Social Media

Why Engaging With Customers Online After They Have Purchased Is So Important

Throughout June, Facebook has released a series of articles that aim to explore how digital media has disrupted the shopper journey, and how brands can adapt their online activity to keep up as it evolves. The reports by Facebook are in collaboration with Kantar, and focus on global shoppers as well as a specific study on shopper behaviour in Hong Kong and Taiwan. It provides a lot of useful insight that can be adapted across brand online presence everywhere. Here I’m focusing on the latest article, that explores the post purchase phase and why it is crucial to be engaging with customers online even after they have purchased.

Many brands put a real focus on acquiring new customers, and enticing people that have not previously purchased from them before, especially when it comes to social media. This may sound like a generalisation but more often than not, this is the goal of businesses who are seeking out social media services. 

It is as much of a generalisation to assume that if someone doesn’t click to buy through social media then it isn’t a success. Social media success isn’t all about sales. 

Our job at Wriggle is to show clients that social media engagement plays a vital part in a brand's online communication at all stages of a customer journey, and along with digital marketing efforts like PPC, SEO, and email marketing, it contributes to a winning multi-channel approach that delivers results.

Facebook's Post Purchase Report

Among other insights, Facebook’s report highlighted 5 key areas that either affect customer loyalty in the post purchase phase, or that can be utilised to retain customer loyalty with the end goal of repeat purchase. Social media and online marketing activity plays a huge part in this and must be valued as much for keeping existing customers happy as it is for attracting new customers.  

These areas are:

  • An increase in choice online 
  • Customers are more conscious where they give their data
  • Brands must exceed customers immediate post purchase needs
  • Personalised content plays a big part
  • Ongoing engagement increases customer lifetime value

An increase in choice online

‘With the variety of choices presented in consumers’ lives today, coupled with rising spending powers relative to product costs, brand switching becomes effortless and less risky.’

- Facebook

It comes as no surprise that the sheer volume of choice when it comes to products, not to mention the accessibility of them with online shopping at our fingertips, means that customers are more likely to switch from their favourite brands with ease. It takes almost no effort to switch from one brand to the next.

Brands therefore need to offer something extra to remain at the forefront of customers minds. For social media this could include inspiring or resonating content, trend setting or innovation, and giving the personal touch. Take a look at the six universal drivers of brand love shared by Facebook for further examples.

FB drivers of brand love
Image credit: Facebook

Customers are more conscious where they give their data

Facebook found that shoppers are becoming more aware of their own data, including where and with whom they share it. Brands obviously need a certain level of data to be able to deliver a personalised experience for customers with content that is tailored to them at all online touch points, but the onus is very much on brands to ensure personal information is kept safe.

After purchase customers know you have their data, so by proactively sharing content tailored to them, relevant to past purchases, or new products they may be interested in you’re likely to keep them engaged.

Data breaches and leakages can be a PR nightmare for a brand, so by protecting and using it in the right way, trust can be built with your customers.

Brands must exceed customers immediate post purchase needs

Your relationship with your customer doesn’t end at the point of purchase. As well as delivery updates and product experience on arrival, brands who go the extra mile to upkeep and encourage communication with their customers are likely to have relationships with more longevity. 

Encourage feedback, ask for a review, encourage sharing and tagging on social media, and be on hand for a quick response to any questions or concerns they may have, especially in the public domain. Efficient community management and customer service especially on social media is of the highest importance, as customers expect that speedy response.

Excelling in this area and encouraging an ongoing stream of communication will only increase brand loyalty, positive customer experiences and ensure you are at the forefront of their mind if the time comes to repurchase.

Personalised content plays a big part

It can be easy to fall into the trap of creating general content and putting it out there for everyone to see. In order to deliver a personalised experience for customers, you need to put the time and effort in to go the extra mile. Be specific with your targeting, conduct thorough analysis into your audience and what they’re engaging or disengaging with, and adjust your approach accordingly. 

This applies to all aspects of digital marketing of course, not just social media. 

Ongoing engagement increases customer lifetime value

Continuing to deliver online content, and engaging with customers online post purchase will increase customer lifetime value for all the reasons previously mentioned, and enhance your position at every stage of the purchase journey. 

Facebook refers to this as creating a ‘meaningful brand-shopper relationship, that shoppers would rely heavily on – just like a friend.’

Two way communication across all online platforms, or presenting the opportunity to customers to engage in this way should be at the forefront of brands minds, and will only strengthen that relationship.

Find the full article released by Facebook here.

If you would like to learn more about how Wriggle can assist you with online content, social media marketing and engaging with customers online, please contact tickleus@wrigglemarketing.co.uk or call 0191 815 0815.

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