Social media platforms are amazing, ever-evolving tools that can help businesses build better relationships with their target audience. But just like with any marketing effort, social media needs to help drive your bottom line to be worthwhile. In this article I’m going to share with you steps to drive traffic to your sales funnel from social media
Social media marketing can help your brand build relationships and drive sales traffic, if you do it right. Here’s a 5-step crash course on how.
Step 1: Define clear goals
If you want to effectively drive traffic from social media, you need to see your social platforms as a part of your overall sales funnel. That means defining clear goals and making an informed decision about the strategy you’ll use to attract people back to your site.
Social media marketing goals — just like any other kind of goal — should always be SMART:
Some common social media marketing goals include:
- Build brand awareness
- Generate new leads
- Boost brand engagement
- Drive sales
- Provide customer service
Which ones you choose will depend on the state of your social media marketing efforts and the main touch points of your sales funnel.
Just getting started, then build brand awareness is a must before you can start driving your audience towards your sales funnel anyway. If you’re looking to capture leads at the top of the funnel and nurture them on-site, then generate leads could be your main goal. If you want to drive more sales from an already engaged audience, then drive sales and encourage customer retention may be your focus.
Your goals will affect the kind of content you create and how you promote it on social media.
Step 2: Pick and prepare your profiles
Once you have clear goals in mind, you’re ready to pick your social platforms and set up your profiles. If you’ve already done this, you can move right on to step 3, or better yet, scan through this section to see if there’s any important points you missed.
Pick your social platforms
Pick social platforms that are relevant to your industry target audience demographic. Let’s take a look at the most popular options:
|Text, photo, video
|Popular with everyone but Gen Y
|Just about all
|More than 90% of users are under 35
|Fashion, food, travel, and others
|Text (140 characters), photo, video
|Popular with people under 50
|Hospitality, entertainment, retail and technology
|Reaches more than 80% of internet users
|Tech, automotive, fashion, and others.
|80% of users are women
|Home, beauty, fashion, food, and travel
|Text (native blogging), photo, video
|70% of users are outside the US
|Text, photo, video
|Heavily skewed towards young males
|Finance, technology, travel, automotive, and more
|Photo, short video
|Most popular with Gen Y
|Food, entertainment, fashion, technology, and more
New demographic and marketing data about these platforms are coming out all the time, so do your own research to determine which social media sites are right for your sales funnel marketing.
Set up your profiles
Once you’ve picked your platforms, you’re ready to set up your social profiles. Just remember to:
- Fill them out completely,
- Make your brand appearance consistent across platforms, and
- Take advantage of opportunities to drive traffic from them.
For example, make sure you include a link back to your site in your Twitter and Instagram bios.
On your Facebook business page, there are quite a few opportunities to link back to your site. There’s the “About” tab, but more importantly your customizable CTA. You can set it to say “Visit our site,” “Buy now,” or anything else that makes sense for your sales funnel. Powell’s Books has theirs link back to a newsletter signup:
Step 3: Create content that aligns with your sales funnel
Once your social profiles are up, you’re ready to start creating content for them. The kind of content you create will depend on your touchpoints.
Will you be encountering your audience at the top of the sales funnel, middle, or end? Most brands will need to target each simultaneously.
Top of the funnel content
This is where your blog comes in. Examine audience pain points and create compelling content that addresses them. This isn’t sales-oriented, but helpful, informative, and even entertaining. The goal is to get people who know little or nothing about your business back to your site so they can learn more.
Real world example
Take a look at Reynolds Kitchens on Instagram. They regularly post pictures of delicious dishes, inviting people back to their site for the recipe:
If they did nothing but promote Reynolds Wrap with their posts, no one would follow them. This content helps them connect, engage, and attract site traffic.
Middle of the funnel content
This is for people who follow your brand on social media, and know a bit about you, but aren’t ready to make a purchase. You need to build a stronger relationship before you start pitching your products. This is where your lead magnets will come in.
A lead magnet is something you offer for free in exchange for your audience’s contact information. It can be a free ebook, free trial of your software, a helpful tool, a cheat sheet, or any number of things that your target audience finds valuable.
Real world example
Here’s an example of a promoted Twitter post from @Euromonitor, inviting their target audience to check out industry reports on their site:
Lead magnets attract your audience back to your website, and they’re also an opportunity to capture their contact information, so you can nurture them further through email marketing.
End of the funnel content
Lastly, you need to create social content that attracts people who are ready to buy. Now, you can focus on content that demonstrates how your products/services address their pain points.
Probably the most valuable way to drive end-of-the-funnel traffic from social media is through special offers. Offer promo codes and highlight special sales on social media that encourage new/current customers to convert.
