If you want to sell goods or services through Facebook or any other social media platform you need a method to convert those visitors who have discovered/ become aware of/ are interested in your offering, to then go on and make a purchase.
Even though it has been adapted it over the years, the basic foundation of the sales/ marketing funnel was formalized as A.I.DA, more than a century ago.
- Awareness: A person becomes aware of a brand, product or service, through your own marketing efforts, referrals from friends/ contacts, research online etc. Your objective is to have potential customers find you on social media to allow you to generate an initial interest?
- Interest: Visitors need to be interested enough to read/ view your ad or post, sign up for your email newsletter or click through to your website.
- Desire: The consumer develops a favorable disposition towards the brand.
- Action: Visitors need to decide to take the next step, whether that is contacting your sales team or adding your product to their shopping cart.
In today’s connected, always open digital media the new adapted model is the customer journey. It is no longer about pushing marketing messages out to visitors but pulling them along the journey with strong, relevant content.
‘A customer journey map is a very simple idea: it is the stages your customer goes through when engaging with your company, whether it be a product, an online experience, retail experience, or a service, or any combination.’
The decision-making process is now a circular journey with four phases:
- Initial consideration
- Active evaluation (researching potential purchases)
- Closure (purchasing)
- Post-purchase (the customer’s experience with the brand, product or service)
Most marketers have tended to place social media at the top of the funnel in the discovery/ consideration stage of the journey. However, all of the customer journey stages from viewing to engaging can play out a role on social media.
4 Simple Steps to Setting Up an Effective Social Marketing Funnel
Awareness/ Initial Consideration:
How are your customers going to find you? There are lots of tactics to increase your organic reach on platforms like Facebook, for example. However, the most important consideration is to select which social media platforms your users will likely be spending more time on and then concentrating your efforts on 2 or 3 of those channels to start with. What kind of content/ information do you need to provide to help them move from one stage of the journey to the next? We live in a visual culture so short mobile-friendly videos, stand out images, colour and typography are some of the best ways to capture attention at this stage.
Create customer personas based on your data/ stats from Facebook etc and feedback from your customers. Buyer or marketing personas are generalized representations of your ideal buyers. Try to put yourself in their shoes, what would they like to watch/ read/ find out about? You need to make sure you’ve got enough content such as reviews, case studies, product demo videos and interesting and informative content to persuade customers to move to the next stage. Think about how you can create content that encourages engagement.
How will you get the visitor to buy or convert today? Ask visitors to sign up to an email newsletter with time limited special offers etc. Send click-throughs to a targeted landing page with brief and strong copy, easy contact options and call to actions. Instagram now has a Buy option, so customers can move straight from awareness through consideration to purchase in only a few seconds and a couple of clicks.
Find ways for your customers to share their good experiences with your product or service in the form of reviews and testimonials. Leverage content from customers and employees. Tactics could include setting up a private Facebook Group for customers to engage with each other and your brand. On Instagram, customer communities are popular, #GoProOfTheDay, for instance.
Measure and refine your targeting using your social media stats to see what is working and what isn’t. Set up customer audiences and Lookalike Audiences on Facebook. Google has a free tool called Goal Flow to track how well you are progressing customers through your site.
About the author: I have a background in developing content strategies for global tech companies like Bloomberg and Microsoft and beach bars in Costa Rica! In 2019, content produced and marketed by me has had almost 2 million- mainly organic-engagements on social media.