Dear Socially Stephanie:
I understand that social media isn't a quick fix. But what does the social media funnel look like, and how do I make it work for me?
Confused in Concord
It's great to hear from you. And you are absolutely right, social media is by no means an instant answer to all your business and online marketing woes. In fact, like any strategy and/or tactic in marketing social media has a funnel. A good social media strategy takes your customers and potential buyers on a journey.
Here's what it looks like. Now remember this is a journey from start to finish. And it's important to note that anyone at anytime can come into any part of the funnel. But, for the sake of this conversation, let's assume we're brand new to the scene, shall we? And to make things that much easier, let's call the funnel IBECK.
The first part of the funnel is the introduction. This is the first initial contact you have with your potential customer. You are introducing them to you, your online persona and what you stand for online. This can be seen as the simple hello and thank you for following tweet, it can be your cover photo and profile image when they first search you on Facebook. This introduction is your first impression and it matters.
Next we move into the branding phase. This stage happens after you've made initial contact of some sort. Now it's time to woo your potential customer and make your business stick in their mind. This comes in the form of consistent activity online. Supposedly, it takes around 5 impressions before you come front of mind. I imagine it is a bit more than that. However many times you have to show up for a potential buyer to remember you happens here. Think consistency and relevancy here and you will do fine.
Now it's time for social media's darling, engagement. You've heard me say this time and time again. Social media is all about engaging. This is the interaction you give your followers, fans, buyers and potentials on a one-to-one basis. It comes in the form of a reply, a comment, or even an email. It shows you care and shows you are helpful. And most of all, it's important.
Next step is the converting and one of my favorite steps in the funnel. This is where you send them to a landing page to convert into a buyer or a lead. In the B2B world, it's better off to convert them into leads and then into buyers. In the B2C world, you can do either one. Again, I'm going for the leads route, but that is up to you. You can do this through social advertising, sales and promotions, or even through your engaging.
Lastly, you have to keep and retain them as customers. That means pay attention to them and nurture them even more through your social media funnel. It may even mean take them back to the engagement step and convert them to buy or get interested in something else. It's a lot easier to make your current customers pay more than to get a brand new customer. This is something we often forget. Your current customers are your best leads.
Well, there you have it my friend! Good luck and let me know how it goes.
Do you have a question for Socially Stephanie?
Please email SociallyStephanie@socialmediatoday.com and let Stephanie help you solve your social quandaries, queries, and boondoggles. (Questions may be edited for length and clarity.)
Illustration by Jesse Wells