In this week’s guest post, Kayleigh Alexandra fills us in on how to create a social sales funnel that actually leads to effective sales. Here’s Kayleigh:
Have you got a robust social selling strategy? Are you getting consistent results from your social media sales?
Marketers need an easy way to manage numerous social channels; but more than that, they need social media sales that consistently convert.
Investing in social sales funnels can help you do just that — by building a social funnel that works with your wider marketing strategy, you won’t get caught out by platform updates or the shifting sands of social trends.
This post will offer you tips on building social media sales funnels that just work.
What’s a funnel and do I need one?
Check out this handy social funnel from SocialMediaExaminer:
It’s a great representation of the potential complexity (and ROI) of social funnels. Starting from awareness, right down to sales, there are a wide range of channels to consider — from email marketing to search.
Though traditionally social media had tended to drop off at the sales stage, social media platforms that can now handle sales are starting to change all that. Now that consumers can buy a product on Facebook or Instagram, or sign up for a service via Messenger, social media will become less of an awareness-driver, and more of a sales channel in itself.
For anyone who is following the funnel method, this will lead to to a more cyclical, less top-down way of looking at the social sales journey. In today’s smartphone and social world, a desktop sale is not always the end goal, and marketers must leverage all the channels at their disposal to make the most of social media selling.
Get your audience targeting right
Pay careful attention to your audience’s social media habits. You will want to mirror the content they like and follow suit in your own social media funnels.
- Audience research needs to be broken down into several different demographic groups, known as client personas. Look at your Google Analytics, social media monitoring sites, Google Trends, leading blogs, and any other sources you can think of to flesh them out.
- Paid audience research tools can connect with your existing CRM systems and allow you to build client personas with superb accuracy and insight. These may be a wise investment for those looking to enter new markets.
- Advertising on social? You are dealing with a narrowcasting network whenever you are looking at a social media campaign spend. This means that your ads only have to be effective with a specific type of person. The more you know about this certain type of person, the better.
The audience research phase of building a social funnel will help you determine how your audience are likely to react to, and engage with, your social content. This is crucial for helping you choose the right social platforms and messages for your funnel.
Examine competitors far and wide
Once you have discovered your audience’s social media preferences, you will need to check out your top competitors. How are they making the best use of social media sales funnels?
Opt-in to some of their funnels and take notes on what you see. You cannot copy, but you can learn their USP’s and improve upon them for your funnels.
Also, look at some global enterprise brands and take the tips you can for your own campaigns, even if they are not related to your product or service. Note the design, imagery, graphics, calls to action, copy, payment models, etc.
You can then find out how effective they are using competitor analysis tools. These services will rank your site with the competition, giving you tips on where you need to improve your online klout scores in comparison.
Sequences are important
Social media sales funnels can be difficult beasts to tame. This is because customers can convert at any stage of the buying cycle, from awareness to advocacy. You must create ads that resonate with potential customers 24/7, 365 days a year. This is where social sequences come in.
- In some cases, at the awareness stage, a visual branded message can be enough to attract an opt-in. In which case, you should be trying to get these follows at the lowest possible cost.
- Further along the customer journey, in contrast, you may have a segment of visitors who have watched multiple product videos and are ‘ready to buy.’ In which case, retargeting product page ads (possibly as a shoppable gallery on Pinterest) may bring in the best results.
- But remember — sometimes all you are aiming for with your social sales funnel is getting people to the next phase, which is not necessarily a sale — to convert people to warmer leads you may want to link to a free ebook download from your website instead.
Maintain your organic reach
Meaningful interactions are the ‘aim of the game’ on social media. So, make sure you are also maximizing your organic reach, and not just putting everything into a paid social funnel.
- Facebook, despite its recent changes, rewards businesses for encouraging meaningful interactions with their profile. Each brand gets a star rating out of five. If you gain enough fans, you can reach verified status (featuring a blue check symbol next to your logo). The network is cracking down on brands that post junk content just to try and get more likes. An example might be a post that asks something like, ‘post your favorite color in the comments.’ This is not a meaningful exchange for anyone involved, so expect to see these types of posts phased-out.
- You should aim to communicate with followers on exciting topics and incite discussion. Use social media monitoring tools to scan the web and highlight topics where you may be able to jump in with useful insights.
- Work on communicating promptly and transparently when you receive a negative customer service comment on social media. In all of your conversations, look for ways you can build trust with the customer and online on-lookers.
The more open you are on social media, the more easily you can spot an up-and-coming trend you can use for your sales funnel.
Make the most of data
One of the best things about social selling is the access to mountains and mountains of data. Make the most of this data to help the rest of your marketing efforts. Whether organic or paid, social reach is a data goldmine.
- Test and experiment with the finer details of your social ads before you start paying to promote your brand on social media. Split testing tools can help you research, build, and scrutinize campaigns to ensure maximum success at each stage of the sales process. The goal is to keep refining your social funnel until it’s as efficient as it can be from a spend perspective.
- When you do get someone from social media landing on your online store, implement customer tracking metrics so that you can follow any repeat sales coming from social. Choose a compatible web builder that offers plugins apps that integrate with social selling, and use them to group and segment customer data from social media. You will find this a valuable exercise when it comes to evaluating social campaigns and seasonal ad spend.
- Add social media insights into the mix when it comes to creating a well-rounded and robust picture of your ideal customer. Their social media habits and interests will help you craft better copy, send better emails, and generally do more with less.
Creating social media sales funnels that work for your brand requires thorough audience research. Explore new formats and content forms to help convert customers at all stages of the buying cycle. By keeping a close watch of your KPIs through social media monitoring tools, you can concentrate on building up your organic reach as a brand.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to supporting startups and small businesses of all shapes and sizes. Visit the blog for the latest entrepreneurial news and side hustle tips. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.