Keith A. Quesenberry, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Messiah College
Marketers know it is important to understand the buyer’s journey, yet increased mobile use has created a more fragmented buyer’s journey. Google calls these micro-moments, or those hundreds of real-time, goal-oriented mobile actions that influence decisions and preferences. Marketers should tailor social media messages to pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase customers.
Decisions are made and preferences are shaped as people check their phones up to 150 times a day. Google’s research reveals there are four mobile moments marketers should study: “I want to know,” I want to go, ” “I want to do,” and “I want to buy.” One way to leverage micro-moments is through SEO and search advertising, but understanding these moments and consumer intent should also influence brand social media to increase real-time relevance.
Why micro-moments for social? Nearly 80% of social media time is spent on mobile, and more referral traffic can come from social media channels like Facebook than traditional search. Plus, social media strategy is not all about followers and shares—social search is increasing. With 2 billion Facebook and 2.1 billion Twitter searches a day, how can brands appear in more results?
I suggest looking at your Social Media Content Calendar and ensuring that every week you are creating content that addresses each of these micro-moments:
I Want to Know Moments. In these moments consumers are researching and exploring. Be sure you provide educational content that informs and inspires. For example, if you are a company that sells outdoor gear provide tips and guides to enjoy the outdoors, tackle a tough mountain hike or reviews of new equipment. If you are a tax accountant, you may want to create content about retirement plans or itemized deductions. Help customers turn to you for insight.
I Want to Go Moments. These moments are all about geo-targeting. Use your social media to target zip codes with unique location-based messages. Here the outdoor brand could inform customers of local events such as group Kayak tours or store locations that carry the brand. A tax service might highlight locations, workshops and extended hours as April 18th approaches. Let customers know you are near.
I Want to Do Moments. In these moments someone is trying to figure something out now and are looking for answers. Are you creating valuable how-to content? An outdoor brand could consider a series on climbing knots or methods for purifying water while camping. The tax service could post quick answers to common tax questions such as tax brackets and standard deductions. Make sure you are helping your customers and potential customers, not your competitor.
I Want to Buy Moments. Consumers are ready to buy but may not know what or how. In social these moments are about more than promotions and sales messages. Depending on your business, this may require real-time marketing, getting customer service involved or even the sales department for B2B. The outdoor brand may sell group tours and have sales reps monitoring social media to provide answers to secure a booking. The tax service may have tax advisors monitoring social to provide real time answers and build relationships that lead to a tax prep purchase.
Who has leveraged micro-moments? The Home Depot has turned “I want to do” moments into 43 million views by expanding their “how-to” collection, as more DIYers turn to their YouTube app as they work on home projects. The credit repair company Progrexion discovered that customers in their “I want to know” moment needed education and began directing mobile traffic directly to their salespeople resulting in a 221% increase in mobile sales. FIAT made “I want to go” moments a part of their integrated campaign by focusing mobile content on nearest dealers, helping grow unaided recall 127%. Sephora leveraged “I want to buy” moments by providing reviews of products customers were considering increasing confidence for in store purchase.
A marketer who creates social content with real-time, micro-moment relevance could influence brand preference over competitors. How much? The Wall Street Journal reports 69% of online customers say the quality, timing, or relevance of a company’s message influence their perception of a brand.
Do micro-moments convert? There is evidence that social media likes, shares and comments contribute to higher search rankings. Also, Google Analytics aggregated data reports that mobile’s share of online sessions has increased 20% in the last year, with mobile conversion rates increasing 29% while time spent per visit has decreased 18%. People know what they want and are acting quicker. The marketers who understand this and create the content matching their intent could uncover a new competitive advantage.