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Where Does Social Media Fit into the Customer Journey?

Businesses know that they must have a presence on social media, but they don’t know how to use it. The wonderful thing about social media is that there are multiple platforms and countless ways to use them. It can also be overwhelming for some business owners who begin social media marketing without a plan.

To understand how to use social media marketing, you first have to understand how your customers think. We’ve posted a lot about this idea customer journey a lot in the past, but it is critical to your customers. The bottom line is that there are seven behaviors that all of your customers exhibit as they interact with your company: know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer. It is your job to guide them through those behaviors.

You can use social media to assist in guiding several of these behaviors, particularly know, like, trust, repeat and refer. If you go into your social media marketing campaign with the mindset of achieving these behaviors with customers and potential customers, social media suddenly becomes much clearer.

But each of these behaviors requires specific tactics to achieve. Here’s how to use social media to guide your customers through their journey.


Social media is incredibly helpful in first introducing your customers to your business or product. Being active on social media, especially Google+, and engaging with your local community can help your SEO ranks. Often, social media channels will show up high on any local search. Frequently use keywords for which you want to show up in searches, and you can improve your search engine rankings in those keywords.

In addition, social media advertising has become more robust and effective over the years. You can target potential customers based on interest, who they follow or like, even location getting your brand/product or service in front of more of your ideal clients.


Because social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook give businesses unlimited opportunities to interact with their fans, you have a chance to get them to like you and your business beyond your product. Be active and present in local social events, even cheer on local sports teams during big games. Enjoy the moment with your community, and your community will respond.


The longer a person is engaged and likes a business on social media, the more likely they are to trust that business. Share customer testimonials and ask your customers why they like and use your product, prospective customers can see what value your product provides.

In addition, if you use social media as a customer service tool, (I’ll explain how later) potential clients can see and know that they will be taken care of after they buy.


At Duct Tape Marketing, we know that if you hold a customer’s hand for 90 days, you’ve kept them for life. Maybe the customer doesn’t need as much hand-holding. You can interact with them using social media to increase brand loyalty. If they post something related to the use of your product, respond and reach out. They’ll feel important to your business and want to continue to work with you.


Finally, you can use social media to not only get your customers to refer your business, but share those referrals with other potential clients. Ask your customers to tweet with a photo using your product, or post a picture of the completed service on Facebook. If you share and retweet those referrals and endorsements, you can reach an even larger audience than the individual networks of your customers.

Social media platforms are powerful tools to help you market your business. Knowing which behaviors your customers exhibit, and how to tap into those behaviors on social media are critical to having a successful social media plan.

If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Social Media.

Alex-Boyer-Photo-150x150-e1420769709443Alex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. You can connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC

15 4 Helpful Automation Tools

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is from Josh Ludin – Enjoy!

A friend of mine, and fellow small business founder, told me a funny story recently. He had a meeting scheduled with a bank to secure a loan – his very first meeting of this sort – and during the meeting, the loan officer asked him “So what is your position? President, CEO?” My friend sat back, thought for a second, and replied “well last night, I was the Janitor!”

As a small business owner, we wear many hats and are in charge of managing many aspects of our business simultaneously. Whether it’s customer service, bookkeeping, sales, fulfillment and distribution, or any of the other necessary tasks required to maintain a business, time is of the essence. And now, with so many social media channels available to communicate with our customers and build a pipeline of leads, it’s extremely time consuming to stay on top of your game. So, I wanted to give you a cheat sheet of tools that will make automating your social media so much easier and consequently, more effective. You will love this list, but I want to preface it with this note, which somebody advised me of years ago and I couldn’t agree more; don’t try and tackle all social media channels at once, but rather develop 1 or 2 at a time until you have a strong following and are managing them without too much of a headache. If you try and dive into Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest, LinkedIn, Google+, and so on, you will just be spinning your wheels. So to the cheat sheet…

1. TweetAdder

Building a twitter following is tough, and then once you build that following, you really need to be posting 3-5 times daily in order to really remain relevant. But Twitter can be such an amazing tool for lead generation, and it is by far the easiest tool to use to communicate with your customers. TweetAdder is great because it allows you to completely automate your tweeting. You simply upload a list of tweets you want to send out (I usually do about 50 at a time) and then you tell TweetAdder the intervals of time between tweets and you’re done. Additionally, you can pick other Twitter accounts to retweet at set intervals as well. And then on top of that, it makes it easy to add people that are part of your target audience. You can search for people who are using certain keywords, and start following them, and then about 15% of those people end up following you back (and, you can unfollow people who don’t!). This tool has helped me build up my twitter following, and manage my communication with ease.


When you write a new blog post, you know that you need to share it across all of your social media channels. But that takes a lot of time. You have to create a new post for each and every one of the channels, so created an application that makes it much easier. You select your RSS feed and assign it to each account that you want to share your new posts on. And then, whenever a new post is created, the RSS feed automatically distributes the post across all of your social media channels. You can be completely hands off.

3. AWeber

We’ve all heard the saying before “The Money is In the List” – but once you build up your email marketing list, how you reach out to your new leads is key. AWeber allows you to send new leads emails in pretermined intervals so you can lead your potential customers right down the sales pipeline as you would like, every time.

