One common request my clients have is to know how social media will integrate to their sales funnel. Traditional media has proven time and again how it increases awareness of the brand in the buyer’s mind. It will create a “buyer’s market” by focusing on awareness-centered media. So can’t social media do the same thing? It absolutely can! The problem is that many people simply do not know how to do so effectively.
Sometimes people tell me, “I tried social media marketing but it didn’t convert for me.” In fact, this might just be one of the most common complaints about SM marketing.
It is not that social media CAN’T do it for you; it’s that people are doing it wrong. I tell my clients the first step with working together is to determine and define their goals with social media. These are the common classifications of those goals:
I want to use social media to increase brand awareness. I want to use social media to boost sales. I want to use social media both to increase brand awareness and to boost sales.
Some people focus so much on number one and creating a strong social presence, they leave out the sales funnel and forget to direct those fans and followers they have captured to convert them to clients/customers. Many social media managers are not marketers and they do not have the skills needed to make this happen. Many brands/business owners do not know what they are hiring when they work with a social media manager. There is a disconnect between the person managing the accounts and creating a strong presence and the business owner who wants to see these convert to sales and feels like their money is being wasted when no conversions are coming from it.
So in comes the social media sales funnel!
You need to understand social media’s impact on the sales funnel to truly know how to work your SM accounts and management into your overall marketing strategy. The process can be broken down very simply as:
awareness -> consideration -> purchase
Looking at the process, you can see how social media can definitely help boost awareness. People are on social media today. It is simple common sense that being on social media will help increase your awareness but what happens next? You need to also continue to push people through that funnel to the consideration process. Answer the questions you know they will ask themselves before moving to the purchase stage. Create relationships because people buy from brands they can trust. Understand the social feedback cycle and then nurture that within your own brand’s social presence.
The connection between promise and delivery is essential to social media. This is a core fundamental of traditional marketing and between operations and marketing. When people purchase and enjoy, they form and opinion and talk about it (often on social media) this funneling other potential customers back into the consideration phase, pushing them toward purchase as well.
As you can see, social media has a strong impact on the sales funnel of a business. Understanding this and learning how to use it effectively is paramount to successful social media marketing.
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