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A social media marketing funnel can make all the difference in driving social sales and monetising followers. Whilst social media is really helpful for brands to drive market awareness and reach, many have struggled to translate their followers into sales.
According to the Internet Trends Report 2018, “78% of adult Facebook users in the United States buy a product that they found on social media.” The opportunity is huge but building a social media marketing funnel is critical to capture those customers.
Social media as part of a marketing funnel
Paid social ads are a great way of promoting a product or service to the exact target customer. Brands can use Facebook’s tracking and re-targeting pixels to build personalised audiences that are most likely to buy. Also, by tracking user’s interactions with the ads, brands can increase the frequency of the ads that are shown to those who are likely interested to buy.
Using this approach, social media can drive users into a marketing funnel that has been built on your website.
Factors to consider when building a social media marketing funnel
Consider the platform
The most important thing to know is the customer. Where do they hang out online and what content engages them the most? Every sector is different – some industries have their audience on Youtube whereas other gain the most engagement on Pinterest.
Analysing where the competition spend their energies (and the platforms that they have their biggest followings) can give you a good idea of where your social media funnel should be configured.
Provide value for customers
Whether you explore marketing funnel options or want to amplify your content marketing, maintaining interests and engagement is vital. With so many brands vying for attention on social media, your content has to stand out and captivate them. One of the best ways of identifying what the audience wants from you is to read through their discussions.
- Facebook groups – what are your potential customers saying in social media groups?
- Forums – what are their gripes, passion points and problems that they can’t solve?
- Amazon book reviews – What was lacking from that industry niche book they just reviewed?
Consumers are always looking to find value in what brands have to offer, so doing the research will really help you know the content that you need to produce to maximise their engagement.
Planning the social media sales funnel
When building a social media marketing funnel, a good strategy is to make sure that the brand’s tactics cover every stage of the customer’s purchase consideration journey.
Social media funnels slightly differ from other marketing funnels because there is a much heavier emphasis on the evaluation stage – it’s just plain easier to compare products via social media platforms.
The brand’s social media sales funnel needs to be configured to answer specific question that users have at every stage of their buying journey. When brands overlook this, the social media funnel tends to have a lower performance.
Choose a maximum of two tactics of every stage in the funnel. Once the brand has mastered those tactics, add new ones to strengthen the social media funnel.
Building blocks to plan a social media funnel – broken down by stage
1. Awareness – How will the leads find the brand on social media?
There are plenty of ways to increase awareness through social media:
- Use Facebook Live to broadcast a live webinar or presentation
- Launch a social media contest – consider using the tools Evalato, Easypromos and Rafflecopter.
- Publish videos on YouTube to attract subscribers.
- Repurpose your videos on Instagram, Linkedin and Twitter.
- In Twitter – re-post your tweets several times. The lifespan of a tweet is short and not all followers see it. Posting it several times will get more attention. Consider scheduling 3-5 times in a single week making sure to release it on different times of the day to reach your full followerbase.
- Create striking such as infographics, GIFs, and Twitter cards.
- Re-purpose your content into different formats and reuse it – For example, a blog post can be re-purposed into a simple visual post that can be used on Instagram or Facebook. Consider posting key takeaways from blog posts or short quotes in your content re-purposing strategy.
- Monitor brand mentions and the organic growth of the social media channels to see if the brand is using the right tactics. Carefully monitor the content that gets the most engagement and double down on this content to maximise your content ROI.
- Use paid social media campaigns including ads and partnering with influencers.
2. Evaluation – How will they use social media to compare your brands to competitors?
Awareness is not enough, brands need to make sure that they have enough case studies, reviews and other credible information to persuade browsers to become buyers.
- Gain positive reviews on your Facebook and Google My Business Page.
- Use tools like Linkt.ree on Instagram to create more dynamic landing pages when people click through – these enhanced bio links can include promotions, promote bog posts and drive users to sign up to your email newsletter.