4. Zapier

Zapier allows you to ‘Zap’ new posts from one online tool to another – and works with almost every online platform out there. For example, if you post a new video on your youtube channel, it will send out a Facebook message. So you can automate events to take place on one platform when another specified event happens on another platform.


As I mentioned, social media management is extremely time consuming. Fortunately, all these headaches have been experienced by others, so now we have amazing tools at our disposal. Automating this aspect of your business is a necessity – suggestions for any other tools that I missed would be greatly appreciated!



Josh Ludin is the founder of the subscription box Blind Surprise and writes about his path to making money online, and more importantly his mistakes to avoid, at He is determined to motivate aspiring entrepreneurs to take the leap of faith and begin building businesses and create the lifestyles many only dream of from the confines of their cubicle. Additinonally, he writes about start up advice and hacks to help young businesses get over that first plateau and find profitability.

10 My Blogging Editorial Calendar Radar

This post was prompted by a reader’s question and I thought the answer might be great to share with a broader audience here. A few weeks ago I outlined my social media system. One of the items on my list was the fact that I write a blog post each morning.

So, here’s the question from a reader: “One thing that caught my eye – you mentioned you write your blog post each day. Do you write it real-time for that day or do you have a few in advance reserve that you draw from and post? Also do you have an editorial calendar that you write by theme or do you write more spontaneously?

First to answer the specific of the question.
1) most blog software allows you to create multiple blog posts in one sitting and then schedule when they go live on your blog. This is not a bad way to manage for some, but I must admit that I write most of my posts in real-time with the intention of hitting the publish button.

2) When I first started blogging I created a notebook with about 100 topics I knew I wanted to blog about as content around my keyword phrases and area of desired thought leadership. (At first blog content is mostly about ranking higher in the search engines, audience and subscribers come from doing that.) Now, I may subconsciously refer to my original list, but I have also developed this well honed radar that is always on in the background observing my world for post content. (I find myself writing content in my head at all times – with great apologies to my wife when we are out for dinner.)

In terms of advice for bloggers new and seasoned – Blog to meet your objectives. For most, search engine traffic for nifty phrases should be your first goal. I know that sounds like creativity killing advice, but no one wants to read your blog just yet, but they do want to find the answers to the questions they are typing into search engines, and that’s how you develop readers and sell stuff.

The best source of blog content is the questions your customers and prospects are asking you. Get a question, answer with a blog post. Also, make it a point to run by sites like delicious and yahoo answers and digg to see what kinds of things people in you industry are writing about that others are bookmarking as good stuff.

And a few more readers shared their social media systems:
Chris Kluis
Paul Chaney
Bran Kleinman

PS – Did anyone notice that this blog post was an example of what I suggested you do?

8 My Social Media System continued again

Here’s the post that started this social media system thread – and where you can see all the follow-ups

Today’s social media system example comes from Amber Naslund. Amber is a social media and marketing upstart, and exercises her social media chops daily as the Director of Community for Radian6.

I’m learning way more from this series than I could have ever imagined. (hope you are too!) Amber warned me that her approach and organization might be different than my own – and that’s exactly what I wanted. Harder to teach yourself new tricks – easier to learn from others!

And, readers are chiming it too:
Elena Kostovska – Skopje, Macedonia
Robert Brady – Provo, UT

Have you documented your system? Add it to the comments or post it to your blog and send or tweet the link.

9 Social Media System with Chris Brogan

This is a continuation of my Social Media System Post where I asked other social media users to share what their system looked like (Click here to see all the posts on this)

In this post I was thrilled to find Chris Brogan willing to share his social media routine. Chris is one of the most social, social media users I have encountered and his large following can attest to that.

Chris’s system is frightening overkill for some, but understand that he gets, in his words – (40-60% of my opportunities come from Twitter)

Chris always has something to add to any conversation and you should have his blog at the top of your reading list.

Here’s a point that stuck with me – “In doing the work of defining one’s system, many things come up, and this exercise turned out to be more worth it than I thought.

So, define your system and share it – I’m putting together an ebook on this and would love to include some helpful routines – you don’t need 10,000 twitter followers to share what works for you! Leave it as a comment or post it on your blog and let me know about it.

36 Social Media Hierarchy Revisted

A while back I wrote a post that outlined what I called the hierarchy of social media. In that post I compared the tools commonly employed in social media to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. The primary notion being that certain tools were more suited to someone just getting started, meeting basic needs, than someone deeply evolved and more suited to more advanced needs.

As the actual social media tools, blogs, RSS, and social networks evolve over time (twitter is more useful when more people use it), I find myself reevaluating my thinking on this point. I still consider there to be a hierarchy in social media, but one that’s built around actual practices or activities more so than the tools.

So my new hierarchy or pyramid has evolved to this

Until you create a social media strategic plan based on marketing objectives, and find ways to use social media tools to listen and join the conversation going on in your markets, you may find it harder to engage and network and ultimately build relationships and sales through the use of social media tools.