Real world example
This microbrewery shares sales and uses promo codes to encourage their followers to try out their new products. In this example, they offer a free glass when you buy a new specialty beer:
Special offers like this give your already-interested audience the excuse they need to visit your site and convert.
Step 4: Broaden your reach
It’s not enough just to create targeted content, you’ll need to make extra efforts to make sure it’s seen by your audience. This will help you grow your social following and website traffic in the process.
Here are the main organic and paid strategies you can use:
Optimize your content
Adapt your content to perform well on specific platforms. For example, if you’re marketing on Pinterest, you’ll want to create more infographics. If you’re marketing on Twitter, then create Twitter cards.
A lot of social media tools allow you to auto-post to several platforms at once, but instead take the time to optimize your post to each platform. You may need to resize your images, and preview how your social snippet looks. Different platforms might cut off part of your post headline or meta description when you share links, for example:
Run social media contests
Social media contests are a great way to build buzz about your brand and grow your engagement on social media. Social contests ask your followers to engage in exchange for a chance to win a prize. Here are a few popular contest strategies:
- Sweepstakes: Audience visits your site and signs up for a chance to win a prize.
- Photo contest: Audience submits themed photos using your product, the best submission wins a prize.
- Caption contest: Audience comments on a photo you post with their own caption, the best caption wins a prize.
Since your goal is site traffic, pick a contest-type that requires people to navigate back to your site to participate.
Here’s an example of a recent Twitter contest from @CrowdCoinage. They’re offering up money and cryptocurrency as prizes for whoever refers the most people to the contest. You have to visit their site to enter:
Create and join social media groups
Target niche audiences by creating and/or joining relevant groups on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Not every platform has “groups” to share your content and engage. Adapt your strategy to each social site. On Pinterest, you can follow and join niche boards. On Instagram, join relevant hashtag conversations. /r/FREE on Reddit is a great place to share your lead magnets and attract traffic:
Of course, the most effective way to get more reach for your content is to pay for it. You have a lot of different options here:
Social media advertising
Just about every major social media platform offers some kind of paid promotion. You can target very specific audiences based on demographic information, interests, whether they’ve interacted with your business before, and other important conversion factors.
Facebook advertising has options to create native ads or simply “Boost” your business page posts to get more reach with your current audience.
Twitter advertising offers Promoted tweets, similar to the Boost Post feature on Facebook, except it reaches beyond your current followers.
Check out the options other social platforms offer to learn more:
Instead of paying for your own ads, you can hire social media influencers to promote your content and/or products for you. Find an influencer with an engaged audience that would be interested in what your business has to offer, then pay them a small fee to endorse your business/products.
Here’s an example of an Instagram influencer endorsing @plated’s products on her personal account:
The best way to find social media influencers to work with is through an influencer marketplace. Here are a few to check out:
Step 5: Track results
Of course, there’s no one perfect way to drive sales funnel traffic from social media. Each brand and their unique audience are different. The only way you can really develop a strategy that works well for your business is through trial and error.
Try to develop and promote content you think will resonate with your audience, then track and see which is the most effective.
Monitor your social traffic
The first step is to use trackable links so you can identify which content is driving traffic from which social sources. You can do this using UTM codes to tell where your traffic is coming from in Google Analytics. There are also link shortener tools like Bitly that allow you to create unique, trackable links for your social posts:
But don’t let your analysis stop at traffic source. You’re trying to drive sales funnel traffic, not just traffic.
Monitor on-site behavior
How do people behave on your site once they reach there from social media? Do they quickly navigate away, or take actions that help them move further down the sales funnel?
Google Analytics’ Goal Tracking features will help with this. You can create custom funnel goals, mapping the steps you want site visitors to take when they land on a page, then analyze their true path:
There’s always room for improvement in this regard. In some cases, it could be your social content that leads site visitors to think they’re being navigated to the wrong place. Or it could be your landing pages that are turning people away.
Test everything and look for ways to improve your social outreach and on-site user experience. Both are a part of the same, continuous sales funnel.
Social media isn’t just about brand engagement and customer service. Take the right steps, and it can become a powerful channel for sales funnel traffic.
To drive traffic to your sales funnel from social media just remember to:
- Pick the right platforms for your audience and industry
- Take advantage of opportunities to link back to your site
- Create content for important stages of the sales funnel
- Use paid and organic tactics to broaden your reach
- Measure everything and adjust your strategy
Put in the effort to create an ultra-targeted social media marketing strategy, and you’ll be able to attract many new sales that turn into valuable, long-term customers.