Learn what a social media marketing funnel is and how to use social insights to set it up.
When it comes to social media marketing, most of the tips you see online are around understanding your audience, creating content for them, staying consistent with the channels, optimizing your hashtags and so on. But what about the one crucial piece that can make or break your success – leading your target audience from social media to your website, where you can actually drive conversions.
This is where the complex topic of creating a social media marketing funnel comes into play. In this article, we’re going to talk about what a social media marketing funnel is, the five stages of the marketing funnel, how to create content for each stage and how to set one up for your business.
What is a social media marketing funnel?
A marketing funnel is typically defined as the path or the journey a consumer travels through – from the initial stages of discovering your brand, learning about your business to making a purchase and the lifecycle after.
Using the same definition as base, a social media marketing funnel is one that defines the path of a consumer from the moment they discover your business on a platform, how they continue to engage with your content to when and how it leads them to make a purchase from you. In this funnel, all the touchpoints are on the various social media platforms that your business is actively reaching out to the target audience on.
What are the different stages of a social media marketing funnel and how does social listening fuel each?
If you ask social media experts across different industries, they may have different opinions about how a marketing funnel works on social media. But having worked with leading brands across the world, creating social media campaigns – paid and organic, we have found that the base of a good social media marketing funnel consists of 5 key phases or stages:
Consumer surveys and studies have found that 1 in 3 consumers discover new brands, products and services on social media.
Awareness is the stage wherein they do not know who you are, what you sell or what value you have to offer. This is the initial touchpoint wherein hard sales pitches don’t work; this where making a good introduction becomes important.
At this stage your social media efforts should be focused on introducing your business through the challenges, goals and objectives your consumers want to achieve and can accomplish via your products/ services – all without pushing them for sales.
Use social listening to identify what your target audience is talking about in the industry, their opinion on your competitors and how they feel about what they have at hand. Use that as your guiding light to create content that entices them into your funnel. At this point, tapping into trends can also help reach your target audience.
For example, here’s how Indewild creates content for those who are entirely new to skincare routines, before even introducing their products to them:
Once you have worked on your brand awareness on social channels, the next step is to move your acquired audience further down into the funnel. This is where you need to align your social media marketing strategy to take into account the ‘consideration stage’ of the funnel.
At this stage, your audience is looking for more specific information around your brand, its products and services. This includes them looking into the reasons and reviews on why you are better than the competitors.
This is where you should make use of social listening to identify market gaps and run a thorough competitor analysis. Leveraging the information you gather, present content that is not just educational in nature on social media, but also one that positions you in a better light. Now this can include strategy breakdowns, success stories, case studies, testimonials (text and videos), interviews, product tutorials and similar content.
Here’s how Sephora creates guides on Instagram to fuel their consideration stage in the social media marketing funnel:
Once you have nailed the consideration stage, the audience you have gathered on social media will become receptive to campaigns that are targeted at direct selling. During the consideration stage, we recommend making use of social analytics to track the data on your organic and paid campaigns to see how your nurtured audience is responding to them.
A social media analytics tool like Radarr can also help you identify the elements of a campaign that drive engagement or conversions. This also helps you visualize and see if you’re reaching your business goals and objectives from the earlier stages of the social media marketing funnel.
At this stage, we also recommend setting up retargeting ad campaigns to keep engaged audiences enticed with what you have to offer. This way you can optimize your ad campaigns for better ROAS as well to streamline your advertising spends.
Here’s an example of how Victoria’s Secret targets their audience on social media at the action stage – they leverage demographic based offers to run targeted campaigns.
Oftentimes, businesses tend to focus on the marketing funnel up until conversion (action). But with social media, you have the chance to tap into the opportunities that the post-purchase journey of a consumer has to offer.
Owing to the increase in the number of options available to consumers, it is important to keep them engaged even after they make a purchase from you. It is crucial that you use social media to also continue to nurture the relationship you have with them, and stay on top of their minds amidst all the competition.
You can do this by creating a brand community on social media with a simple hashtag. Encourage your followers and customers to share their purchases and experiences on social media using the hashtag, and use social monitoring to keep a close watch on what is being shared on these channels.
Hashtag campaigns are a great way to initiate a chain of consumer content, and at the same time, make them all feel like a part of a community. But the one big part to making this community a success is actually engaging with what the community shares. From a simple thank you to giving consumers shoutouts, keep the community going with a little motivation by improving your social media response rate.
Here’s an example of how GymShark has created a community on social media that not just gives them authentic content, but also helps its consumers find their motivation amongst one another.
This is the social media marketing funnel stage where you have made the sale, ensured a great experience and continue to keep the customer engaged. Now it is time for you to nudge them to participate in word of mouth promotions for your business, referring your brand in their network.
While positive customer reviews and testimonials on social media definitely act as content that advocates your brand, you should also tap into the power of influencer marketing.
With the help of social media analytics and social listening, identify user profiles that have a strong influence in your industry and have made an interaction with your business as well. Reach out to these consumers/ influencers, engage them in campaigns that are focused on using their voice to promote your brand amongst their friends, family and followers.
Here’s an example of how Fenty Beauty collaborates with its existing customers to turn them into influencers for the brand.
Do you really need a social media marketing funnel?
Think about the number of social media platforms and channels a business needs to be on as of today.
With the digital landscape growing by the day it’s obvious that new channels will soon get introduced into the ecosystem. As a business, you may have to continually expand your strategy to cover new platforms and not having a social media marketing funnel in place is as good as not having a plan on how to use them to fuel business growth.
A social media marketing funnel is what adds a customer journey on top of your strategy to help attribute business goals achieved to every effort made on social media.
Not sure where to begin?
We say, it’s time to first identify which social media platforms your audience is engaging with actively and then analyze your campaign success to understand their intent, interest and preferences – you can do this with the help of a comprehensive social media audit.
This is where Radarr’s social listening, monitoring and analytics tool can help.