With so much nonsense still being bandied around about social media, particularly relating to fictitious revolutions, businesses would be forgiven for tuning out of the faddish hype and spin.

Quite rightly so.

But every once in a while, something is written on social media that cuts through the claptrap with clear, concise and compelling utility. Following up on their brilliant update to the consumer decision journey, McKinsey have written a short pithy article designed to demystify social media for businesses.  The word revolution is not mentioned once.

In a nutshell, McKinsey suggests that getting value out of social media requires doing four things

  • MONITOR – tracking what people are saying (for trends and insights to inform innovation and marketing)
  • RESPOND – replying to consumers comments and queries (as part of real-time customer service and crisis management)
  • AMPLIFY – taking positive commentary and spreading it or incentivising people to spread it (to build reputation)
  • LEAD – guiding people towards preference and loyalty with outreach initiatives such as consumer involvement and targeted offers/deals

These activities can be mapped to the consumer journey in order to create the inevitable consultancy-style matrix;

Okay, all this will be motherhood and apple pie for seasoned business users of social media, but its a useful distillation of what social media can offer.  And combined with the consumer decision journey, including the all important loyalty-loop that social media can create, it’s a useful planning tool.

  • CONSIDER – social media can help people discover new products and trigger initial consideration
  • EVALUATE – social media content can help people evaluate products under consideration through shared reviews, ratings and recommendations
  • BUY – social media can help consumers purchase when it is used as a channel assist or complete transactions (the social commerce element)
  • EXPERIENCE – social media can help people enjoy a better product experience through shared advice on how to use the product
  • ADVOCATE – social media can help people express who they are by sharing the products and brands they love
  • BOND – social media can help people bond with a brand by acting as a channel for brand intimacy

Consumer Decision Journey: Loyalty Loop