Lets begin by defining what a marketing funnel really is. Think of a funnel as a journey your customers take, or a set of steps they must go through, before they reach their final destination, which is a conversion or purchase. One of the most common frameworks for a marketing funnel is based off of a framework known as the AIDA model, which stands for "Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action." For more detailed information on this model, Smart Insights provides a great breakdown, but your goal is to move your audience through each stage. Kissmetrics provides a perfect example of how Amazon uses marketing funnels to guide customers towards purchases:
Now you may be wondering how your social media profiles fit into the marketing funnel picture, and that's a great question. Of course social media is vital to your overall social media strategy, but it can also be used as its own standalone marketing funnel that serves the same purpose as the above example, which is leading customers towards a conversion or sale. Many marketing professionals will use paid social ads as the base of their social media marketing funnel to send targeted traffic to a landing page, but you'd be surprised how simple interactions you're already having with businesses on social media constitute as a form of a marketing funnel! Without further ado, lets dive into how to build a social media marketing funnel:
Select Which Social Media Networks To Focus On
The last thing you want to do is spread yourself too thin and make your social media marketing funnel ineffective, so you need to decide which social media networks you're going to focus on. How do you decide that? By choosing the networks where your target audience spends their time. That is what's most important here - hitting the networks they use (not the ones you think are most important) hard.
Here are some awesome demographics from Quick Sprout you can take into consideration when trying to decide which networks your target audience are on, and ultimately, which networks are going to be included in your marketing funnel:
Develop A Strategy
Now that you've selected which networks to include in your social media marketing funnel, it's time to develop your strategy. Are you going to focus on paid ads and driving traffic to optimized landing pages, and letting the conversion process take over from there? Or is your funnel going to rely heavily on fresh content, which will in turn be used to guide your customers through the sales process? If this is the route you're going to take, you need to begin working on an editorial calendar and deciding when, and how often, you intend on posting on each of the networks in your funnel.
Or do you only plan on using fresh content as a tool to drive traffic from your social media profiles to landing pages, and in similar fashion to paid ads, letting the conversion process on your website take over from there? If you are using landing pages, do you have tracking codes in place to monitor performance? These are all questions you need to answer now, as a social media marketing funnel without a well thought out strategy and clear-cut goal will never be successful.
You don't want to start investing time and money (whether it's money put into paid ads or money put into hours spent working on the funnel itself) if you're already setting yourself up for failure from the get-go.
Monitor The Performance Of The Marketing Funnel
Are you familiar with the phrase "set it and forget it"? That approach does not work with social media marketing funnels. You need to monitor the performance of these funnels every step of the way, and know which metrics to monitor, so adjustments can be made if the results are no up to par. For example, did you decide to run paid ads? Then you need to be be checking your campaigns on a daily basis to see how many clicks the campaign is generating, what those clicks are costing, what your conversions are costing, and so on.
Or did you decide to post fresh content? Then paying attention to engagement is crucial - monitor likes, comments, shares, and clicks. Are you driving traffic to your website and utilizing landing pages? Hopefully you set up tracking codes on your landing pages so you're able to see what your conversion rates are. Utilizing a service like Crazy Egg can come in handy with landing pages so you can get heat maps and see exactly where visitors are, and aren't, clicking, to see if certain elements on the page aren't performing well. Quick Sprout has some additional tips for measuring the impact of your marketing funnel: