Social media rules the global consciousness.
TikTok reels are the new zeitgeist. The Beauty Algorithm has taken over. And the AI Revolution is rewriting the way we produce and consume content.
No matter the industry, every brand (unless it involves a niche product whose customers don’t care about social media) has to project a desirable social media presence. You must post engaging content, interact with customers and keep your followers updated on what matters through your social media channels.
However, just because every brand is on social media doesn’t mean they’re actually profiting off it. Like most things in life, achieving success through social media marketing is both a science and an art.
In this article, I’ll take you through the core aspects of a social media marketing funnel that actually converts users and drives profits. I’ll also introduce you to a tool that helps you streamline and manage your diverse social media activities without the hassle of checking multiple dashboards.
- What is a social media marketing funnel?
- Step #1: Know your audience
- Step #2: Generate content to drive awareness
- Step #3: Once people are interested, put forward your USP
- Step #4: Give them the nudge to purchase
- Step #5: Don’t forget post-purchase engagement
- Step #6: Push (smartly) for customer advocacy
- Step #7: Test your funnel and run corrections
What is a social media marketing funnel?
The purpose of a social media marketing funnel is to convince strangers to buy what you’re selling.
To do so, one must go a little deeper into how consumers think. Look at how advertising works outside the internet. You have billboards and commercials for new products, then comes the repeat ads, and then the offers…all of which work to kindle a buyer’s desire for said product.
A social media marketing funnel uses the same tactics and is comprised of the same stages to convert prospects. The stages are:
Awareness: Social media users become aware of your product or service.
Interest: Folks get curious about what your brand offers, enough to read your posts, click on the CTA, and visit your website or scroll through your social media feed.
Desire: This is the turning point. Brands need to do enough to trigger an active desire within users to purchase something. Doing so requires focusing on users’ pain points.
Action: At this stage, people take action by themselves by doing one of the following to get closer to the purchase — calling your sales team, asking for a demo, adding an item to the cart or actually clicking “Buy Now” on something.
Advocacy: The customer likes your brand so much that they decided to talk about it and recommend it (of their own accord) within their personal, professional and/or social media circles.
Also Read: How to Build a Successful X Ad Funnel
So, how do you create an effective social media marketing funnel? Keep reading to find out.
Step #1: Know your audience
Who are your potential buyers?
What is their age?
Where are they from?
What do they do for work?
What do they do when they are not working?
When are they online?
These questions must be answered before anything else.
Demographic data is key to curating social media marketing strategies and content. You need to know who you are talking to in order to pursue activities that will get their attention.
You need to have a close understanding of what your audience wants to talk about, and what their primary problems are. These are the things you need to start writing/making videos/podcasts/reels/memes on. These are the things that will get your audience’s undivided attention.
Find your niche, and then put yourself in your potential buyer’s shoes. What do they think? What do they really want out of a brand? What would make them likely to buy what you’re offering?
However, note that you cannot depend on social media analytics alone to understand your audience. Use social listening for reliable data. You need a high-level view not just of you and your competitors but your industry at large. That is how you find gaps, questions and trends your competitors might miss.
Therefore, use the Sprinklr social media listening and monitoring tool to stay updated with new hashtags, questions, complaints, unboxing videos, reviews and the like.
Step #2: Generate content to drive awareness
The easiest way to get the right people’s attention is to research what their problems are and provide actual solutions to them without trying to sell anything (yet).
If you’re a software testing company, look for the primary issues faced by testers on sites like StackOverflow, DZone and dev.to (places frequented by techies).
Also, join the right Reddit communities, and Discord rooms and stay tuned to the latest discussions happening on sites like Hacker News and HackerNoon.
Identify the questions with the most answers, and ones with not enough answers but lots of “I need to know this too” comments. These topics are great fodder for awareness-first content. Use them to write articles, create video guides, make your point on industry podcasts, etc.
Don’t forget to do your own SEO and keyword research. Combine industry knowledge with what search engines rank positively, and chances are that your content will raise significant brand awareness within a few months.
Use organic and paid tactics
If you have the resources, don’t just stop at creating content. Use the following tactics (as many as you can) to gain a wider reach for said content:
Organic methods: Facebook/YouTube/Discord/Twitch live streams, social media contests/giveaways, Facebook/LinkedIn groups, platform-specific content, etc.
Paid methods: Paid ads on Google/Bing/Facebook/YouTube/Instagram/Pinterest/Reddit/Snapchat. You can also pay industry experts/influencers to do one-day takeovers of your social channels and draw their own audience to your brand’s online pages.
Step #3: Once people are interested, put forward your USP
Has your awareness-first content driven curiosity?
Have you received a significant number of views, comments, likes and other forms of engagement on your social media?
