by Brittany McSorley
We have good news and bad news. The bad news? There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for successful social media marketing on Cape Cod. Some businesses find that Instagram Stories are the best way to connect with customers. Some stick to Facebook and a strong blog presence. Some experiment with a little bit of everything. So it may take some time before you find the marketing plan that works best for your business.
But here’s the good news: No matter which channel you’re using, there are some tried-and-true guidelines to follow when it comes to conversion. To effectively bring customers from “I’m just seeing your page for the first time,” all the way to “I am now fiercely loyal to your brand,” the experts agree on the need for a social media marketing funnel.
The traditional “sales funnel” idea is simple. The top of the funnel, where it’s widest, symbolizes your initial marketing strategy, and the funnel narrows as your strategy evolves, bringing you closer to a sale. The funnel begins with a customer becoming aware of your brand and ends with a purchase (and, with any luck, undying loyalty).
But things are a little different on social. Here’s our breakdown of the key points of a social media marketing funnel, and how to best navigate each of them.
The first step is, of course, making potential customers aware of your business and what it offers. Who are you, and what problem can you solve? This step is an initial touchpoint with your target audience, so hard selling has no place here. How do you make people aware of your business? Content: Facebook posts, Instagram Stories, blogs written with SEO in mind to get you noticed. Make sure all the necessary information for a new customer is easy to find on your social profiles and landing pages. No one should have to hunt down what you sell, where you sell it, or how to contact you.
Once you’re on a customer’s radar, it’s time to let them know how and why you stand out from the competition. Why should they remember your brand among the dozens they see content from every day? This is done by providing more detailed information than in the first phase. Targeted ads are a great way to reach specific audiences. And for those who are already following you on Facebook or Instagram, sharing details from projects or product tutorials can pique customer interest. The consideration phase is often when customers will engage with your social posts through likes or comments. Do not ignore that engagement! Respond in a timely manner with helpful information about what you offer.
Thank you for your patience. Now is the time to sell, and if the first two phases have gone well, your customer is expecting the sell. Offer them a purchase incentive to help seal the deal. This can come in the form of a discount, a holiday promotion, a targeted email campaign for those who have already shown interest… you get the idea.
The relationship with your customer has only just begun after a sale takes place. Now is the time to keep nurturing the relationship on social media. Nothing builds brand loyalty like a happy (and vocal) returning customer. If longtime patrons of your business are always commenting on your Facebook posts, for example, that’s a huge sign of trustworthiness for a new customer who’s in the consideration phase. So keep happy customers engaged with your social content. Reply to their comments, follow them back, and thank them for their continued business.
Finally, use the beauty of social media to turn your customers into brand advocates! Encourage use of a specialized hashtag for your business, and ask customers (gently) to share their experience on social. This is another good time to offer incentives, like a discount for customers who invite a friend to like your Facebook page, or a giveaway on Instagram for those who share one of your posts. Don’t be too pushy with this phase, but definitely don’t forget about the customers you’ve successfully won over.
Create a marketing funnel of your own, and you’ll be able to effectively communicate with customers in every phase, from introduction to happily ever after.