European consumers may be active on social networks – but does that mean they use social in their path to purchase?
To understand how open customers are to receiving messages from brands in social media, the question has to shift from “How social are our customers?” to “How social are our customers in their path to purchase?”
Given the amount of time consumers spend on social networks, marketers intuitively know they need to be present on social media but many still struggle to pin point exactly:
- Why they need a social presence – or rather, how they can be relevant on social media,
- How much resources to invest in social media,
- And where to invest these resources.
Forrester has developed the Social Technographics Framework to help marketers address exactly these questions. Using Forrester data to analyze the social behavior of various consumer groups and their inclination to use social touchpoints in their interactions with brands, the framework helps marketers determine:
- How important social media should be to their marketing plan
- When their audiences rely on social touchpoints in their customer journey
- What social touchpoints their audiences use, and to what ends
Differences are flagrant across consumer groups and markets. Already just at a country level, we see Italian and Spanish consumers actively interact with brands on social networks, while French and British consumers progressively transition from passive to active social media engagement as part of their customer journey. At the lower end of the spectrum, German consumers remain sceptics when it comes to using social touchpoints as part of their buyer journey: two out of three German consumers either avoid or are indifferent to messages from brands in social media, compared with only two out of five in Italy or Spain.
I explore key trends across five European markets (the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) in more depth in the recently published “Use Social Technographics® To Better Serve European Audiences” report.