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Social data to optimize your customer journey

Social data to optimize your customer journey

Wouldn’t it be nice if the customer journey was simple. User hears about a product => buys it. Easy. But in the real world, we know it’s not like that. People search reviews, Google companies, ask friends, etc., etc., etc. I’ll take a look at how the customer journey works, and how you can optimize yours with the power of social data.

Case Study - How an enterprise brand uses social data

Understanding the customer journey

Though there are numerous frameworks, the customer journey concept works pretty much the same. The AIDA marketing format is one of the earliest, accredited to Elias St. Elmo Lewis in the late 1880s:

customer journey AIDA model

AIDA model - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.

More recently, it’s developed further, with an additional stage in the journey.

customer journey AKIPA model

AKIPA Model - Awareness, Knowledge, Interest, Preference, Action.

You’ll also see it as the sales funnel, the content funnel, the buyer’s journey - Whatever you call it, it’s a way to take someone that’s never heard of your brand, and create a customer.

And by understanding the customer’s mindset in relation to how they consider your product or brand, will help you adapt your content, campaigns, and sales processes to improve the user experience, and increase your conversion rates.

Awareness or attention

The first stage is where you move your consumer from not even knowing your brand or product, to them being aware of it. It doesn’t mean they want to buy or would ever be in the market for your product, but at least it’s on their radar.

When it comes to future purchases, people will go the brands that are top of mind (those that they remember easily). This is why awareness is important.


Now, it’s about turning your brand from just a name in consumers’ minds into something more tangible. Where they start understanding the USPs of the product, and even incorporating the brand messaging into their knowledge.


This is where you convert that awareness into someone willing to use your product. By promoting the benefits, you get them engaging with the product, increasing the likelihood of purchase.

Preference or desire

Next, you want consumers to stop thinking about the product as something they might like, and instead as something they can't live without. This is when they will buy your product (as it’s now prefered over competitors’) but there could still be a hurdle (timing, budget, etc.).


Action is that final push that tips the consumer over the edge, and they make a purchase. From there on in, they’re a customer, which opens up more opportunities (further purchases, endorsements, etc.).

Once you understand your customer journey, you can easily identify gaps in your marketing, improve customer experience, and motivate people through your sales funnel.

The customer journey and data monitoring

To optimize your customer journey, you need data. And lots of it. Remember, you’re trying to understand the mindset and purchasing habits of an entire demographic, so the more data you have from your audience, the easier it will be to understand them. And the easier to understand what you’ll need to do next to entice them on their journey.

For this, a single source of truth will help. This integrates all your business data into one solution, providing you with a complete picture of your brand. It can include:

  • Social data. To help identify buying signs and brand engagement from your audience in their day-to day lives.
  • Customer data. Feedback from existing customers can shape products or brand messaging to solve potential pain points.
  • Consumer data. External industry data, like customer surveys and market research, will help you ask your audience direct questions. Helping you pinpoint their exact needs.

How to monitor awareness

Social media data is perfect for this. By monitoring the keywords for your brand or products during a campaign, you can see exactly how that campaign is working.

The trick is to benchmark your typical mentions prior to the campaign. Gaining 10,000 mentions in the week following launch means nothing if you have no data to compare it against. If you know that your typical mention rate is 7,000 per month, you can prove a significant increase.

customer journey - measuring brand mentions over time

For this two-pronged campaign launch, we can see 2 spikes in brand mentions. Awareness increased.

How to monitor knowledge

The next stage is about going deeper. Great, people are talking about your brand. But do they really understand it?

For this, you should measure sentiment and topics. Sentiment analysis enables you to quickly look at all those brand mentions, and categorize them as the good, the bad, or the indifferent. This sentiment means they know enough about the brand to actually like it.

customer journey - measure net sentiment over time

The sentiment shows that of the two mention peaks above, it was the second that was received positively, and had a positive impact on the brand sentiment overall.

You can also look into the consumer uptake of key campaign topics. You spent the time shaping your campaign story to highlight the product USPs, now you need to see how well your audience picked them up.

What you need to do is monitor the conversations and customer feedback being created around your brand. Look at the key topics that crop up around your brand mentions, with a particular focus on the key elements of your messaging. That way, you can tell if consumers are taking what you have to say onboard.

customer journey - key message uptake

For this campaign, the key message was that the new beverage was refreshing. As you can see, that element was picked up quickly by the audience.

At this point, additional survey or market research data could be added to drill down into your audience, to discover exactly what elements of the campaign worked - so you know what to replicate in the future.

Monitoring review data is also beneficial. At this stage, people will be comparing your products to your competitors’. Reviews help highlight the pain points you’ll need to spin, and the overall consumer perception that you have to work with (or against).

How to monitor interest and desire

Here, you can dig deeper into your consumer buying intentions, to help track buyer’s intent.

For this, more customized conversation monitoring is required, with queries designed to detect language that correlates with buying habits.

These can be more generic phrases such as “I’d like to try...” “I can’t wait to do...” or “I need a…” Or more question-driven mentions that show active interest, typically related to industry pain points, like, “which is better, X or Y?”, “will Z do this?” or “can anyone recommend a YMCA?”

This can be combined with existing sales or customer service data, to highlight the conversations your sales team are having with prospects. This will help you define if there are consistent product pain points that have to be overcome through your messaging.

How to monitor action

Lastly, you want to monitor the final results. Which generally means product sales. You could just look at the bottom line, but if you want to see the impact of your customer journey on those figures, you should incorporate your sales figures into your analytics platform to find the correlation.

customer journey - sales vs mentions correlation

Here you can see the direct impact of the increase in brand mentions against sales.

Plus, the sale is never the end of the trip. You can analyze further data for:

  • Monitoring new customer journeys. Understand exactly how your latest acquisitions moved from start to end, so you can replicate and optimize that process further.
  • Upselling and encouraging future purchases. It’s easier to sell to someone who has bought before. Analyze your new customer data to find further marketing opportunities.
  • Turning customers into brand advocates. By incorporating your data with a Net Promoter Score survey, you can identify your brand promoters - people more likely to recommend your brand to others.

The complete data journey

The customer journey is complicated, and will become more so as digital and physical touchpoints increase. But that doesn’t mean it’s not manageable.

By monitoring all your data, from social, from reviews, from sales, from the industry, you can track the journey from start to finish. Helping you understand exactly how people go from the unknown, to loyal customers.

To see how Talkwalker provides a complete data monitoring solution to track your customer journey, request a free demo below.

customer journey - customer data + CTA