerce. When you realize how persuasive influencers are to e-commerce customers, you can strategize to make influencer action as impactful as possible. Influencer marketing can turn a new viewer into a customer with well-executed content, and influencers can also continuously foster those relationships for long-term success.
First Media’s Connection to the Social Consumer
This wave of new media and social action might seem overwhelming, but in reality, it offers unique opportunities for your brand. With the right partner, you can use influencers, shoppable and targeted content, and feedback to remove friction in the buying process, simplify the path to purchase, and enhance the e-commerce experience.Optimizing for this new consumer journey is the only way to keep on track with the modern social consumer. Find out how First Media can help you create a marketing strategy that exceeds the expectations of these customers for accelerated growth.