Stages in Building a Profitable Social Media Marketing Funnel
The tactics for achieving social media goals aren’t necessarily the same as the tactics in traditional marketing. We need a new version of the marketing funnel to account for social media. This updated sales funnel includes five stages:
- Awareness: making your target audience aware of your products or services as a solution to a specific problem
- Consideration: at this stage, they are considering your brand instead of your competitors
- Conversion: the customer makes a final purchase decision
- Engagement: staying top of mind with the customer post-purchase
- Advocacy: customers become brand advocates and recommend your services or products to others
Social media fuels a different customer journey than regular sales, and it doesn’t always follow a strict path. Organic efforts can guide audiences through these five stages to create awareness and build trust.
Stage 1: Awareness
The journey begins at the top of the funnel. It involves finding potential buyers and making them aware of your brand and offerings. Start by identifying a common pain point for your target audience and then describe how your product offers a solution. This stage is not about pitching your product line — it’s about establishing your brand in the buyer’s mind in a way that improves the odds of recall.
Stage 2: Consideration
After awareness, buyers transition to the consideration stage. At this point in the journey, buyers are researching your offerings and comparing them to competitors’ offerings. Providing detailed information about your products and features is the focal point of all the content you produce in this stage. Helpful, informative types of content include webinars, testimonials and product reviews. Social can drive registrations and downloads by addressing pain points and engaging with your audience directly.
Stage 3: Conversion
The conversion stage is when a buyer initiates and ideally completes a purchase. Promotions, product points of differentiation and retargeting are key at this stage across social channels. While discounts are not consistently employed in most marketing campaigns, slight markdowns or risk-free trial periods offered via social media can boost conversions in a pinch. Use social listening and customer feedback to address common hesitations that may arise during this time.
Stage 4: Engagement
During the engagement stage, you can avoid buyer remorse by making sure the customer feels supported in product implementation. It’s common for brands to forget about buyers during this stage, which damages retention and limits repeat purchases. Consider how you can include the buyer in your online community. A great way to build engagement is through user-generated content (UGC) and a branded hashtag. This reassures buyers about the purchase they just made while allowing them to share their experience with their peers. For less visual products, community pages on LinkedIn and Twitter chats can create a similar sense of community. Both of these tactics help buyers feel heard and enable them to connect with other purchasers.
Stage 5: Advocacy
It’s paramount to take the marketing funnel one step further and consider the advocacy stage. During this stage, your goal is to turn every customer into a lifelong brand advocate. As customers voice their happiness about your brand, they influence their networks to trust you. Collecting reviews and testimonials is vital at this stage.