Perfect. Now is the time to put forth your company’s primary solution(s) to grab those already curious eyeballs.
For example, let’s say you’ve written an article about all the bugs likely to show up when testing software. At this stage, your social media content starts talking about an actual product that not only runs tests and identifies all these bugs but also makes logs of these bugs with all the details needed to eliminate them from the software under test.
By posting real, tangible solutions to problems you’ve already spoken about, you’re speaking to an audience that actually faces these issues and is eager to solve them. If your product is good (and affordable) enough, this is where you start generating interest in the brand on an actionable level — you generate desire.
Use organic and paid tactics
Organic methods: Positive product reviews, product demos, AMA sessions with brand CEO/CTO, video testimonials from select users, a robust support team
Paid methods: Facebook ads — remarketing and product catalog, sponsored posts with third-party blogs or customer reviews
Step #4: Give them the nudge to purchase
What makes a customer move from interest to “I’ll buy it”?
Answer: When the product/service in question is the best possible option.
That is the intent of this stage — to take people from desire to action.
The content at this stage will be technical and product-specific. For example, if you are selling a SaaS tool, this is when you publish case studies showcasing its success in diverse industries. You talk in detail about how the tool meticulously fills in functionality gaps that exist in on-prem software and provides a desirable result — usually one that translates to profitability.
Use organic and paid tactics
Organic methods: Free product trials, social media contests with subscriptions as rewards, social media ads with time-bound offers, promotional contests
Inorganic methods: Remarketing ads, offer ads, accessible buy buttons on your social media
Step #5: Don’t forget post-purchase engagement
If you ignore your customers after they buy, you’ll lose them. People expect brands to care about how their tools/products work in the real world. You should be engaging actively with customers, checking up on how the products work for them and if they need any help.
Good post-purchase support can actually turn customers into lifetime fans. Every happy customer is a potential advocate for your business.
Stay connected to your customers. Check up on them. Invite them to try new products, and share information that can help them get more out of their purchase.
On social media, create communities for current customers. Encourage them to share their experiences and pose questions to fellow community members.
Be sure to keep creating social media content that supports their purchases.
Use organic and paid tactics
Organic methods: Host regular chats with customers on social media, invite customers on panels at webinars/seminars, answer customer questions on social media, offer priority support, create content out of frequently used customer questions
Paid methods: Sponsored social media posts, private Facebook and LinkedIn groups for customers
Step #6: Push (smartly) for customer advocacy
Once customers have declared that they like your products, find ways to encourage them to share their experiences and positive reviews. Word-of-mouth from happy customers is among the most effective marketing tactics you have. It’s far more powerful than any brand-driven ads could ever be. Because when a customer recommends a brand, they are only doing it because they love the product.
Quick Note: Don’t use paid ads or similar tactics for this stage, because you cannot buy customer love. Just focus on delivering a great product and offering them top-notch support.
Organic tactics at this stage
Private Facebook/LinkedIn groups for customers
Creation of an employee and customer advocacy program
Customer communities and hashtags on X and Instagram
Customer interviews and quotes
Step #7: Test your funnel and run corrections
Once you’ve set your entire funnel, test, test, test.
Check how it performs at every stage, and dig into social media analytics to find out what percentage of users remain on your page(s) as opposed to the percentage of churn.
Don’t forget to take note of when most customers are churning out, as that step in the customer journey might need to be made more streamlined.
At the awareness stage, you can drive PPC (pay-per-click) with three elements: targeting, visuals, and text.
From the interest stage, you’ll need to start measuring results with a slew of KPIs to track how customers are interacting with your content. The most important of these social media KPIs are:
ROI from referrals
Brand voice share
Response rate and SLAs for customer queries
CTR (click-through rate)
Did You Know: 7 key social media metrics to track
Needless to say, to actually create and adjust a funnel with every capability mentioned above, you need a comprehensive, robust social media management tool that automates much of the processes and allows you to have a quick but 360-degree view of relevant numbers.
Creating, posting and monitoring social media content on multiple channels is a lot of work, even if you have a large team at your disposal.
Monitoring audience responses and engaging with them, especially on launch day, isn’t something you can do without the right tool. At the very least, you can collate up-to-date data from numerous platforms, place them in a single view, and compare and analyze numbers to adjust your product launch strategies.
None of this is possible without the right social media management tool.
If you have to examine customer interactions consistently on every social channel, including websites, chat and messaging, you need an AI-backed social media management solution. Because constantly scanning social media to view post performance and engaging with every comment and query is not something your team can manually do.
This is where a tool like Sprinklr Social can come in handy. It lets you scan and engage with audiences across every digital channel from a single, unified dashboard.
So, how can Sprinklr Social help your brand address its specific pain points and challenges? Connect with us and find out.