Creating A Social Media And Small Business Marketing Funnel
If your business uses social media platforms for any sort of professional purpose, then you should constantly be auditing and optimizing your marketing funnel..
When people visit your brand or business on social media, what’s the first thing they see? Where are they most likely to click? Are there specific calls-to-action that are actually actionable and compelling? Is your funnel management supporting your business directives? Combining a quality, social media brand experience with effective marketing and lead generation is the holy grail of social media strategy (in addition to growing community engagement). Let’s take a closer look at how social media and small business marketing funnels work, and what you can do TODAY, to start seeing more results.
Before I get into this further, I should mention that the topic of social media engagement and funnels is lengthy, and there's no way it could all be fit into an article like this. I'm working on a full stack, social media engagement course, which I will be announcing via my newsletter. Please sign up here if you would be interested in receiving this. Now then, on we go!
What is a social media marketing funnel?
Have you ever come across an Instagram post that advertises an article of clothing (for example, a fun holiday sweater), with a caption about the style of the clothing, the material that's used to make it and; most importantly, where you can go to buy it? Shop now, link in bio, learn more- these are all social media engagement hooks used to draw potential customers to take a specific action- to visit the companies online store and purchase a product. That process of discovery to action, is directed by your marketing funnel.
But it goes further than that- once you’re at the companies online store, pop-ups and other visual features will direct you to specific areas of the screen, such as towards the “add to cart” button, or towards discount banners that display messages like Best Buy promo code, click here now! This flow of traffic is architected by the companies funnel management (marketing) team, who specifically use social media networks to get users to perform desired actions. In most cases, this desired action is to make a purchase, but funnels can point to anything- newsletters, community engagement pools, review pages, FAQs, etc.
Aside from the obvious industry of e-commerce, social media marketing funnels play a big role in other types of businesses/brands as well. Music artists for example, drive their viewers to open Spotify/Soundcloud and listen to their records (though there are more effective ways to get streams), or to their other social media pages, in an effort to increase their follower count. Blogs may use direct article links to draw readers right to their latest post, where they will also attempt to gather contact information for the purposes of newsletter marketing. Regardless of which industry you're in, effective social media funnel management can help drive more visitors to your business. Especially as more people start working from home, reaching them through social platforms is increasingly important.
How to create an effective, social media marketing funnel
To create an effective social media marketing funnel, you need to first put yourself in the shoes of your viewers/visitors. Imagine you are visiting your business social network page for the first time, and ask yourself questions like:
- What is this website/brand about?
- Whats the first thing that catches my attention?
- What course of action am I being asked to take on this page?
- What is the most likely course of action I would want to take on this page?
You can also ask friends/family to audit your social pages for these points, but keep in mind that they may be biased. The best auditing will come from people who have no affiliation with your business or brand. Be sure to audit your brand experience on a mobile device as well as desktop, as these types of user experiences will often differ.
To create an effective social media marketing funnel, decide on what the ultimate goal of your funnel will be. Is it to get users to purchase something? Sign up for something? Follow a social media account? Fill out a survey? Once a decision is made, place the relevant URL into the appropriate section of your social media page (for example Instagram in the bio, Twitter can be in-post, Tumblr as an attached link, etc). Then, create an effective post asset (image or caption that will appear on users feed) that encourages clicking your link. This part will take trial and error, and depends very much on how well you understand your brand voice in context of the platform you're engaging. If you'd like some specific suggestions for what might work for you, feel free to contact me.
How to optimize a social media marketing funnel
Now that you understand the directive actions that you want your visitors to take, optimization is the name of the game. There are a few general rules for how to adjust your social media funnels, many of which I have found through trial, error and a lot of analytics.
- Focus on one thing to direct your visitors to, at a time. Instagram and Twitter are great at this because they provide very little space in their shortened bio/post sections. Giving users multiple directives will confuse them, and they might miss the point of you message. Clarity is critical. Dumb things down, but not to the point of making users feel stupid.
- Bring innovative concepts to your marketing funnel, but don’t create unnecessary steps for visitors. If users have to click a link, enter a password, get redirected to another website where they then have to allow Facebook, Google and Twitter to access their personal information, it's very unlikely that they'll ever reach the end of your funnel. However, if you simplify the steps and use a redirect service to create a unique, short url (bit.ly, smarturl, etc.) that clearly points to your e-shop, Users will appreciate the ingenuity and likely click the link. That’s the mission of effective funnel management!
- Keep you directives consistent, and stay evergreen as often as possible. If you posted an Instagram photo in 2016 with a caption that reads 'click the link in bio', it's very likely that your bio link has changed since then, and you'll confuse your reader by leading them to a dead end.
In conclusion, a social media marketing funnel is designed to direct users to take certain actions on your page. I suggest going through all your accounts and evaluating how users interact with each platform, followed by testing new ways to engage with them. What makes sense on Twitter may not make sense on Facebook or Instagram (here's an article I wrote about the different social climate of each platform). Social media funnel management is key, and is a fundamental practice for all businesses and brands in todays world.
Did you find this tip useful? You might also enjoy reading about how to create a Google knowledge panel for your brand. Please also consider sharing the article with your network, by using the social media icons below. Any questions or comments? Let us know on Twitter!