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Sarah Lundy

Digital Director

 

Social media can be an immensely powerful tool and one that can gain your brand increased awareness, drive relevant traffic to your site, improve your conversion rate, and ultimately increase your bottom line. However, driving business from social media is not a quick win, it takes time and consistency backed up with a fool-proof strategy.

Social media marketing is a funnel, just like your other channels. Therefore, in order to turn your followers into paying customers, you have to nurture them and move them through each individual stage of the funnel. To do this, your content types need to vary from the top of the sales/lead funnel (ToFu), to the middle of the funnel (MoFu) and the bottom of the funnel (BoFu).

 

Now more than ever it’s vital that you maintain communication with your target market and brands that do this are going to come out on top and in a strong position. We’ve put together our tips to help you effectively use social media to move prospects through the funnel and to maximise the impact that you have on your target market.

01Creating Awareness at the Top of the Funnel (ToFu)

 

The awareness stage of the funnel is where prospects get a sense of who you are as a brand and what your story is. You do not have an audience at this stage – only a target audience. Your target audiences will normally be relatively broad at this stage and they are unaware of your brand, therefore trying to sell to this audience is not going to work. Instead, use social media content that is going to create a sense of familiarity around your brand, make people understand your story and generate interest.

 

Types of ToFu content to use:

 

  • Video content – grab the attention of your prospects with emotive brand videos which communicate your story and your values.
  • Post relevant and engaging content consistently.
  • Post highly shareable content
  • Use brand ambassadors and genuine brand related influencers to contribute to your storytelling and to amplify your messaging.
  • Use your social media channels to link through to recent blogs on your website – this will not only increase your website traffic but it will generate more awareness among people who may not have heard of your brand before.

 

Merely posting content on your social media channels will simply not work. Relying on only the organic reach of social content is the equivalent of closing your eyes and crossing your fingers as you send your bowling ball down the alley.

 

Once you have the right content ready for your audience, expand your reach and generate increased awareness using targeted social adverts. This allows you to gain exposure to your target audiences. There are a number of ways to do this,

Doing it well?

Let’s take a look at the Patagonia brand.
Patagonia has a strong, focused and unbendable brand focus based on key values: build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to protect nature, and, not bound by convention.

The brand spends a considerable amount of money on Facebook advertising. Their adverts are specifically geared around messages of relevance to the environment and are usually in partnership with a regional charity or alliance that have similar goals and values to Patagonia.

 

By taking time to craft appealing adverts based around a specific message, with emotive imagery, this allows each advert to have a specific, small target audience who have the same interest as the topic being talked about. By not placing its own products central to the message, Patagonia are specifically not trying to sell to what will be a cold audience. 

 

They have between 20 and 50 very distinct and different adverts running at any one time, each time-bound and with a small spend against each advert. These will be used to test which partnerships, messages and images get the best response for the brand – generating interest and engagement through to their Facebook pages or website. By investing time and effort into the top of their funnel, Patagonia are ensuring that their brand exposure and advertising dollar is focused towards those who share similar values.

02Nurturing Prospects Through the Consideration Phase (MoFu)

 

Now that you have generated awareness, you need to serve these prospects with the types of content they need to push them to the consideration phase. The middle of the funnel is where you want your leads to continue to engage with your brand and learn more about the products or services that you provide. The key thing to remember is that people at this stage are not necessarily ready to commit to anything, but you want to ensure that you make an impact.

 

You are more than likely competing with other brands at this stage. When people research – whether acting as a consumer or for business – they research quickly and broadly. You must grab attention and utilise your value proposition.

 

At this stage, you should be using your social media channels to present yourself as an industry expert and a place where people can come to learn everything they need to know relating to your product or services.

 

Types of MoFu content to use:

 

  • Post bite-sized pieces of information on your social posts. Those engaged with your social media are looking for resonance and relevance.
  • Use video content to show people how you can solve the problems they are experiencing.
  • Link to content on your website that reinforces the messages you want to provide about your products and services.
  • Make use of case studies to demonstrate how you have effectively solved problems that your prospects can relate to or may be experiencing themselves.
  • Whitepapers – show you have done your research and provide evidence of how your product or service can benefit customers.
  • Make use of live video or arrange a Q&A with your brand ambassadors.
  • Use remarketing adverts to those who have previously responded at the top of the funnel but not moved to demonstrable engagement with your products or services.

 

At this stage you should be using your social media to serve regular information and advice relating to your product or service.

Doing it Well?

Continuing with Patagonia’s Facebook as an example, you can quickly see how they fulfil this MoFu engagement.

 

Using posts that sometimes place the product central to a video, yet don’t go so far as to talk about the specific product creates interest in the story and is an extension to the pure brand advertising at the top of the funnel. There is always something new to read, interesting to watch, and an encouragement to delve deeper into the website to explore… and potentially purchase.

03Moving Prospects from the Awareness to the Decision stage of the Funnel (BoFu)

 

The bottom of the funnel is the decision making stage, it’s the make or break stage that can result in conversions. By this stage, you have formed a relationship with your prospects who are now highly engaged with your brand. Now, your prospect is going to be looking on your social media channels for specific information about your product or service.

 

Keep in mind that this shouldn’t be a sales pitch, instead you need to prove your worth and convince prospects of how great your product or service actually is.

 

Types of BoFu content to use:

 

  • Present your prospects with testimonials from brand evangelists – you could do this through simple social posts, video content, the use of imagery or by linking through to a testimonial page on your website.
  • Actively encourage reviews on your social channels where possible.
  • Link through to case studies that show just how good you are at what you do.
  • Demonstrate how your products work using video.
  • Offer an incentive to push prospects over the line.
  • Remarketing with product purchase adverts on social channels to audiences who have looked at products and services on your website but have not purchased or enquired.

 

At this stage it is more acceptable to push your products harder. It’s the ‘close’ of the sell. Your social media will still play a part in clinching your customer, but it is increasingly just one of the many touch points you will have with your prospect at this stage. It is vital that your social is part of a larger and consistent marketing strategy that looks at the prospect as a whole.

Doing it Well?

Even Patagonia’s BoFu social activity retains the absolute brand DNA. Facebook posts which are guiding the consumer straight to a product page retain mentions of at least one of the core values.

 

Even when selling a jacket, the sales line reminds you that you are buying a jacket for life. They also often highlight the lower ticket items, such as books, which can be a ‘gateway’ purchase for a new customer.

 

In Summary

Long, long gone is the time where your social media channels were new and exciting. Prospects often spend hours each day on social media and will not engage with shouty sales messages that do not resonate with where they are in their journey with your brand.

Think about your recent brand engagements via Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and other social platforms. What encouraged you to engage? Which brands made a mess of it?

So how effective is your social media funnel? Hopefully we have given you a bit of food for thought.

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