Welcome to Kiran Gutha‘s blog on Managing Your Social Media Sales Funnel to Customize Marketing Efforts. Potential customers through social media marketing often begin early in the sales process and must be nurtured.
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The World of Social Marketing
In the world of social marketing, it is considered best practice and an essential business element for companies to develop and consistently maintain a social media sales funnel.
Companies often rely on social marketing to interact with their prospective clients. To ensure these interactions both spark interest and, most importantly, convert leads into sales, a social media funnel is a valuable tool to customize social marketing efforts and track, test, and optimize its elements over time.
The Social Media Funnel
A social media funnel is just that, a funnel. This funnel is developed and designed to represent the step-by-step path companies want prospective customers to follow from the social media channels to actually purchasing a product.
The social media sales funnel consists of a variety of social media tools and channels that guide a prospect through the following engagement levels: brand awareness, customer engagement, and converting leads to sales.
To begin the funnel development process, companies should make the following determinations that will serve as building blocks.
- Identify the target audience
- Decide the best ways to reach these customers
- Establish the company’s overall goals
- Determine the best way to measure these goals
To build a social media sales funnel, companies must outline the channels that can produce the highest probability of sales.
Then, companies must prioritize these channels by their overall function and the probability of aiding customers through the path from general product awareness to product purchase, while ensuring the channels remain relevant to the company business goals.
Some examples of the most prominent channels companies use in their social media funnel include email marketing, ads, landing pages, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, SEO, and Twitter.
Test And Measure The Channels
Next, as the channels are defined, companies must determine the performance metric that is required at each stage of the funnel to ensure its success.
These are often developed based on industry benchmark standards and by evaluating the overall success within the competitive environment. Some examples of metrics that can be applied to each stage of the funnel are:
- Brand awareness: Overall ad impressions, YouTube video views
- Engagement: Facebook comments and likes, email open rates
- Sales: Landing page conversion rates, SEO revenue
Finally, once the funnel is formulated and key performance metrics are in place, the next essential steps to success are to track overall marketing results, test the tools and tactics, and strategically optimize on a consistent basis.
Maintaining a flexible funnel is an essential tactic for ensuring your company can successfully adjust to both the actions and behaviors of the target audience and continue to pursue and experience positive results.
Social Media Sales Funnel Best Practices
Developing a social media sales funnel can be an involved process and the following are five best practice suggestions to create and use the social media funnel to effectively convert prospects into customers.
Understand How Channels Relate
Having a better understanding of how each social marketing channel relates to the path down the funnel and how each channel is currently adding leads will provide more insight into the tactics that companies can use to continue guiding customers down the funnel and the time that should be expected for the overall conversion process.
Easy Conversion Path
Companies must work to continually optimize their social media sales funnel and make it easier for prospects to follow the path.
Make it easy as possible for visitors such as those coming through Facebook to convert into buyers.
Tracking, testing, and optimizing are essential to turning social media traffic into real customers.
Look for Soft Leads
Due to the nature of the social media environment, potential customers often enter the sales funnel very early in the overall buying process.
While they may not be prepared to quickly convert to a buying customer, companies need to offer them the opportunity to become soft leads, meaning they are interested but not ready to become a customer.
By capturing information from these leads, such as an email address, companies can increase the potential of converting these leads into buyers as they move through the sales funnel.
Social Media Leads are Different
Social media leads can require special treatment. Because they are entering the sales funnel early, they may require a higher level of nurturing to get them through the funnel to conversion.
Through a carefully defined strategy and unique content, companies can help prospects overcome objections and answer questions as they migrate through the decision-making process and move closer to becoming a real customer.
Track and Measure Marketing Efforts
By monitoring and continuously measuring your marketing results, you can easily understand where customers are in the sales funnel and determine the most efficient and cost-effective way to successfully turn them into social media sales conversions.
Google Analytics is one option for tracking social media and other channels. It can show conversions through social media, and also, where prospective customers dropped out of the process.
Developing and refining a social media funnel can take advantage of the reach of social media and direct potential customers from initial brand awareness through the sales process to making a purchase.
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