A sales funnel is an integral part of any marketing strategy. At each stage, different channels come into play in order to encourage and guide the user to the next stage.
Social media is often seen as a top-of-funnel tactic, to attract new users and filter them to the next steps. However, what a lot of people don't realize is that social media has a big part to play at each stage, from top to bottom of the funnel.
Let's take a look at how to build a social media sales funnel that will actually help potential customers to convert to actual customers.
What is a Sales Funnel?
Sales funnels have various stages and definitions, depending on who you are talking to and where they are in the customer journey. At its very core, a sales funnel will have four main components.
The first stage of the sales and marketing funnel typically requires content that not only makes prospects aware of your business but makes them aware of a problem they have. By making them aware of this problem, they will begin hunting for answers that you can provide in the consideration stage.
Once a prospect is aware that they have a need or a problem, they become a lead and begin looking for answers. They consider many solutions as options and usually many businesses that can help them out too. This is where valuable and educational content comes into play, showcasing that you have the solution for what they need.
In this stage, your lead turns into a customer. They are ready to make a decision and, if you have been there for them all along, they will most likely choose you. This is where validation and social proof—such as ratings and reviews—come into play.
Advocacy happens once your customers are delighted with the product or service that you are offering. This is typically a customer service job to delight customers, and turning them into advocates means that they will send more leads your way to filter down through the funnel stages once again.
Some marketers will get more granular with this as they want to have more control over the flow of traffic. The key is to nurture users from one stage to the other, filtering, building interest, and increasing the likelihood to convert as you move down the funnel.
How To Build A Social Media Sales Funnel
Social media is traditionally seen as an 'awareness' stage tactic to attract new prospects into your funnel. Social media is actually a powerful tool that can filter prospects into conversions and eventually turn them into brand advocates.
Social Media Awareness
At the top of the funnel, social media is a great tool and channel to reach people who have never heard of you. Social sharing, social advertising, and regular content all go a long way in attracting new prospects and filling the top level of the social media sales funnel.
By publishing content that makes people aware of a problem they may be facing, you are piquing their curiosity. They will begin to investigate further and move down the funnel towards the consideration stage.
Type of Content
Video at the top-of-funnel level allows you to quickly grab the attention of someone who has never previously heard of your brand. As attention spans get shorter and people are bombarded with more and more brand messages, it's important to make your stand out in the first 6 seconds.
Using colours that stand out will ensure that your social posts catch the eye of potential leads as they scroll through their newsfeed. Social media is highly visual and your posts need to be able to differentiate yourself from the pack at a glance.
Informative infographics allow you to get interesting and unique information to potential customers in an engaging way. Have some facts that you think will hook social media users and draw attention to their needs? Try creating an infographic!
Who to Target
In the brand awareness stage of the social media marketing funnel, you are typically targeting people who have never interacted with your business before. Understanding your ideal buyer persona is important at this stage, as targeting is relatively broad. You want to be able to eliminate the people who definitely won't be interested in your business.
Target people based on gender, location, age, interests, and even job title. This will allow you to narrow down the demographic and really only hit those that will be worthwhile further down the line.
Social Media Consideration
Once you have attained a prospect's attention by identifying a problem or question that they have, you can begin to create content that answers and solves it for them. It is at this step that your social followers may begin to reach out and ask questions, and interact with the posts that you publish.
In the consideration stage, it's important to be reactive to discussions that happen on your social media profiles, and direct followers towards content that you have designed to convert them into paying customers.
Type of Content
Educational Blog Posts
Posts that address solutions to a prospect's needs are a great way of getting them to your website or landing page. The purpose of these posts is to drive traffic to your website so that they can consider your solution as an option for solving their problem.
Ads that promote content that requires an email address to download is a great way of capturing lead information that you can use to nurture down into the low levels of the funnel.
