- Published: May 29, 2021
- Last Updated: Sep 26, 2023
- 8 min. read
Matthew GibbonsLead Data & Tech Writer
- Matthew is a marketing expert focusing on the SEO & martech spaces. He has written over 500 marketing guides and video scripts for the WebFX YouTube channel. When he’s not striving to put out some fresh blog posts and articles, he’s usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.
If you’ve been getting into online advertising for your business, you’ve likely spent time crafting your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), and perhaps launched a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign. But did you know that in 2020 over 50% of all time spent on a mobile device is done on social media? This means that nearly 2 and a half hours of your average consumer’s online time— Aka your potential customers — is spent out of reach of most SEO or PPC efforts.
To bridge that gap, you’ll want to look into some social media marketing. To understand how your social media marketing should work, it’s helpful to be familiar with the social media funnel. Read on for an overview of the funnel, and then sign up for our emails to get more digital marketing tips from the agency that’s been helping clients for over 25 years!
The social media marketing funnel
While reading up on SEO and PPC, you may have heard of the digital marketing funnel. The social media sales funnel is similar. It’s essentially a representation of the users you target with your social media content, and how you can turn them into leads.
Picture a funnel, like you would use to pour liquid from a container into a small opening. Now fill the funnel with water, made up of countless tiny molecules. These molecules are the users you target with your marketing.
Near the top of the funnel, the surface area is large, so there’s a lot of water. But the further down the funnel you go, the smaller the space gets, until at the bottom there’s just a thin stream of liquid coming out. In social media marketing, the same is true of your target users.
The closer they get to buying from you, the fewer of them there are. This leads to a different approach being needed for each level of the social media conversion funnel.
At the top of the social media funnel is the awareness stage. Here, users are being introduced to your company, and possibly to your industry, for the first time.
These users are unfamiliar with you and likely with what you do, so you have to introduce it to them. The main goal of your content at this point is to create brand awareness, so it shouldn’t be too salesy. Right now, you’re just letting users know that you’re there.
Your content should focus on being helpful and informational so users will have a reason to click on it.
Next in the social media sales funnel is the consideration stage. These users are closer to buying from you, but they’re still not there yet. These users are researchers.
When they were introduced to your industry, it captured their interest, and now they’re poring over social media content to learn as much about it as they can. Since this research will hopefully lead them to a purchase decision down the line, your job here is to get them to see your business as the best option once they get there. You’re still not necessarily outright advertising, but you do want to promote your business throughout your informational content.
Users at the decision-making stage are very near the bottom of the social media conversion funnel.
They are some of the most valuable users you can target. These are the users who’ve done the research and are almost ready to buy. The only thing left is to convince them to buy from you.
At this point, you are outright advertising. These users want to be convinced that you’re the best option to buy from, so give them what they want. Convince them.
Tell them why you’re the best in the business.
At the very bottom of the social media sales funnel comes the action stage, where users take the final step and convert. These are your customers. Hopefully, you’ve already convinced them to choose you over your competitors.
Now you just need to prompt them to make a purchase. Essentially all it takes to market to these users are clear calls to action (CTAs). Give them links to your purchase pages outright, and use phrasing that encourages them to make the purchase then and there.
How to build a social media funnel
Now that you’re familiar with the overall idea of the funnel, let’s break it down into specific types of content.
Each level of the funnel has different social media marketing strategies that work best for it. Here’s how to create a social media funnel.
As stated above, awareness-based content is intended to introduce you to users who aren’t familiar with you. On social media, this can take a few different forms:
- Shared blog posts: Blog posts and other textual content on your website can serve as a point of overlap between social media and SEO. Links to your content in social media posts, whether by you or (even better) by a third party, can attract people’s interest.
- Retweets: When your posts get retweeted or shared by other accounts, it can spread awareness of your business to new groups of people. This gives you a good reason to aim for high-quality content in all your posts, so people will want to share them.
- Infographics: People on social media typically have short attention spans, so a good way to catch their eye is to put information into an infographic. Condense content from an informational article and make it attention-grabbing.
- Videos: In line with the previous point, videos are great at catching people’s eye — in email marketing, they can increase your click-through rate by 300%. You can share links to YouTube videos you create, as well as make use of autoplay video ads.
- Paid ads: Paid ads, run through platforms like Facebook Ads can serve a function at each stage of the marketing funnel. For top-of-funnel users, a paid ad from your business can help you increase brand awareness with your audience.
Once users know who you are, it’s time to start drawing them in even deeper. Show them that you’re the expert in your industry, and give them information that points them toward you as the best in the business. Here are some ways to do that.
- Guides/tutorials: While basic how-to articles might fit more in the realm of awareness, in-depth tutorials focusing on a specific product you sell will appeal more to middle-of-funnel users. It’s informational, it shows your expertise, and it promotes your products.
- Paid ads: Once again we have paid ads, but serving a slightly different function this time. For these users, make use of retargeting ads to focus on people who’ve visited your website. Instead of an introduction, this works as a reminder for them.
Now that users know they want to make a purchase, you need to convince them to make that purchase from you. You can do that in a couple of different ways.
- Case studies: Case studies are great because they provide detailed analytical information relevant to your industry, while simultaneously showing how great your business is at what it does. Posting these will send good messages to these users.
- Testimonials: Posting a testimonial every so often can work wonders for your business. When you say you’re great, that’s one thing. But when customers say you’re great, people will take notice, and they’ll probably believe them.
The bottom of the social media funnel is where you get serious. This is where you get users to take the final step and become customers. Here are a few ways to do that.
- Demos: If you have any demos available for your products or services, whether free or paid, offering those on social media is a great way to get people to click. And once they have the demo, they’ll likely move on to the full package.
- Social media ecommerce: Something amazing that’s emerged in recent years is social media shopping. Platforms like Instagram Shopping and Facebook Marketplace allow you to sell your products directly on the platform, so you can acquire buyers right there.
- Paid ads: This final appearance of paid ads is the most aggressive. “Action” users know who you are, and they know what you sell. These paid ads don’t beat around the bush.
They should simply urge people to buy from you, and some people are sure to listen.
Get help with your social media conversion funnel today
Now that you know how to create a social media funnel, hopefully you’re ready to drive results for your campaign. But if you’re still not sure how to make the most of your social media funnel, don’t worry — WebFX can help! Our team of over 500+ digital marketing experts can work with you to optimize your social media campaign for maximum return on investment (ROI).
Matthew is a marketing expert focusing on the SEO & martech spaces. He has written over 500 marketing guides and video scripts for the WebFX YouTube channel. When he’s not striving to put out some fresh blog posts and articles, he’s usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.
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