Before we can talk about how to create an effective social media marketing funnel for your business, we need to talk about exactly what an online marketing funnel is and how it works.
A marketing funnel is the series of steps that leads someone from being aware of the product or service to actually taking action and making the purchase – or whatever your call to action asks them to do. A social media marketing funnel is basically the same, but with an additional component.
With social media, your target audience is composed of people who spread awareness of your brand. They actively like and share, alerting their contacts that not only does your brand exist, but they endorse it.
A Social Media sales funnel looks like this:
4. Loyalty/ Promotion
It is called a funnel because the number of people active at each step will decrease. Far more people will be aware of your brand than will make a purchase and spread awareness to their contacts.
First, you need to decide which social media platforms will be the most effective to reach your target market and develop their awareness of your brand. There is no set number that is ideal; it depends on how many you can keep up to date.
Some basics that most brands need are a blog, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Pinterest is also useful to most, as is Google Plus. Beyond that, much depends on your audience.
There may be specialty forums or networks that offer access to exactly the people you need to reach. When you create a formal online marketing strategy, it will pay to be clear about scheduling and integrating the various platforms you will use.
Second, you need to encourage engagement with your audience. Get them to click through from social media sites to your blog. Have contests and ask questions. You are not likely to get many sales directly from social media, but it is a powerful tool to drive traffic to your blog or encourage people to sign up for an email newsletter where you can make a sales pitch and ideally get them to convert. The final goal is not to generate a certain number of likes on Facebook; it is to make conversions, usually to make sales that mean profit for your business.
That said, the same process can be applied by organisations seeking a different conversion such as raising awareness of an issue and going on to convert and write a letter to their congressional representative.
The best thing about social media marketing is that it isn’t finished after people make the purchase. If they are happy, they are likely to tell others, usually via social media. In effect, they become an active and important part of your marketing strategy.
Online marketing is more than just a modern form of word of mouth. It’s good when a satisfied customer tells a friend about your service or product over coffee, but it is exponentially better when they tell a couple hundred people on Facebook or Twitter.