How to Plot Your Digital Path Along the Buyer’s Journey

While brick-and-mortar shopping still has skin in the retail game, the truth is, today’s customers shop very differently than they did even just a few years ago. The expansion and ease of online shopping have revolutionized the way modern consumers—consumers of all ages, mind you—approach and execute their shopping habits.

Today there are more than 2 billion digital buyers worldwide, and the data projects 3 million of them in the U.S. alone by 2025. Rapid national and global growth in e-commerce has altered the traditional buyer’s journey. And, as online retail continues to soar, social media is becoming increasingly influential all along that journey.

How influential, you ask? A couple of recent studies showed that:

  • Nearly half (47%) of U.S. consumers have made a purchase through social media.
  • 58% of these consumers say they are interested in doing it again.
  • In 2022, social commerce made up approximately 5% of U.S. e-commerce sales, a number expected to grow to 7% by 2025.
  • 81% of consumers’ buying decisions are influenced by friends’ posts on social.
  • 78% of consumers say their purchases are influenced by brands’ social media posts.

This last one bears repeating—according to Forbes, “78% of consumers state their purchases are influenced by posts on the social media pages of brands.” What you do on your social media pages to support the buyer’s journey can have a significant impact on sales of products and/or services.

The four stages of the buyer’s journey have remained the same for generations—awareness, consideration, decision making and retention. The revolution comes in how today’s digital world impacts the buyer differently at every stage. And in that how, businesses of all shapes and sizes will find opportunities.

Building your social content for the journey

To leverage these opportunities for selling products and services you your website, it’s critical you produce content to address every stage of the buyer’s journey with effective communications—providing the right messages and answers at the right time. Here are some questions you should ask about your social content.

  • Awareness—Are you educating consumers about your product/service? Does your content show that you understand their pain points and can help address them? Do you provide a solution they can act on today?
  • Consideration—Are you providing content that establishes trust without making a hard sell just yet? Are you building a relationship that will extend beyond a one-off sale?
  • Decision making—Have you made a strong case as to why your product or service is better? Do you give consumers a clear, direct way to convert them from “considerers” to paying customers?
  • Retention—How are you staying engaged with your customers? Are you taking care to remain connected without overdoing it or seeming too invasive?

The bottom line is, the better you understand and react to consumers’ needs, the more you can effectively cater to those needs and, hopefully, secure a sale as well as customer loyalty.

A Buyer’s Journey Scenario—Pug Pleasures Creates a Loyal Customer.

(Partially based on a true story, names have been changed to protect the curly-tailed and wet-nosed!)


Debbie, “Proudest Pug Mom on Earth,” was beside herself when Franklin, her 5-year-old vivacious pug, started losing his fur—a side effect of a necessary medication. With a nearly bald underbelly, Franklin was getting bruises and abrasions from his harness every time they took a walk. Knowing that Franklin loved his walks, and that they kept him fit, Debbie needed something other than the style and brand of harness she’d been using since Franklin was a pup. And she needed it fast!


Debbie searched online first at the big-box pet stores and the biggest e-commerce pet supplier. But they didn’t give her a great vibe. How could these mammoth retailers possibly understand her problem? They surely were out of touch with Franklin’s unique needs. She continued her search through social media, friend recommendations and googling, “We care for your pug like family.” During this process she discovered several possibilities. But she landed on “So Soft Sherpa Products for Dogs” (SSSPD). Unlike the others, this company had pug-specific harnesses and shared videos to demonstrate them in action.

Decision making:

During her time on the SSSPD website, a window popped up asking Debbie if she’d like to share a little more about her pug. After filling out the questionnaire, Debbie received a text linking to several customer testimonials about a harness SSSPD recommended for Franklin. Wow, she thought, they really do understand and care about Franklin’s health and happiness.


Debbie purchased her first SSSPD super-soft harness and tried it out, much to Franklin’s pleasure. A few days later, SSSPD DM’ed her to see how Franklin was doing with his new harness. The message offered suggestions for just-as-soft harnesses that may not be so hot for Franklin during the summer and linked to a 25% off coupon. SSSPD had two friends—one with four legs, one with two—for life!


A New Thread in the Metaverse

On July 5, Meta launched its Twitter competitor: Threads, an Instagram App. Appearing in the App Store a day ahead of the announced launch date, Threads attracted at least 10 million signups—including celebrities, brands and political figures—within seven hours of launch, according to Meta.Read full post...

2018 Social Media Shake-Up

A new year is upon us, and I, for one, am more excited than ever because 2018 seems to finally be the year that social media has a seat at the big kids’ table. Social is here to stay, so brands need to make sure they’re doing everything they can to kill it with their social strategy. Whether you are just getting a social team started or you’ve been at it for years, here are a few things you can do now to mix up your mindset.

