As marketers and small business owners, we understand the value of using social media in our business. There are very few businesses who can’t benefit from social media in today’s environment. However, to really get an ROI on the time and money you invest in your social media efforts, a haphazard effort isn’t enough. It’s time for a social media sales funnel.
Today, at Effector, we look at the importance of optimising your social media efforts so that it can operate as a sales funnel for your business.
A Social Media Sales Funnel Explained
Let’s work with Facebook for this example, as it is still the largest social media platform in the world. You may be familiar with the concept of a sales funnel for your business. It is the same idea applied to social media.
A social media sales funnel grabs potential customer’s attention with some great content and then leads them through the funnel or sales process until such time as they’re ready to make a decision about whether they want to buy or not. As these potential customers move further down the funnel they will demand different information to help them make their purchase decision. And it’s our job to provide that information for them at the right time.
Using social media, you can use a mixture of both organic and paid content and ads to optimise the platform to work as a sales funnel. Facebook in particular is great for this as you can pinpoint the exact audience you are after with highly targeted Facebook ads.
The problem for many small businesses is that they don’t invest their time on social media in a structured way. If you are presenting content as and when the idea for a post comes to you there is no strategy involved in that. There is no follow through and it’s not clear what stage of the sales funnel it addresses. This is understandable, after all most of us are used to using social media for our own personal use and it is instinctively an organic process – but it can’t be when it comes to business. We need to be structured and organised to capitalise on those users who may be interested in our product or service, but are not focussed on making a purchase while on social media.
When we take a targeted approach by implementing a social media sales funnel, we guide our potential audience through the whole sales process easily and seamlessly, making it enjoyable for them, answering their needs and building great connections along the way.
The Social Media Sales Funnel Process
- Make Your Audience Aware of Your Presence
The first step in any marketing activity – after planning, of course! Is to build brand awareness. For how can people buy when they don’t know about you?
In this first stage of the social media sales funnel, you want to encourage a large chunk of people into the top of the funnel. This gives you the best chance of converting a decent amount at the other end. To attract potential customers into your funnel in the first place you can place well-worded, attractive Facebook ads that target your specific audience.
However, ads alone won’t be sufficient. You need to ensure that when you attract your leads to your Facebook page it is busy, informative, engaging and insightful. That sounds like a tall order, and it is! The best way to ensure that your page is attractive to potential customers that have taken the time to click through an ad is to create top notch content that adds value then and there. Don’t forget to monitor what works and what doesn’t and then tweak continually.
- Let them know Why They Need You
The second step of the social media sales funnel is to address the customers’ needs. There are a range of ways to do this. Some businesses and marketers like to focus on providing relief from stress while others focus on a sense of social status that may be attained by making a purchase.
You know your product or service best.
- What number one pain point does it address?
- How does it do this?
- What is the benefit your customers enjoy as a result?
The answers to these questions should be included in any communication with those potential customers in this part of the funnel. Right now, they are starting to think about whether your offerings are right for them. You need to show them how perfect your solutions are for them and why. This can and should come across in your communications and in the way that you respond to enquiries and engage with your audience.
You may find that some people switch off at this point. They may not be warm prospects, in fact, they may not even recognise that they need or want your product or service at this time. However, you can easily run a remarketing campaign as part of your overall social media sales funnel to attract them back in.
- Sweeten the Deal
As we near the lower end of the social media sales funnel, your prospects are becoming more likely to make a purchase. Usually, at this stage they know that they want your product or service, but they’re just not sure that it’s the right time or that they want to invest the amount you’re asking for right now.
The easiest way to overcome these hesitations is to offer an incentive that sweetens the deal for the customer. We all like to feel special and we love a good deal or bargain! Introducing a special offer at this stage can help those that are hesitating complete the sale. Again, you know your product and your audience best. Use this information to inform your decision on what kind of incentive would be most valuable and appreciated – and therefore help them to complete the sale.
To introduce your incentive, you can run targeted ads to those at this stage in the funnel. It is important to target them as you don’t want to offer the incentive to those cold leads up at stage one of the funnel, they won’t appreciate it as much as those who have spent the time working their way through to this point.
- Nurture the Relationship for the Long Haul
Now that you have made the sale its’ time to use your social media sales funnel to nurture long term relationships with your now existing customers. It is true that existing customers are easier to convert than new ones. It takes less time and effort on our part – but only if we put in the work to maintain the trust we have been trying to gain from day one.
There is nothing more frustrating than a business that hounds you in the lead up to a purchase but can’t be found when something goes wrong with the purchase! Aftercare is so important in maintaining good customer relations. You can plan posts that promote your aftercare system if you have one in place, or simply invite customers to get in touch to let you know how they’re enjoying their purchase.
You can also run campaigns which reward existing customers. You may choose to give them exclusive early access to a new product or service, or a discount, access to a webinar, etc. The options are endless. When you do this, you prime your existing customers to make another purchase when the time is right.
Another great way to engage your existing customers in your social media sales funnel is to ask them for testimonials which you can display on your page. You may offer something as a thank you in return for them recording a short video or even just typing up a few words which shows how happy they are with your service. Getting testimonials from existing customers brings our social media sales funnel full circle, as these testimonials will form part of the basis or step one for the next influx of cold prospects headed down your funnel.
Now that we’ve laid it out for you, we hope you can see how planning your social media activities in line with a sales funnel can be the difference between simply being present on social media and making sales from social media. If social media is an area that you just don’t have the time to dedicate to, why not contact us at Effector to see how we can help manage your social media for you?
Having a social media sales funnel can make your efforts on social media a whole lot more productive and fun – cos who doesn’t love results!
Have you thought about using a social media sales funnel before? Which phase are you most excited about getting to work on? Let us know in the comments.