- Create video testimonials from existing customers and social media accounts.
- Include product shots on Instagram or Pinterest with full technical specifications – and make those posts shoppable posts so users can make the purchase immediately if they wish.
- Use Facebook re-marketing ads to re-target users that have already been to your website (but have not made the purchase). These ads can focus on promoting the unique features and benefits of your product along with a special promotional price to drive the sale.
3. Action – How can the brand get the leads to buy or convert?
Leads need a little push to buy, so brands need to help with these strategies:
- Use Instagram and Facebook ads with timed offers or coupons targeted at the most highly engaged followers and website visitors.
- Convert social media traffic into email sign-ups – You can capture emails directly on Facebook with lead capture ads or on a facebook page with a lead capture form there.
- Launch a social media contests with purchase incentives – the contest can give away the product to three lucky winners and provide a 25% discount to everyone else entering the contest for example.
- Create social media landing pages.
- Use Facebook remarketing ads with offers – limited time offers and limited stock offers are great to drive the sale.
- Use buy buttons – Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest all allow you to configure your posts to be ‘shoppable’ in order to turn those browsers into buyers.
4. Engagement – How can the brand use social media platforms to keep in touch with customers?
Keeping customers engaged helps nurture customers, drive advocacy and gives brands the chance to sell new products in the future.
- Host regular Twitter Chats.
- Use Facebook Live to answer customer questions.
- Set up a Facebook group for your customers – deliver valued content, announce new products and deliver customer service in the group to keep those customers highly engaged.
5. Advocacy – How can the brand encourage customers to recommend the product/services on social media?
Make it easy for customers to share their experience. This will increase trust and credibility, as well as, attract new customers.
- Incentivised referrals – Offer customers a discount off their next purchase for referring one of their friends.
- Incentivised advocacy – Reward customers for sharing their experience on social media (or on review sites).
Tools to build your social media funnel
Several social media tools can help the brand’s social media marketing funnel.
This is an analytical social media campaign manager allowing you to reward users for interacting and promoting your product or service on social media.
Sociamonials is also a fully functional social CRM suite which enables you to nurture prospects throughout the sales cycle and answer their queries once they become customers.
Sociamonials also allows brands to track the ROI and sales that have resulted from each piece of content.
Gamification is an excellent strategy to keep customers engaged with your brand. Vyper helps brands build email lists and drive sales on social media with contests.
Vyper enables brands to create fun, interactive contests and is packed full of powerful viral marketing capabilities that help broaden the reach of a contest and grow a brand’s email list exponentially.
This is a nice tool Heyo that offers eight social promotions. The tool features sweepstakes contests, Twitter sweepstakes, a multi-media format contest, Instagram sweepstakes, a video contest, landing pages, a photo contest and viral sweepstakes.
Social eCommerce is the term used to describe a direct purchase of a product or service within a social media platform. Instagram, Facebook (and likely soon Pinterest) are all rolling out this functionality… making social media funnels an even bigger opportunity for brands to monetise their social media audiences.
When customers are satisfied with a social commerce purchase, they will likely share and recommend it to their friends – creating positive word of mouth for that brand.
Brands that are primed for the social commerce revolution are likely to capture market share from their competitors but it’s no simple task – social media CRM, customer service and integrating product listings (and stock control) will all take time.
Instagram Social Commerce
Brands can now transform their Instagram profiles into a social storefront which drives sales directly from social.
With the help of an Instagram description link, brands can publish engaging shoppable galleries. They can easily feature the best selling product so customers can easily tap away to make a purchase.
Pinterest Social Commerce
Pinterest has long touted it’s self not as a social media platform but instead as a discovery tool – conceptualised to help people connect with products and ideas.
Because of this, Pinterest is a rich opportunity for brands to promote their products and services. Pinterest were way ahead of the social media pack back in 2017 when they launched their ‘Shop the Look’ Pins which help identify specific items within a Pinned image and allow users to purchase the product they want.