How Social Media Affects the Marketing Funnel
Most brands use social media to establish a presence online and create brand awareness, which is an obvious step for almost every type of business in today’s world. However, basic brand awareness is only the first step to a successful social media campaign that applies the marketing funnel concepts.
The marketing funnel is the customer journey that starts with awareness and ends in advocacy or referral. The question is, how can a business take a customer through that journey by using social media? We will explore the funnel’s different steps and dive into some of the ways brands can leverage their social media to convert leads into organic brand ambassadors.
The marketing funnel is the ideal customer journey that starts with brand awareness and moves forward through consideration, action, engagement, and advocacy. Here’s an overview:
- Awareness: It’s the stage where a potential customer first learns about your brand’s existence
- Consideration: Your brand can stand out from the competition, and the potential customer has the initial thought of doing business with you
- Action: Potential clients decide on of using your services or purchasing your product
- Engagement: Your business continues producing content that keeps clients informed and engaged after the purchase
- Advocacy: Customers recognize your business and trust it enough that they would recommend it to others. Becoming organic brand ambassadors
Now that you understand each stage of the funnel, we can discuss how social media fits into these phases and how it affects the funnel flow. The expectation is that your business’ social media strategy serves to take clients through this journey organically and seamlessly, influencing their perception of your brand from awareness to advocacy.
During the Awareness phase, you will use social media to let consumers know that your company exists and offer a service or product they need. Your business has identified a problem that the audience is trying to find a solution for. Getting your name and brand out there is the key here. Content creation, from social media posts to blogs to videos to paid social ads, are all things you can include in your strategy to become recognized by your audience, so they know they can choose your business over others.
Consideration starts when your audience has already recognized your business and starts thinking about the next steps. Usually, this means active comparison with your competitors, reading reviews, or exploring your digital assets. The best way to stay top of mind and move forward to the next phase is to target those customers who have been actively looking at your content through targeted ads. Once your potential clients feel confident in your business by repeatedly exploring the content and seeing other clients’ reports on it, they will move on to the next stage of the funnel.
The moment a client chooses to do business with your company, it enters the funnel’s Action phase. An efficient way to use social media is to incentivize the customer to purchase by providing discount codes and other promotions. Offering an incentive can help secure the purchase and will most likely stay in the customer’s mind for the next time they need what your business is offering.
After Action, Engagement is the phase where your company will need to stay relevant after the initial business interaction. With social media, you can continue interesting a previous client with great content, new products, and services that innovate or with unique promotional opportunities. Even after the Action stage, you’ll need to continue building a relationship of trust with your audience to move to the Advocacy phase.
A client becomes an Advocate when they have confidence to recommend your business to others. They have gone through the journey starting with awareness and through your efforts they have become organic brand ambassadors. But this is not where your efforts and strategy must end. At this point, it is important that you use different tools to get your advocates to talk about your business, by writing reviews, commenting on your posts or sharing your content. Their voice will become your biggest asset!
Paying attention to how your business uses social media in each of these stages will guarantee that your audience not only engages in transactions with you but that they become loyal fans of your business and remain as such.