How to Build a Social Media Sales Funnel

social-sales-funnel

We’ve talked about funnels before; They’re the representation of the journey your customers take from prospect to sale, and funnels guide your customers towards a sale. You’ll find that not every business operates with the exact same breakdown of their funnel, but most have many of the same basic components:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Conversion
  • Purchase

funnel

As customers work their way through the funnel, the crowd gets smaller. Our goal is to widen the openings so that when we reach the ‘purchase’ stage, we’ve retained as much of the crowd from ‘awareness’ as possible.

There are a ton of social tools out there that aim to act as road signs, guiding customers further down the funnel. Each and every tool you use is really for the benefit of your funnel.

Retargeting also comes into play here, giving marketers goals for capturing lost leads. Between each segment of the sales funnel is an opportunity to connect with lost sales, pushing leads back into the sales funnel once again.

While this is all fine and well, it’s another one of those things that can be ‘easier said than done’. How do we even create a sales funnel in the first place? In all likelihood, your business has a funnel in place — it just may not be well-defined.

A vision of what your sales funnel looks like can redirect marketing efforts, clarify goals, and improve targeted campaigns.

Sales funnels permeate your business, and while some marketers may envision a single sales funnel to ‘rule them all’, you can also break down each component of your business into its own separate sales funnel. Social media can be separated in this manner.

Building a social media sales funnel can help you better track your leads and leverage your resources. Your customized sales funnel should be assembled by your social media or marketing manager with the right channels and metrics.

From there, all you need to do is tweak your tunnel to reap the maximum benefits! But first, here are the basic steps to crafting a social media sales funnel:

Step 1: Prioritize Social Channels and Organize by Function

Social media is PACKED with channels available at your disposal. Many companies hire a trained, social media manager because it can be simply overwhelming, especially to the untrained marketer.

What’s worse is that there seems to be a threshold for when acquiring more channels can actually work against your success. So don’t even try to use them all.

Instead, sit back and define what your high-level sales path should look like. To do this, you’ll need to:

  1. Define your target audience
  2. Define your target audience’s needs
  3. Define your product’s relation to their needs

You obviously have some idea of how your product delivers a solution to your customers, but until you have a well-defined understanding of the target audience and how your product fits into the grand scheme of things, then you’re lacking a real ‘funnel’ to work with.

This work helps you to prioritize your social channels and define their job in the funnel. For instance, if you’re looking at Facebook compared to old-school email, knowing which one is best for conversion is they key to knowing when to use it in the sales funnel (FYI it’s email blasts). In this way, you set up your channels to coincide where they’ll have the highest efficacy in the sales funnel based on their known, producible results.

Step 2: Assign Key Metrics to Each Stage

When your funnel gets pinched to a trickle, you’re snuffing the ability for conversions further down the line to occur. Get a grasp on the health of your sales funnel by assigning key metrics to each section.

Rather than analyzing the ‘big picture’ health of your entire funnel, instead analyze each section of the funnel for health. You’ll gain a better understanding of where bottlenecks are occurring, and since you’ve split up your funnel and assigned channels and jobs to each section, you can plan a targeted revamp of the section in question.

Here are a few different analytics trackers you can use:

Step 3: Analyze, Tweak, Repeat

You aren’t going to improve your funnel if you aren’t reflecting on successes and failures and then tweaking the funnel for better results. You’ve already spelled out what the sections are to your sales funnel, and in Step 2, you figured out exactly what your goals are for each of those sections as well.

Regularly and consistently monitor the metrics you’ve put in place for each section of your sales funnel. If you see one section falling behind, then you also know which channels you have in place in that section and can take a closer look at what’s being done on that channel (thank you Step 2!).

For example, let’s say you’re seeing the metrics slide at the awareness stage. This could potentially be your next steps:

  • Find that Facebook is the channel assigned to that part of the funnel.
  • Test a variety of status updates on Facebook to try to alter your metrics.
  • Record the posts with the highest engagement rates AND the worst engagement rates.
  • Discuss WHY the best and worst are the way that they are. This gives you a better understanding of your audience on any given channel.
  • Revamp your plan of attack on that channel.

Remember that ad lifespans are short if you’re looking for engagement, so you’ll want to create test ads on a weekly basis. Social Media Examiner brings up a good point about AdWords:

If you’re using AdWords, create new ads until the point of diminishing returns. Check actual search phrases to see if you need more negative keywords. If your AdWords manager is slacking, get an AdWords Audit.

Conclusion

Building a social media sales funnel is absolutely imperative if you’re looking to get the most out of your social media marketing efforts. You can continually adjust your funnel to meet the needs of your audience. To start, you can build your funnel with three easy steps:

  1. Prioritize and organize social channels.
  2. Assign key metrics.
  3. Analyze, Tweak, and Repeat.

Consistent measuring and testing ensures that you’ve always got the best understanding of your company and its relation to your customers’ needs. Make sure you’re matching what your audience demands in order to make the most sales.

You Tell Us: What channels does your company rely on the most?