First thing first; social media does NOT fix a broken business. I have had so many business owners and entrepreneurs approach me and say “I want more sales with social media NOW”. Unless your business has incorporated social media with your marketing strategy, and sales funnel you won’t be able to fully reap the benefits.
Social media is more than just posting an update on Facebook or sending a Tweet. As a business, you need to find a way to connect with your target market in an engaging way whilst also making sure they included in every stage of your sales funnel. Here is how to use social media to get sales.
I came across a great visual from Rohan Ayyar on Search Engine Watch that took the traditional sales funnel and created a new one, named the purchase funnel which is a consumer focused marketing model.
Of course there are going to be different variations of a sales funnel as social media continues to evolve however, this funnel is definitely the one that I feel is most sincere in how we should approach social media.
Let’s break down the image;
You might not know where your customer has come from, and this might be the first time they have come across your business so building your awareness through sharable content is crucial. The first impression is always the most important so you be as engaging as possible.
There are various different ways you can build your awareness and engagement. Ask your audience questions and encourage feedback. Remember, engaged audiences are more likely to become brand advocates. There are some great tools you can use to stay on top of your social media analytics and respond in real time – try Hootsuite.
Your customer is now aware of your brand, and has become familiar with your business. Having a community that is familiar with your brand gives you the upper hand when they are making a purchasing decision between two brands.
This is where your community turns into followers that like your social media activity, and read your blogs online. Email marketing steps in at the point, as you should be finding ways to generate leads through e Courses, Downloads and other complementary content.
The consideration stage of this funnel is where the customer is looking at purchasing your product/service. They will be comparing prices and options before making their decision. To make sure the “consideration” turns into a purchase, you need to build, and grow your reputation.
Social media is a great place to share positive reviews about your product/service and will build your reputation. Having “share” buttons on your website is a great place to start when sharing your message across multiple platforms.
The penultimate step in this purchasing funnel, is a customer’s buying your product/service. This is where most businesses lose their momentum as they think the engagement stops here. It doesn’t. You need to be engaging throughout and after the purchasing phase to make sure they are staying in your sales funnel, and could potentially spend their money with you again.
This is the crucial stage for understanding whether you can build on your customer retention, or whether you’ve got a one stop shopper. Some of your customers will leave and never purchase from you again whereas others will return – this depends on how transparent and helpful you are through the purchasing process.
This is a huge priority as returning customers is what ultimately brings in new customers when leaving great reviews, and sharing your content.
Don’t forget to use social media as a customer service outlet, reward those who are loyal to your business and always stay engaged with your customer at every touchpoint of their purchasing journey.