Who to Target
At this stage, people have generally already interacted with your brand. That's why setting up tracking, such as Facebook's pixel or Google Ads tags, is important. You can retarget website visitors and people who have interacted with your social profiles with valuable pieces of content that helps them get to the next stage of the social media sales funnel.
Social Media Conversion
The step that we all strive for is conversion. This is where your followers have filtered down the sales funnel and now trust your company enough that they are ready to make a purchase. In this step, reviews and ratings are especially important on social media, as potential customers will look for proof and verification from other users that your product/service is worth purchasing.
Type of Content
Posts/Ads with Incentive
Adding an incentive to posts at this stage of the funnel can often push leads over the line into a conversion. This could be displaying promoting reviews that showcase the benefits that your product/service has had for other paying customers.
Ads to Purchase with a CTA
A call-to-action, such as 'Start Your Free Trial', when your leads are already warmed up is surprisingly sometimes all it takes. Make sure that the intent of your ad is clear with one CTA for the action that you want your lead to take.
Who to Target
At this stage, you want to target very warm leads i.e. those leads that are most likely to convert. You can do this by analyzing how people interact with your website, and setting up audiences based on who has interacted with your most valuable content and for how long.
Social Media Advocacy
Once a customer has purchased, it's your time to delight them with your customer service. Social media plays a big part in this, as you continue to provide educational and relevant content that helps them with your product/service.
By converting customers into advocates, you are widening the top of your social media sales funnel by accessing the network of your advocates and drawing new prospects in to keep the cycle going.
Type of Content
Publishing testimonials on social media not only engage the consideration and conversion stage but also have the ability to turn other paying customers into advocates. Testimonials have the ability to encourage others to leave their own testimonials as they too want to share their experience with your product/service.
Posts that Engage Customers
Engaging specifically with customers can have a big impact on turning them into advocates. For example, create posts that prompt customers to share how they're using your product/service and encourage them to use a certain hashtag. This will allow you to create a community and brand loyalty around your most valuable users.
Who to Target
Targeting existing customers at this stage is your best bet at getting testimonials and reviews that you can use to share with prospects and leads who are higher up the social media sales funnel.
Track Your Social Media Success
To verify how well your social media funnel is working, it's important to have the proper social media tracking in place. Within your AgencyAnalytics account, you can set up a single, unified dashboard that tracks all of your clients' social media analytics in one place.
From here, you can get an overview of how your social media efforts are going through tracking comments, likes, shares, retweets, follows, and much more. And using the social media reporting template, you can quickly pull this data together and deliver it to your clients in minutes. Some of the important social media metrics to track when validating your social media efforts include:
Followers and subscribers are generally the first indications of how reputable a social profile is. At a glance, it gives other social media users a sense of how popular a business is.
Conversions from social will showcase how well your lower-funnel is performing. If you are getting a lot of web traffic from social but low conversions, you can identify the problem areas within your social media funnel that need addressing.
Similar to conversions, revenue from social is used to determine your ROI from your social efforts. It gives you a quick insight into whether what you're doing on social is really paying off.
If your website is your storefront, then getting visitors there should be one of your main goals. Tracking this metric on a graph will allow you to correlate certain posts, days, or events with peaks and valleys of website traffic.
A high number of likes on your social media profiles doesn't always mean a successful social presence. Interactivity on your profiles is more of an indicator, and if you are getting a high number of comments, the middle of the funnel is most likely performing well.
As mentioned above, likes a good indication of following but not so much of interactivity. It's important for published posts to have likes for social validation, but comments and conversations are the true metrics to strive for.
Demographics allows you to see where your users are from. This will allow you to tailor your content marketing specifically to them, thus increasing your interactivity rate and social proof.
To track how well each level of your social media sales funnel is performing, check out our live social media dashboard template and implement it in your own AgencyAnalytics account!
Alex is in product marketing, pushing the great work from the engineering team out into the world. When he's not marketing, he's probably rock climbing or researching the latest eCommerce trends!Read more posts by Alex Girardi ›