I believe the process for meeting long-term marketing objectives through social media is universal, but the tools needed to meet them are not. Twitter may indeed be a primary social media tool for some, while the Facebook platform or a blog is what allows another to progress through these stages. A third organization may find they can strategically move through the hierarchy by integrating every tool in the toolbox with their offline initiatives.

Plan, listen, join and grow!

2 Social Media Systems Continued

Last week I wrote about my way to manage the social media beast and then asked other active social media folks to do that same. Today’s system overview comes by way of Tim Berry, founder of Palo Alto Software blogging at the Huffington Post. Tim’s take is affably title Down the Social Media Rabbit Hole

Tim’s take is so perfect – and one of the reasons I wanted to pursue this – take heart, Tim asks as many questions are proposes solutions and that’s the way most of us, even self or otherwise professed experts of this stuff feel.

For me, though, it’s not so systematic. In fact, my 18-month journey into the soft white underbelly of social media is more like delightful, alluring, distracting, disorderly chaos. I’m 61. If this post had a sound track, it would be White Rabbit, by Jefferson Airplane. In fact, I just put that onto iTunes, while I write this. ~ Tim Berry

Let’s keep this up – who else to we need to harass into sharing their system – have you shared your system?

11 My Social Media System Part 2

My Social Media System post from yesterday – my system for managing all the social media activity struck a cord with many of the folks struggling with ways to get all this done and still do the stuff of the business.

At the suggestion of one reader I’ve asked a dozen of so others that are very active in social media to share their systems with the idea that this kind of example might make a great collection.

I asked Chris Brogan; Brian Clark; Seth Godin; Guy Kawasaki; Paul Chaney; aaron wall; Anita Campbell; Anil Dash; Ann Handley; Ben McConnell; Bryan Eisenberg; Chris Baggott; Emily Chang; Ivan Misner; Jason McCabe Calacanis; John Battelle; Lee Odden; Li, Charlene; Rohit Bhargava; Scott Allen; Steve Rubel; Tim Berry; Tim Ferriss; Mack Collier (this isn’t the end all list, I just happen to communication regularly with this group)

If you would like to see this kind of blog post and collection of social media routines from this group or anyone you think should be included harass them to share and send me a note so we can put these together as a cool collection of real-life use.

Chris Baggott, CEO of Compendium Blogware got us started with this post

86 My Social Media System

At a recent social media workshop a participant asked me to reveal my social media routine – how I track, converse, communicate and otherwise curate all my various social media activities. I paused to think about it for a while because I never really considered what I do a routine, but it occurred to me that, in fact, I do have a systematic approach to social media. (No surprise really, I’m a systems thinker and I just do it habitually – ask my wife, I have a system for making the bed and loading the dishwasher.)

I do think that participating fully in social media as a business and marketing strategy requires discipline, automation routines and a daily commitment. Now, you’ve got to balance that with the fact that much of your activity is about building long-term momentum and deeper networks and that doesn’t always make the cash register ring today. So, some of what I do won’t be right for all, but I thought I would share my systematic approach in the hopes this may reveal some tips that make your experience more fruitful. (I won’t take the space in this post to explain what all of the tools are that I mention, I’ve probably written about most, so try my search box above.)


  • Check twitter via Tweetdeck – preset searches for @ducttape, john jantsch, and duct tape marketing – respond as I see fit, follow some @replies that seem appropriate.
  • Scan mybloglog – I obsess over traffic, but this reveals trending links and stumble surges in real time so I can react if appropriate.
  • Respond to comments on my blog

  • Write a blog post – RSS subs get it, twitter tools sends to twitter, Facebook gets it, FriendFeed updates
  • Scan twitter followers for relevant conversations to join
  • Scan Google Reader subscriptions to read and stimulate ideas
  • Share Google Reader favs – these publish to Facebook and you can subscribe
  • FleckTweet any blog pages from my subscriptions that I love – this goes to twitter
  • Bookmark any blog pages from my subscriptions that I love – delicious using Firefox plugin for right click posting – this goes to FriendFeed
  • Stumble any blog pages from my subscriptions that I love – this goes to Facebook and FriendFeed
  • Scan Google Alerts for my name, brand and products – in Google Reader as RSS feed – respond as appropriate
  • Add comments to blogs as appropriate – mostly response types – Google Reader and BackType
    Weekly (end)

  • Scan LinkedIn Questions from my network and respond when appropriate
  • Scan delicious, digg and mixx popular and select bookmarks for content ideas and trending topics
  • Consciously add comments to conversations I want to join – hot topic focused
  • Join one twitter hot trend conversation if appropriate – shows these in real time

  • Check MrTweet for new twitter follow recommendations
  • Scan Amazon’s upcoming and new releases for authors to interview on podcast (the big names seem more accessible with a book release coming!)
  • Post a press release with social media links to PitchEngine or PRWeb (this changes depending on what’s going on, but at least monthly.)
  • Strategize on ways to repurpose and repackage any and all of this in ways that make it more accessible to another audience.

For some this just seems crazy – others will notice some obvious glaring holes in this system – the point though is the system approach. Set your system up and work it, day in and day out, whatever that means for you, and then you will start to understand the vital role that social media can come to play in your overall marketing strategy.

This is my way and one way only – please share your tips for managing the beast!