This article was submitted by Dave Landry, Global Entrepreneur & Journalist
Social media has long ago declared victory in the eyes of marketers, and digital content now reigns supreme. The question then, is if sales is the engine for growth in every business, how can we use social media to not just market, but nurture the sales funnel?
Let’s take a closer look at the funnel itself, stage by stage.
Social media gives businesses the opportunity to place – and keep – pertinent information in front of their target customer base. Repetition creates trust and awareness. By raising awareness of a brand, product or service, companies have a much higher chance of establishing a foothold in a customer’s mind, putting their advertised product “on the radar.”
Interest is best generated by targeted social media ads and compelling social content. Short videos have proven to be especially powerful in generating interest (and hence, demand) by demonstrating how a product works. Using an ad with either an embedded link or video, or an optimized visual creates an interest in buying a product.
Transitioning from a video or other social content asset to your web page is one of the most crucial steps in the sales funnel. Some customers will go to your site immediately, while others must see your logo or advertisement several times before joining your email list. Either way, it’s important to know what and when to post for maximum effect.
Webinars, weekly emails, or newsletters and promotions are the types of assets that convert visitors from “just looking” into “just buying.”
Obviously, sales are the ultimate goal of all marketing efforts. One of the best ways to drive sales is to offer an incentive or promotion on the landing page to generate enthusiasm. Sales will rely heavily on ads, content, and consultations with representatives.
Jodi Parker states in her blog for TollFreeForwarding.com that the call to action in sales cannot be overstated, and it’s important to have several pathways and channels to buy from. Even the smallest error or nuisance will turn a customer off.
This is where many companies fail. The key to this stage is to convert customers into advocates who will promote your company for you. Building loyalty involves more ads, giveaways and promotions – but it also goes back into the cycle of marketing. This is the best stage to refine and identify key metrics. What would the customer like to see more of? What does the customer want next? Learn what the customer wants, make them an advocate, and in turn you will influence their social network.
Understanding and mastering these parts of the sales funnel via social media will pay dividends, Check out the infographic below for a more visual look at the new social sales funnel.
Dave Landry Jr. is a global entrepreneur and journalist. He enjoys writing on social media subjects, particularly social's application to business operations, sales and customer service.