While some people think of social media as an add-on to an already existing sales strategy, integrating social media at every stage of the sales funnel is a much more effective approach. The power of social media is real: 3 out of 4 customers consult social media before making a purchase. When you think of an excellent sales funnel, you think of your customer being met with superb messaging that drives sales in every step of the purchasing process. But where does social media fit in this process and how can you use it to get new customers, create repeating customers, and to widen your reach?
It’s helpful to think of your sales funnel in three parts. There’s the top of the funnel where customers are discovering your brand, the middle where a customer is aware of your brand but doing research, and then there’s the bottom of the funnel where the customer knows your brand or product and that turns into a lead, a sale, or both. Social media can be used at each step to move the customer through the funnel and to create customer retention.
Set Your Key Performance Indicators at the Top of the Funnel
Tracking your social media efforts is as important as the content itself. When potential customers are discovering your brand, it is crucial that your brand is discoverable. But how do you know that your social media marketing is working? That’s where KPI comes into play. The key performance indicators vary from platform to platform, but here are the most popular ones.
Twitter is hugely influential. Customers are more likely to purchase from brands they follow on Twitter than brands they don’t. How’s that for influence? The KPIs you should be most concerned with here are follower growth, posting frequency, brand mentions, and engagement.
Facebook has a great analytics tool called Facebook Insights that can be used to establish benchmarks. This tool can help you track the engagement and reach of each of your posts and the likes for your page.
Instagram is growing every day, with more than a third of mobile users going on the platform in 2016. There still isn’t an easy analytical tool for Instagram like there is for Facebook and Twitter, but you can track your benchmarks in a spreadsheet, looking at conversion rates, engagement, likes, and follower growth.
Middle of the Funnel
By now your customer is aware of your brand and they are looking around for more information. Here you can use social media to point people to content that helps inform your customer. Do you have blog posts with more information? Send a link out on Twitter! Do you have how-to videos or detailed product information? Use social media to get the word out that those are available. Spend this time deepening your relationship with the customer and keeping your brand visible to them online.
Making that Sale
If you’ve been engaging with the customer on social media and have been providing them with a steady stream of content and useful tools, then you can leverage that relationship at the bottom of the funnel and turn it into a lead or a sale. Send out a call to action on social media to help make that happen.
Engaging Your Customer After the Sale
Customer retention happens after a sale is already made and social media is so important in making that happen. Maintain that relationship with the customer through your social media platforms and ask them to post a review or a rating online. Not only does this create loyalty, but you’ve also created a social media brand ambassador who will help with word of mouth!