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There’s no denying the fact that social media has changed the face of marketing forever - and one of the most significant ways that it has altered the marketing landscape is the role it has played in the business sales funnel!
Today, social media is a key touchpoint in the consumer experience and therefore the overall sales funnel. From blogging, paid ads on various social media platforms, to branded company pages and accounts, it has changed the way that businesses not only communicate with customers, but how they collect and gather data about their behavior as well.
It all starts with building a strong foundation based on the principles of social media marketing, the varied roles it plays, and the steps toward a successful sales program that has a positive impact on every segment of the sales funnel.
Social media plays four key roles in the sales funnel.
The first is developing awareness, or initial discovery on the part of the customer. Whether this can be accomplished through advertising, sponsored posts, influencer outreach, or simply creating content that encourages sharing, a social platform is often the initial introduction to a brand, which happens in the widest part or the top of the funnel.
The second is customer education or building loyalty and influence through sharing useful, entertaining, or otherwise valuable content via social networks. Social media allows you to build resources for your customers and to develop a new type of trust and rapport with your audience by humanizing your brand, which occurs near the middle of the funnel.
The third is empowering customers to not only engage with your brand, but to share their own user-generated content or otherwise interact via social platforms for customer service purposes, creating their social proof via affinity with a brand, and more. This happens at the end of the funnel.
The fourth - and perhaps the most valuable role - is how social media allows business owners, brand managers, and other marketing professionals can collect data using social media. Not only can social networks be used as a sort of free focus group or free source of market research, it can also allow you to get to know your existing customers on a much deeper level. This role plays out at the very bottom or the narrowest part of the funnel, then the associated knowledge informs the activities at the top.
These are the roles that social media plays in the sales cycle or funnel - and the next level of involvement in social media marketing for businesses is understanding and executing on the steps required to get there.
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The Path To Social Media Mastery
In fact, the six steps towards mastering the social media sales funnel aren’t all that different from those involved in traditional marketing. It starts with making the customer aware of your brand, keeping them interested through continued content creation, getting conversions and collecting their contact info, making the initial sale, and turning customers into loyal followers and eventually brand advocates through stellar performance.
Understanding the four key roles that social media plays along with the six steps towards social media marketing mastery are both essentials for anyone responsible for managing a brand’s sales funnel today.
At the end of the day, leveraging social media properly might be one of the most important elements of any business’s marketing plan - and deciding to take full advantage of the power of social to improve the sales process can be one of the most important decisions that a business owner or marketing professionals can make.
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