Creating a social media content calendar is a topic that has been covered extensively in online resources. Of course, if you’re anything like me, you’re sick of hearing about “national days” and “content buckets” and you don’t want to read another word about them.
Converting social media fans into paying customers requires more than just a tenuous connection between your brand and International Day of the Dog.
How to draw in, cultivate, and close a social media following is the topic of this article. One that, like a “traditional” sales funnel, is aligned with the customer journey.
You’ll finish this piece feeling prepared to plan, create, and publish social media content that actually helps your business (or your client’s business) grow.
Simply put, a social media sales funnel is a method of making sales through social media.
If you search for “sales funnel” on Google Images, you’ll get hundreds of results. They’re all just slight variants on the same idea, but trying to keep track of them all can be confusing.
What is social media sales funnel?
The term “sales funnel” generally refers to the process that potential customers go through in order to buy your company’s goods and services. The various stages of this path lead customers ever closer to the “bottom of the funnel,” where they become paying customers and lifelong advocates for the brand.
Each sales funnel will have its own unique stages, but these are the most common ones:
Spread the word about your company so that more people will become familiar with it.
Attention – Show that you understand your audience’s problems and offer a solution with helpful content Consideration – Stick out from the crowd with consistent recommendations from satisfied customers.
Call to Action – Inspire Customers to Buy
Increase brand advocacy over time through consistent interaction (and thus, loyalty).
The power of social media lies in its ability to support all five stages of this sales process.
1st Stage: Being Aware Of It
This is the very first step in making a sale via social media. Your brand, values, mission, and incredible goods or services are unknown to the public at this point.
Since we are on the topic of social media, this is the section where you can expect to see an increase in the number of followers.
Interest, Stage 2
Sharing useful, informative content that gives your followers an easy win is what you should focus on at this stage of your social media sales funnel.
Content of “interest” also aids in problem awareness. They may have an inkling of what the issue is, but they are uncertain as to its full scope and the best way to address it.
The best way to impress your new followers is to provide them with valuable information that doesn’t try to sell them anything.
Too much advertising too soon will drive away potential customers. As an alternative, you should focus on proving your worth, earning customer confidence, and providing value to customers before trying to convince them to work with you or buy your goods.
Think About It: Step Three
Potential customers understand the nature of their issue and have some ideas about possible solutions. Unfortunately, they are still unsure of who provides the best answer and so begin looking elsewhere.
Customers are “product aware” at this point. They are currently debating the merits of available options. The team is investigating the offerings’ features, advantages, and most importantly, outcomes.
Your competitive advantage is especially important now. Just what sets your product apart from the rest, and why should customers choose it over alternatives?
Stress the key advantages of your solution, and emphasise your solution’s unique selling points.
Fourth Stage: Putting Plans Into Motion
At this point in your social media sales funnel, you should stop focusing on educating your audience and start actively promoting to them.
If you want people to work with you or buy your products frequently (once a week or more), you need to let them know how to do so. For service-based companies, this could feel like less of a challenge. My experience working with numerous service-oriented companies has taught me, however, that there is a legitimate concern about coming off as pushy.
In order to begin generating more leads and sales through Instagram, you need to get over your fear of talking about your offering. Really. That’s the key.
If you run a service-based company, you need to make it easy for potential customers to learn more about you, get in touch with you, and hire you.
If your company sells tangible goods, be sure to highlight their features, benefits, and target market.
L5: Loyalty Phase
Well, now you’ve gone and done it. Obviously, you were successful in closing the deal. You managed to convince someone! It’s time to kick back and…
You’ve closed the deal, but the best part is yet to come. This is the part where you get someone to promote your brand to their friends and family. Someone who will keep coming back and will rave about your business to their friends and family.
It’s not necessarily about the content you’re sharing with the general public on social media as the means to this end.
The process of building a social media sales funnel that actually works isn’t as difficult as you might think. You’re probably already doing this, even if you don’t call it “Interest” or “Action” content.
Planning content with intent is made easier when marketing is purposefully aligned with the social media sales funnel. In addition, you can accurately evaluate how useful various forms of content are in advancing your company.