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Using Social Analytics to optimize your purchase funnel

Using Social Analytics to optimize your purchase funnel

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As of the first quarter of 2015, Facebook had 1.44 billion monthly active users. Twitter has 302 Million MAU and Instagram, 300 Million. The major social media are present across demographics, age groups and nationalities.

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social analytics

Combined, these users, cutting across demographics generate 500 Million tweets a day and require facebook to store an additional 600TB of data per day. In effect, consumers today, generate a digital footprint around themselves, adding to it with every like, every post, every comment and every click.

As in the infographic below, 83% of the shoppers surveyed were regular users of Social media, out of which 68% were heavily engaged on Facebook, followed by 35% on Linkedin and 20% on Twitter.

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social analytics

While a few years ago, customer information of such granularity was only available in the realms of dreams of any marketing executive, today it is available at a click of a button. These analytics are bringing us ever closer to understanding our customer, his/her needs and reactions in real time, all the time. As customers respond to our advertisement or that of our competitor, we can, in real time understand the reception of our efforts. As they share it, we can understand their engagement. As they complain, we can respond, plug in the holes and hopefully, earn their loyalty for life.

These social analytics have the capability to help us increase both the reach and effectiveness of our purchase funnels and therefore have a direct impact on our revenue by increase our influence amongst the aware and by responding to roadblocks amongst the on-the-fence.

social analytics

While most companies have a slight customization in their purchase funnel, the general funnel revolves starts with making the customer aware of the product, gaining his interest, facilitating the decision making process, ultimately resulting in a purchase. The code Halos generated by the customer have enabled companies today to reinforce this traditional structure with analytics allowing them to course correct in real time.

Using Social Analytics during the Attention Stage

As the entry point for customers within the purchase funnel, the attention stage is critical to the success of any product. Companies need to be have their proverbial ears to the ground in pursuit of understanding if their customers are aware of their new product, specially when compared to their competitors. In ther words, it is critical to understand not only if buzz exists for your product and/or promotion, but also if the target demographic is associating the “right” attributes to the product.

The sample framework below showcases some of the key pieces of information you require to understand if your Marketing efforts are paying off.

You Competitor 1 Competitor 2 Baseline from Last year
1 How many are aware of our product
2 How many are aware of the promotion
3 How many are aware of the timelines
4 How many are talking about the problem we are trying to solve
5 Top attributes are associated with our product
6 Are repeat customers engaged
7 Are product and brand evangelists aware
8 Are brand evangelists engaging their followers?
9 Are there any specific attributes that are being ignored
10 What touchpoints and platforms have the maximum engagement
11` What touchpoints and platforms maximize share response

This enables you to discover and identify any dark spots in your larger plan and course correct.

Measuring the Engagement Levels during the Interest Stage

Traditionally, Gaining the interest of the potential customer has been a harder process than grabbing their attention.

With the help of Natural Language Processing capabilities, Social Media Analytics are particularly adept at discovering if potential customers are interesting in and engaged with our product messaging.  Even more critically, they are capable of discovering which attributes are customers most interested in and lead to greater “shares”.

You Competitor 1 Competitor 2 Baseline from Last year
1 Number of shares, retweets, responses and comments
2 Shares for problem our product is trying to solve
3 What are the top attributes that people comment on
4 What are the top attributes that people share with their followers
5 Top questions or issues are being tweeted back to us
6 Repeat customers and evangelists engagement
7 What are category influencers (reviewers) communicating?
8 Speciality blogs share of comments
9 Top keywords before customers become disengaged with the brand
10 Top issues re-tweeted or shared

Social Analytics and the Desire Stage

The movement from Interest to desire is a watershed event in the customer lifecycle.

It is at this time, when the customer has made the decision that “all other things equal” our product solves his problem better than the competitor’s. At this point, our key purpose is to understand why and how many people recognize this and what if anything, is stopping those these customers from purchasing.

At this stage, it is critical for us to measure which of our product’s and brand’s attributes have convinced the target demographic of the superiority of our product in solving their problem. It is also critical to understand how many are convinced and what factors, if any, are stopping the customer from making the final purchase. Additionally, this stage enables us to course correct our efforts and reeducating the customers after understanding the gray areas without marketing efforts.

Some of the key questions that social media analytics can help us understand, through processing the voice of the masses, follow.

You Competitor 1 Competitor 2 Baseline from Last year
1 How are customers tweeting our products compare to the competitors
2 What are the top attributes for the product category
3 For which attributes do our products rank top amongst the competitors
4 What attributes do we rank lower amongst the competitors
5 Which competitive review blogs were most effective in generating desire
6 What keywords to people most often associate in competitive reviews and assciated comments
7 At what point (comment etc) do people most often begin to choose the competitor
8 What non-product factors (cost, availability etc) cause people to choose us
9 What non-product attributes cause people to engage with the competitor


People today, it is often said, actualize themselves through the brands. The hipster will buy from a small, independantly owned coffee shop. The on-the-go executive may prefer the Thinkpad. A married father of two would buy the volvo and shop at Target. In this environment, it is increasingly critical to remind and measure a customer’s engagement with the “right” attributes and USP of your brand. Because if s/he isnt listening to you, s/he is listening to your competitor.

Strengthening the Sale – The Action Stage

After a decision has been made by the customers, the user usually takes one of three paths

  1. Buys on instinct
  2. Buys post planning
  3. Does not buy

Therefore the marketing organization usually centers its efforts around helping the sale along through providing easy payment plans, links to purchase, information on flash sales, early bird invites amongst other things. It is critical to understand how many of the potential customers who already desire the product take the leap and close the sale. Even more critical perhaps, is understanding why those who actively desire the product, don’t purchase.

As in the sameple framework below, Social Analytics can provide an excalibur for you in understanding why some of the sales appear so close, yet remain so far.

You Competitor 1 Competitor 2 Baseline from Last year
1 How many customers have tweeted and/or shared the sale
2 How many customers clicked the link/promotion
3 How may liked, shared and or otherwise let their followers know
4 How many reported a problem with any product attribute
5 How many problems are reported at any touchpoint
6 What is the post purchase sentiment
7 How many people are tweeting post purchase
8 What purchase “sweeteners” (Sale, EZ pay etc) are most successful in closing the deal


An old thought experiment goes “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Your customers have chosen to voice their thoughts and desires on the woods of social media. They are actively looking for products for their needs and meaningful engagement with brands. Social media analytics allows you to create a bridge across the chasm and actively listen to their needs and establish two way dialog centered around their solutions.

Close the gap. Your customers deserve it.

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