Social media is a powerful marketing channel but it’s not all about building traffic. In fact, it’s not really about building traffic at all, because focusing on clicks means brands neglect other – more important – marketing opportunities, like brand loyalty and brand recognition.
And both loyalty and brand recognition hugely contribute to your company’s sales funnel. In fact, social media marketing can boost any part of your conversion funnel, from awareness to brand advocacy. Let’s look at how to create an effective social media sales funnel:
Create Diverse Social Media Content
Posting diverse – yet well-branded – social media content is your first step to creating brand awareness. Your social media content strategy should include all kinds of content and engagement formats.
These could include the following:
- Smart quotes that reflect your company’s core values,
- Links to your blog’s articles
- Customer reviews (these can be posted as visual quotes)
- Polls, surveys and quizzes helping you understand your audience better
- Engaging videos that can be anything, from your product feature overview to customer reviews repackaged as video slideshows
Videoleap is a powerful video creation app that can help you diversify your social media walls with professional video content. It comes with advanced video editing tools allowing you to use lots of video effects and creative cinematic compositions, color corrections, sound effects, in-app video footage and more. The app is available for iOS and Android, and it has free versions on both.
Sharpspring offers a powerful social media management platform allowing you to organize your social media content the way it is both consistent and diverse:
Include Your Social Media Team into Content Creation Process
Keeping your content and social media teams aligned will let your company maintain consistency in their marketing efforts:
- Your content team will be able to keep your social media team updated on the core purposes of your content assets. In other words, your social media team will know why each asset was created, how the buying journey is planned from within it and which CTAs are the most important.
- Your social media team will provide audience insights and help make your content strategy more informed and customer-centric.
Narrato is a powerful content collaboration platform that will keep multiple in-house and freelance teams streamlined: You can keep your multiple workflows (research, editing, writing, creating visuals, optimization, marketing, etc.) under a single roof helping them create a more effective content marketing strategy.
Most importantly, it helps keep your content natural while well-optimized. Applying SEO best practices helps make your excellent content worthy of ranking so your potential brand advocates can find you through a search engine. But wait… you don’t have to learn HTML to write optimized content.
The days of SEO experimentation are over, today it’s a standard practice and mandatory. There is no excuse for sloppy or even worse – no SEO writing as part of a brand’s content.
Text Optimizer will help you create that meets your customers’ expectations instead of focusing on outdated keyword stuffing tactics:
Engage or Disconnect
The old-fashioned customer service departments that look like operator call centers are over. Today’s customers are social and mobile; they seek and expect immediate gratification via a brand’s social media channels. Make sure customer service is part of the social media communications plan to engage in customer service-related questions and comments.
Social messaging that is obviously automated and talks about the brand will lose. Keeping content that is more about the customer and personalized is more likely to result in brand relationship building and the start of building an army of brand advocates.
Giving your customers red carpet access or allowing the media to have inside access builds trust and loyalty, something that can’t be bought in advertising and marketing.
Examples of thought leader transparency could be a CEO or business owner who is personally running his own Twitter account or one that may personally respond via email to a customer success story or customer issue.
Make Information Easy to Find
Making a process as easy as possible for a potential customer looking for an answer, customer having a question, a blogger researching a story or a traditional journalist identifying an expert source can make a difference in winning over a new brand advocate.
Make sure to set up a detailed and well-organized knowledge base that your social media customer support team can use to quickly help your customers in real time.
Additionally, company online newsrooms with images, logos, factsheets, updated product and services news as well as industry reports will make a journalist’s life easier and can also provide customers with current news.
Make information easy to find and access and create a culture that encourages an easy brand experience.
Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly
According to Broadband Search, more than 80% of social media usage happens on a mobile device. In other words, if your site doesn’t work well on a mobile device, it is doomed.
If your website is not mobile-friendly as you read this article, it might as well be “not listed”. If you lose a potential customer because of a poor mobile experience, chances are they are never coming back.
The reality is your competition will give them a better mobile experience than no experience. Both WordPress and Shopify provide built-in tools, themes and third-party plugins to set up a smooth mobile-driven user experience.
Building a standalone app to give your site a permanent home on your customers’ mobile phones is even more effective. According to Mobiversal, a brand-driven mobile application “facilitates direct communication and improves customer engagement.”
Be There for Good and Bad Reviews
When mistakes happen, owning up to them might be difficult in the short-term, but will prevent escalating and snowball effects of negative publicity. Some of the biggest brand advocates are created when mistakes happen and brands are able to make lemonade out of lemons.
Deleting negative comments in social media versus responding and resolving can lead to a public display of social media bloodshed and outrage.
Being present and available in a time of crisis or success is critical to brand relationships. One of the best examples of a reputation management crisis handled well was Buffer getting hacked. With more than 1 million users at risk, Buffer’s entire team including its founders came to the frontlines during the crisis and shared in the outreach.
The result was a short-term negative outpour of social media buzz that in the end turned into a case study example of how to swiftly handle a crisis in the most transparent and authentic way possible, keeping customers informed in real time via social media.
Social media is a powerful traffic generation channel yet clicks don’t always translate into sales. Making your social media marketing part of your sales funnel is a much more effective way to boost your ROI and brand awareness.
The first step to prioritizing on long-term goals is to build brand growth into your sales forecasting. This will allow your company to measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts.
According to the Harvard Business Review, brands focusing on loyalty building grow revenues roughly 2.5 times as fast as their industry peers. So prioritizing long-term goals will help in the long run. Good luck!