5 Stages of the Social Media Marketing Funnel: What You Need To Know

As a business owner, choosing the right marketing strategies to promote your business can be tough. You have to know when to use what, how to use each strategy, and most importantly, why you’re doing what you’re doing. One thing most of us marketers agree on is that out of all the available options, social media marketing is one of the most inexpensive ways to build brand awareness. Social media channels help businesses increase sales and revenue at a low investment while creating a reputable brand image.

Today, we’re going over the 5 stages of the social media marketing funnel and how you can create a sales funnel that converts. Grab a snack and let’s dive in!

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The most common social media sales funnel framework you’ll find consists of five stages:

  1. Awareness – Attracting potential leads who are currently unaware of your brand.
  2. Consideration – Standing out among competitors in your market so that new leads remember you.
  3. Action/Conversion – Encouraging your audience to take action and make a purchase.
  4. Engagement – Using social media to stay top-of-mind and keep your audience engaged after sales are made.
  5. Advocacy – Building enough trust with your audience that they recommend you to their social media contacts.

1. Awareness

The social media marketing funnel can’t begin without potential leads discovering your brand. We call this the awareness stage. Your job is to be able to identify a problem that your audience needs help solving. If people aren’t aware of your brand, you can reach them by offering a solution to a common problem.

This initial stage is not the time to make a hard pitch for your product or services. At this point, you want to offer value and support while beginning to earn their trust. The information you’re offering should be valuable enough that your audience remembers your brand and seeks more information about your company.

Don’t just promote a product – create content that offers solutions to your customers’ problems and answers their questions.

You can show value to your audience through content, such as blog posts, videos, guides, and webinars. Answering the most common questions of your audience will bring potential leads to your website. And more traffic to your website means more opportunities to build brand awareness and trust.

If you have room in your budget, paid advertising can help improve awareness even more by targeting a specific audience or interest group. Also, when creating content, it’s important to utilize SEO and content marketing strategies to attract new users organically. These are all things we can help with.

Lastly, video marketing is another excellent way to build awareness. By creating videos for Facebook or Instagram, or even helpful tutorials on YouTube, you can increase your chances of more users finding you organically.

2. Consideration

As new leads continue down the marketing funnel, they look for more detailed information while considering the purchase of your product or service.

Potential buyers want to be 100% sure that purchasing your product or service will improve their life, solve their problems, or boost their own business. Until they get that certainty, they’ll remain ‘potential’ buyers.

One of the main things people consider at this stage is what makes your brand different than other brands in the market. They should be able to find a convincing reason you have a competitive advantage.

At this point, you also should be providing more detailed information to help guide potential customers toward the Action stage. Product reviews, in-depth product tutorials, customer testimonials, and case studies all work great at this stage. Potential buyers love hearing about the experiences of actual customers. Some companies use Facebook Ads to retarget users who have already interacted with their website or content as a way to help push potential leads into the next stage.

3. Action/Conversion

Assuming you’ve nurtured the relationship up until now, potential buyers should feel receptive being sold to at this stage of the funnel. This stage is also a good time to check your analytics data to see how your audience has engaged with the previous stages.

Now is also when it’s convenient to be working with a digital marketing company like WebLocal. We use analytics and reporting features to track data and measure whether a paid ad received enough engagement. Analytics also helps determine if you’re reaching your goals from the earlier stages of the funnel.

If your audience has made it this far through the funnel, you can trust that sales will come during this stage. Keep nurturing potential customer relationships until they’re ready to convert. Gentle nudging is also okay, like offering a new customer discount or free shipping.

The Action stage is also a good time to use remarketing paid campaigns to target users who have engaged with the earlier stages of your funnel. When you start making some sales, don’t forget to keep fostering relationships with those still in the early stages.

4. Engagement

This is the stage where brands start to get comfortable – they’ve made some sales, gained more customers, and established good relationships. But remember, just because you closed the deal, that doesn’t mean your job is done. Retaining happy customers takes almost the same level of effort as getting them. In order to keep your customer retention rate high, you’ll have to continue nurturing the relationships you’ve established. If you don’t, customers could forget about you and move on to the next brand. In order to stay top-of-mind, you have to keep customers engaged. They have to know you’re still there with the product or service they need.

Staying connected with your customers is a great way to create a sense of community. People love feeling like they belong. To achieve this, create social media content that still offers value and support while encouraging customers to buy again.

Get creative with your content. For example, you could run a hashtag campaign. This is a great way to get User-Generated Content (UGC) from your followers. Encourage your customers to use a unique hashtag to become part of the campaign – they can share photos representing your brand, eating at your restaurant, getting their hair done at your salon, etc. Once they share the post using your hashtag, it becomes visible to their network as well, further increasing that post’s reach.

Again, this is all stuff we can help with. If you reach a point while reading this where you have a question, stop reading and contact us.

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Okay, keep reading.

5. Advocacy

Alright, so you’ve established relationships, made some sales, and even added value to your customers’ lives post-purchase. Now it’s time for the Advocacy stage. This is where you convert your customers into brand advocates.

You do this by expressing gratitude to your customers and rewarding them for spreading the word about your brand. Encourage reviews and testimonials or offer incentives to your customers for sharing their experiences with their friends.

An example of an incentive could be offering a discount to existing customers who get new customers to buy from your brand. Continuing to foster those relationships will turn your customers into brand ambassadors who will organically influence their following to trust your brand as well.

Keep building the relationships you have with your customers, and make it easy for them to share their stories and advocate for your brand. The more your customers sing your praises, the more curious people will become.

Conclusion

Social media marketing funnels are an excellent way to engage your audience, build trust, and establish an authentic base of fans and advocates for your brand.

A common mistake people make is investing in only one or two of these stages rather than all of them. Without building brand awareness and trust first, your audience could be easily put off by overly sales-focused content or sales pitch tactics. Especially if someone is unfamiliar with your brand. If you aren’t in a position to build an entire sales funnel, pick one or two tactics to focus on for each stage. And if tackling an entire sales funnel strategy seems like too much entirely, you have us to help.  We can help incorporate the right steps into your customer journey while building brand awareness and trust. Remember, the goal of a sales funnel isn’t to build a customer list, it’s to build a loyal fan base. Get in touch with our team today for more information. Thanks for reading!