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Social Media Marketing Funnel: How to Build One that Actually Converts!

  • Post category:Social Media
  • Reading time:8 mins read

There are a ton of strategies out there when it comes to marketing your brand via social media. Most of these strategies encourage generating effective content, building a social media marketing calendar, and developing creative campaigns to keep your audience engaged. However, there tends to be a massive gap between first encounters and developing brand advocates. In this post, we’ll discuss the five stages of the social media marketing funnel. By the end of it, you’ll understand exactly how social media fits into each phase.

What is a Social Media Marketing Funnel?

A marketing funnel is a journey that your customers travel through. It begins the moment they become aware of your brand and continues until after they purchase your product or service. The social media marketing funnel ends with aa customer developing into a true advocate of your brand.

Various industries and experts may have varying opinions on the phases of a social media marketing funnel. Regardless of the labels that you attach to each phase, there is a universal framework to a customer journey that ultimately ends in a sale and long-term brand advocacy.

The most popular social media sales funnel framework, and the structure that applies to most businesses, consists of five phases:

  1. Awareness: Attracting new people who are currently unaware of your brand.
  2. Consideration: Standing out among your competition so that new audience members remember you.
  3. Action: Compelling your audience to take action and make a purchase.
  4. Engagement: Using social media to stay in the forefront and keep your audience engaged post-purchase.
  5. Advocacy: Building adequate trust with your audience that they want to refer you to others.

Social Media Marketing Funnel

So you’re likely wondering now…how does social media fit into each of these phases…right?

Assuming that social media plays a large role in your marketing strategy, you can easily incorporate social posts into each phase of the funnel. Depending on which platforms you use, you can guide your audience through the customer journey organically.

When used in tandem, these phases create a customer journey that continues to build trust with your audience and increase awareness of your brand.

5 Stages of the Social Media Marketing Funnel

Step 1: Awareness

The social media marketing funnels begins with potential customers stumbling across your brand and becoming aware that your brand exists.

As a business, you should successfully identify a problem that your audience needs help solving. Even if your audience is not aware of your brand, you can relate to them by offering a solution to a common problem in their industry.

This initial point of contact is not the time for a hard pitch of your product. The goal here is to offer value and support. This information should be valuable enough that potential customers remember your brand and seek more information on who you are.

Social Media Marketing Funnel Awareness

Show the value of your business via content, such as blogs, videos, guides, and webinars at this point in the social media marketing funnel. Answer the questions your audience is searching for will bring potential leads to your website, where you’ll have the opportunity to further establish your credibility and overall trust.

If your budget allows for it, you can invest in paid advertising to further improve awareness. By targeting a specific audience, you’re specifically targeting people who may be dealing with the problem you’re aiming to solve. When creating blog content, make the most of SEO and content marketing to entice new users organically.

Video marketing also works well in the awareness phase. If you can create videos for Facebook or Instagram, you can increase your chances of new users finding you organically.

Step 2: Consideration

As potential customers continue through the social media marketing funnel, they begin to look for more specific information when considering whether to further engage with your product or service. This includes doing a little research into why you are a better option than your competition.

The consideration phase is when you provide more detailed information to guide potential customers into the action phase. Providing potential customers with the right information such as case studies or webinars can help build more trust during this phase.

For B2C businesses, the consideration stage may involve customer testimonial campaigns, in-depth product tutorials, or product reviews on your Facebook Business Page.

Step 3: Action

Assuming you’ve nurtured the relationship up until this point, customers should feel open to being sold at this stage in the funnel. Check the date from your analytics to see how most of your audience has engaged with the previous phases.

During this phase of the social media marketing funnel, it’s convenient to use a social media management platform like Sprout Social. I mention Sprout Social because it’s analytics dashboard and reporting features to track your data and measures whether your paid social media ads received enough engagement. This helps you gauge whether you’re reaching your goals from the earlier stages of the social media marketing funnel.

Action

Sprout Social also helps you view analytics from each platform and determine better ways to generate sales./

Trust that your audience has made it this far through the funnel and that sales will come into play during this stage. Make sure you continue to nurture potential customer relationships until they are ready to convert.

At this point, it’s okay to nudge your customers to take the leap and make a purchase. You can do this by offering purchase incentives like new customer discounts or free shipping. Believe it, or not, but 67% of customers said they would most likely engage with discounts or offers.

During the action stage, use remarketing paid campaigns to target users who have expressed interest by engaging with previous parts of your funnel.

Part 4: Engagement

It’s essential that you don’t forget about your audience once you’ve made the sale. It’s far too common for brands not to put in as much time on this part of the funnel.

It might seem like since a customer has made a purchase that they’re a lifetime fan. However, this is rarely the case. You still need to continue to nurture the relationship to stay at the forefront of their mind.

Stay connected with your customers and make them feel like they’re part of your tribe. You can do this by creating social media content that supports them based on the purchase they made.

Engagement

#Hashtag campaigns are a great way to make users feel like they’re part of a tribe and encourage continued brand loyalty. For less visual brands, you can also use a similar tactic on Twitter by creating a hashtag or organizing a Twitter chat.

SEMrush does a great job of conducting weekly #SEMchats on Twitter. These chats attract SEMrush users and other people in the digital marketing space.

For B2B or SaaS companies, the engagement phase can involve sharing tutorials. Some brands even chose to create a private Facebook Page or community for users to connect with them and each other.

Step 5: Advocacy

Okay, so you’ve made the sale and generated added value following your customer’s purchase. Woohoo. Now it’s time to take your social media marketing funnel one step further.

Now is when you convert your customers from fans into superfans or brand advocates.

Express gratitude to your customers and reward them for spreading the word about your brand. Collect customer testimonials and reviews or offer incentives that encourage customers to share their journey with their friends.

Advocacy

Continuing to nurture the relationship will take your customers from fans to superfans, who will organically influence their network to trust your brand as well.

Continue to develop meaningful content and nurture your existing customer relationships. Make it easy for customers to share their stories and advocate on behalf of your brand. Allow customers to share reviews and testimonials on your website or Facebook Business Page to voice their praises.

Work with existing customers or power users to create content during the advocacy phase.

Closing Thoughts

There’s no getting around it. Traditional sales funnels have their place in any business’ toolbox. However, social media marketing funnels can engage your audience, build trust, and foster an authentic tribe of fans for your brand.

An all too common mistake that marketers make is to invest in only a few of these stages instead of all of them. Your audience and potential customers can sense overly sales-focused content or pitches without first building brand awareness and trust. This style of marketing can be off-putting to people who are less than familiar with your brand. If you’re worried about having limited resources to construct your funnel, then pick one or two tactics to focus on for each phase.

Incorporating the right steps into your customer journey will help your brand to continue to grow. Rather than building a customer list, you’re building a loyal fan base.

Andrew Roche

Andrew Roche is a Digital Consultant at Shift Digital. He is also pursuing an MBA in Marketing & Finance through the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University