The Definitive Guide to Social Media Funnels

Social Media

Social media is a key marketing channel for many companies, which makes sense. 


It’s almost inevitable that your ideal customer has a social media presence.


As a company, you want to reach these customers, engage with them, and convince them to purchase or try your service.


This guide will discuss one of the most effective ways to make this happen. 


In the following paragraphs, We’ll discuss how to create a social media marketing funnel. 


We'll reveal the best way to take a cold lead and turn them into a warm prospect.

1. What is a social media marketing funnel?

Marketing funnels are valuable tools that can help brands acquire, convert, and retain customers. 


A social media marketing funnel helps you take prospects that are either unaware or have limited knowledge of your company and bring them to a point where they show an interest in your products or services.


Marketing funnels are divided into five stages:

  • Awareness: engage with prospects who are unaware of your brand.
  • Consideration: make your prospect consider your service.
  • Action: convince your audience to take some form of action.
  • Engagement: keep your new customers engaged with your brand.
  • Advocacy: build trust with your audience so that they recommend your products/ services.

The graphic below provides a nice oversight of how a funnel works.

how a funnel works

Source: DirectIQ

There are various ways you can turn a prospect into a warm lead. 


For instance, you can slowly educate your audience over time through the content you share through your social channels.


Designing and developing your marketing funnel requires skill. 


Participating in social media training courses offered by digital marketing professionals is good for developing these skills.

2. How to create a social media marketing funnel

In the previous section, we provided you with a clear definition of a social media marketing funnel. 


This guide will now look at how to create a funnel that will convert your audience into customers in the shortest amount of time.


Keep in mind that you need to set realistic expectations about the ROI of your funnel.


The type of product or service you sell and the price point will greatly impact your conversion rate and your funnel’s effectiveness. 


Let me quickly walk you through why those two considerations are important.


In general, the more expensive the product or service you have to offer, the more time you will need to spend convincing the prospect to spend money. 


The cheaper your product or service, the less time you’ll need to spend educating your prospect before they spend money.


Secondly, you need to consider the buying process.


For example, if a board of directors needs to sign off on a purchasing decision, you’re not going to make a sale by running a webinar. 


Rather, your social media marketing funnel’s conversion point will be when you receive an inquiry about your service.


In the remainder of this guide, we’ll walk you through how to create a suitable social media marketing funnel for your business.

2.1. Create a Customer Persona

The effectiveness of any marketing campaign hinges on your understanding of your audience. 


The better you understand your audience and their needs, the more likely you can design a funnel that converts prospects into customers.


One method that businesses use to define their audience is the creation of a customer persona.


A customer persona is a semi-fictional archetype. It will incorporate information about your audience demographics, their interests, the type of job that they have, and other relevant information. 


The image below provides a nice example of a business-to-consumer persona.

 example of a business-to-consumer persona

A business-to-business persona will include information about the type of company you are targeting, for example, company size, revenue, etc. 


It will also include data about the person you want to connect with, their pain points, and goals.


Creating a customer persona helps you better understand your target audience. 


The customer persona is a useful resource you can refer to as you develop your marketing plan.

2.2. Conceptualize Your Marketing Funnel

Once you’ve created your customer persona, consider your goals and those of your audience. For example, imagine you’re running a shoe store. 


Your target audience is people who are employed at a formal job. 


They want comfortable, smart, and affordable shoes.


Some of your potential customers will know what they want. If you put the brand of shoe that they want to purchase in front of them at a competitive price, you’ll probably make the sale.


Those are the perfect customers. They don’t need nurturing. You just need to let them know that you have something great to offer.


It will be harder to sell your shoes to most customers. For example, some people won’t know what type of shoes that they want.


Sharing an article on social media about the “best smart work shoes for people on a budget” might generate a few clicks. 


Those people could decide after reading the article to purchase some shoes. 


However, that’s not much of a funnel.


You want to create a social media marketing funnel that maximizes conversions.


You might do this by creating a short survey about the most comfortable work shoes. 


When people complete the quiz, they arrive on an optin page where they can access a special discount on their ideal shoes. 


They are then directed to a sales page.

Funnels people from social media

The example above funnels people from social media directly to your sales page


This type of funnel will work well for low-priced items where the consumer has an interest and the budget for your product.


If you were selling an expensive service, you could also use a survey funnel to generate leads. 


However, instead of bringing your leads to a sales page, you could offer them a content upgrade, like a free eBook that provides value.


Consider the user journey when you design your social media marketing funnel. 


Try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and consider if the offer and funnel you have created provide value to your target audience.

2.3. Build & Test Your Marketing Funnel

Once you’ve conceptualized your marketing funnel, you will need to create the funnel. 


Start by stripping back your social media marketing funnel to the bare minimum.


Don’t start by creating a funnel with complicated upsells and down-sells that look like the image below.

 funnel with complicated upsells and down-sells

Keep it simple.


You want to create a funnel that takes the least amount of time to create, so you can test if the offer you have converts prospects into leads or customers.

A social media marketing funnel

A social media marketing funnel like the one above is more than good enough to test results. 


If the funnel fails to convert, you can go back to the drawing board and make quick changes.


On the other hand, if you see that your funnel converts, then you can start tinkering with the design and copy. 


Making small changes, and adding extra steps at this stage, when you are looking to maximize your conversions makes sense.


Don’t invest a lot of time into a funnel that might not work.

3. Retaining customers

The overarching objective of your marketing funnel is to turn prospects into customers. 


Getting a person to get out their credit card and spend money is the hardest part of any sales campaign.


When your social media marketing funnel is working, do as much as possible to retain existing customers and try, if possible, to turn them into brand advocates. 


The best way to retain customers is by providing exceptional customer service.


Regardless of the product or service you sell, do everything you can to hit and exceed your customers’ expectations. 


That involves keeping any promises you make to your customers through your marketing material. 


The way you do this will depend on the type of business you are running and your customers.

4. Wrapping Up

Social media is an important marketing channel for many businesses. 


Your customers are undoubtedly active on social media. However, it’s difficult to get their attention due to the number of people publishing content. 


Moreover, even if people engage with your content, it’s hard to get them to maintain a relationship with your business.


This guide discussed how to overcome this problem by creating an effective social media funnel for your business. 


We started this guide by first defining a social media funnel. We then discussed the various stages that you should follow to create a marketing funnel.


The starting point for any marketing campaign is the creation of a customer persona. 


Once you are clear about your customers’ needs and pain points, you should then conceptualize your funnel. 


When designing your funnel, the user journey and the value you provide to your leads should be top of your mind. 


The better you serve your customers, the more likely they will take the actions you desire.


Start by creating the simplest type of funnel possible. Once you’ve created your marketing funnel, monitor the results and make amendments accordingly. 


If you see a positive ROI, you can build out your funnel to maximize conversions.


Biography: By Chris Norton, Founder of insight-led PR agency Prohibition, former University lecturer, author of “Share This Too” and listed in the UK's top 10 PR and social media bloggers.

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