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Building Your Marketing Sales Funnel Using Social Media

Building a Successful Sales Funnel
Building a Successful Sales FunnelFlickr

These days, collecting fans and followers through social media is an easy task. But converting them to paying customers is another story altogether. Using a customized sales funnel, you can create better lead conversion rates using social media channels. You can also track and leverage the path of your targeted customers so they will buy your product. But how do you go about it?

What is a Marketing Sales Funnel?

The whole point of social media marketing is to use social networks and tools to guide your potential customers to get them to take the actions you want. This action can be anything from becoming a fan to sharing their email address or even buying the product or service you are selling. Facebook, Twitter, landing pages, SEO and email marketing are just some of the social media channels that can you can use to steer prospects through your sales funnel. Here are some things you need to figure about your business before you go forward:

1. Who is your potential target customer and how do you reach them?
2. What are your goals for the company?
3. How will you measure those goals using metrics you analyze?
4. What are your target numbers for those metrics?

Knowing these key facts will prevent your sales funnel from being off balance. If you focus too much on things such as follower numbers and email addresses, your conversions will be troublesome. If you only look at brand awareness and discount email marketing, your sales will suffer. The decisions you make in regards to creating awareness about your brand, engagement, conversions and sales should all be a reflection of your sales funnel.

Defining the Social Media Channels

The first thing you want to do is figure out which social media tools work best. It can be overwhelming at first. You don't want to use every single channel as part of your marketing and sales funnel. Instead, figure out what you want your sales path to look like. It could be something like Awareness, Repeat Visibility and Engagement and Sales. After you've done this, you should figure out which social media channels and tools your target audience uses the most. Decide which ones are the most relevant to your short and long term goals and the strengths and weaknesses of each one. You can then organize and prioritize them based on their main function. For example, email blasts are good for conversions but not for brand awareness, while Facebook is great for raising awareness and driving leads but not for sales conversion.

You also want your sales funnel to be stable but also be flexible. Say your business is more concerned with email marketing than number of followers, then you should adjust your tactics accordingly. In this case, you could create an ad that sends people to a landing page where you ask them for their email address.

Keeping Up the Momentum

The kinks in your sales funnel will slow down or stop momentum. You want to make sure you don't have any roadblocks that make you miss out on growing your owned media lists or conversions and sales. To ensure a healthy sales funnel, you must assign key metrics to each stage. Using industry benchmark standards, look at each tactic in each marketing funnel and then set them based on those standards. Understanding how your business compares to your industry as a whole will help your sales funnel to remain strong.

You should also be tracking and using your analytics. Looking at impressions instead of reach is a great way to understand how your tactics are working. If you notice that you are getting inconsistent results from tools such as Facebook Insights, you can export your Insights data to a program such as Excel. Using a spreadsheet, you can consistently track and compare the right metrics. Be sure to also use not only Google Analytics but Google URL Builder. This tool allows you to customize URLs for posts and ads. You can then track the visitors from social networks and how they navigate through your website. If you use WordPress, you can install an event tracking plugin which will automatically track for you.

Test and Re-Test

Testing everything is the best way to boost your results. Each idea you think of should be tested. Keep in mind when testing, you want to think in terms of your key metrics. Then you can use your analytics to see which ideas are working and which are not. Facebook is an easy social media channel to test things on. By posting different updates, you can see which have the best engagement rates. Does your target audience prefer news or memes? You can analyze your previous and current posts to see what worked. Dividing the total engagements (likes, shares, comments, clicks, etc.) by the total post impression for a post will give you an accurate engagement rate.

If you are using ads then you definitely should be testing. You have to create new weekly ads to be tested since ads burn out quickly. Ideally, if your budget allows, you can create, test and optimize several times a week. AdWords can be used until the point of diminishing returns. You might need more negative keywords so be sure and check the actual search phrases. You can also use AdWords Audit if your AdWords manager isn't giving you the analytics you need. Running different ads using different channels will give you awareness as to which ones work for your target audience and give you the best conversions.

Conclusion

Guiding your customers through your sales funnel is a on-going process. Setting up your funnel so that it allows leads to jump in whenever they need to is a must. Being prepared to make changes and react to your customers will ensure you see successful results.