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July 12, 2016

ICYMI (In case you missed it) – Takeaways from Social Media Day 2016

By Amanda Kalbrosky, Paige Miller and Caity Smith

Amanda Kalbrosky, Paige Miller, Caity Smith
On June 30th, the 7th annual Social Media Day—a global day of recognition for the growing collection of social platforms—was held at our favorite middle school field trip destination: The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Speakers from more than 30 organizations shared their insights on everything from the early days of social media to capitalizing on user-generated content to what they predict for the future of social media.Read full post...

Facebook Globally Launches Emoji ‘Reactions’

facebook emotionFacebook has heard its users’ feedback loud and clear. For years, the networking conglomerate has been receiving requests for a “Dislike” button in addition to the “Like” button (I submitted one of those requests). On February 24, after many months of user testing in a number of countries, Facebook delivered so much more than a “Dislike” button with its extravagant expressions options, “Reactions.”

The expressions are more or less an addition to the “Like” button, and people are excited about the upgrade. Read full post...


Twitter Helps Brands Cut through the Clutter

Twitter has introduced a new way to view your timeline by showing you tweets you’re “most likely to care about.

Twitter has introduced a new way to view your timeline by showing you tweets you’re “most likely to care about.

Companies use social media as a way to receive feedback, engage with consumers, and market new products or ideas. But they share a common challenge when communicating on such a content-rich platform: It’s hard to stand out.

Until now.Read full post...


The Future of Mobile Ads

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is stirring up conversations and sparking new ideas in the minds of advertising and business professionals. A breeding ground for networking opportunities and business partnerships, the weeklong advertising festival can be seen as “the SXSW for the international set,” complete with celebrity appearances and musical performances. According to the Cannes Lions website, “We believe creativity is the driving force for business, for change and for good. That’s why we are campaigners for creativity: we inspire creative bravery that changes the course of communications. Our awards set a global benchmark for what good creative looks like, and our annual Festival connects those with a similar vision.”Read full post...


A Classy Response to a Classless Tweet

A baseball player from Bloomsburg University tweeted a shocking and unforgivable comment. The tweet was about Mo’ne Davis, the amazing young athlete who became an instant sensation during last year’s Little League World Series. In case you missed it:


If you didn’t know, one of our Aloysius Butler & Clark offices is located in Bloomsburg, PA. Read full post...


NASCAR knows more about Twitter than you do

Dale Junior Joins Twitter

Dale Jr. joins Twitter.

Yesterday’s six-hour rain delay of the Daytona 500 could have been a huge letdown for NASCAR fans. Instead, they spent the afternoon joking with their favorite drivers, getting updates on track conditions from race officials, and having a “fireside chat” with at least one driver (Clint Bowyer), who told track reporters that he was having “a lot of fun” with his Twitter followers until his PR team “shut him down” (Hey, sometimes we have to be the party poopers!). After the race, fans celebrated the long-awaited launch of race winner Dale Earnhardt  Jr.’s Twitter account, which he promised he would do if he won. Nine hours later, he already had 355,000 followers (and growing).

Read full post...

LinkedIn apathy — a curable disease

When it comes to social media, LinkedIn often gets overlooked. Think about it like siblings from TV’s most famous sitcoms. I’ll go with shows from three eras — The Brady Bunch, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Modern Family. Facebook is the pretty and popular older sibling (Marcia Brady, Hilary Banks, or Haley Dunphy). Twitter is the younger, lovable cutie pie (Cindy, Ashley, or Luke). And then we have LinkedIn — the middle child (Jan, Carlton, or Alex) — not as flashy, not as fun, definitely more nerdy.

Jammin on LinkedIn

If your website is indeed awesome, LinkedIn is an outstanding conduit to drive prospects there.

On “the world’s largest professional network,” your profile might suffer from inattention — only getting updates when you’re gearing up for a job search. But this modus operandi is outdated and you need to shake it off. Long known as the least-social social network, LinkedIn is slowly improving its social skills. Status updates, endorsements (love ’em or hate ’em), and now Pulse (news curation) make interacting with your connections — and, more important, prospective clients — both easier and more essential.Read full post...


Is “adult creep” making social media better for technology companies?

Unless you’ve been tucked away in an alternate dimension for the past decade or so, you know about social media. But are you aware of a social media phenomenon I’ve come to think of as adult creep?

Working adults are creeping into the more popular social media platforms.

Working adults are creeping into the more popular social media platforms.

Social media was originated and initially populated mostly by young people looking for a way to connect with each other, independent of distance and time. Lately, though, we working adults have started creeping into the more popular social media platforms at an increasing rate. And now that mom and dad may be peeking over their social-media shoulders, our younger counterparts are fleeing the established sites in droves, seeking a more congenial (read, less adult-populated) environment.

Adult creep has certainly increased the concentration of working adults plying social media sites. But does that mean business-to-business companies, particularly technology companies, can finally benefit from social media programs similar to the ones consumer-product marketers have found so enticing? Maybe. But tread carefully — it won’t be easy.Read full post...