[Buffer] How to build SOCIAL MEDIA into your SALES FUNNEL

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Here is an article about social media and the sales funnel. Today’s marketing specialists have a great grasp on sales funnels, the way that customers move from awareness to purchase (and beyond). These funnels cover all the different touch points, marketing channels, and key metrics that go into a buying decision and help you have a better sense for what messaging and content makes the most sense at different points of the customer’s journey.

And the big question on our minds at Buffer: Where does social media fit within this sales funnel?

We’ve got some thoughts on this, as well as some examples and steps to help you build your own sales funnel, with a clear social media focus.

Let’s get started.

Inside the Mind of Your Customers: Understanding the Sales Funnel

You’ve maybe seen the traditional sales funnel: an inverted pyramid that gets narrower and narrower the closer you get to the sale. Here’s a typical example, from the Impact blog:

sales funnel impact

And here’s a streamlined (and sideways) variation from McKinsey & Company:

mckinsey sales funnel

So where does social media fit in these funnels?

In my experience, social media has typically appeared at the top, at the exact polar opposite from the sale. Maybe it’s no wonder then that bosses, clients, and teams have a difficult time being fully on board with prioritizing social as a channel. According to the funnel, you don’t make your money from social — at least, not directly.

Social Media Leads

Unless …

Maybe it’s not as cut-and-dry that social is always top-of-funnel?

Maybe it’s not as cut-and-dry that there even is a funnel!

Some of these thoughts have a bit of data behind them, thanks to an exploration from McKinsey & Company where they analyzed more than 20,000 customers and how they experienced the sales funnel. McKinsey & Company found that the funnel might be more of a circle.

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 11.26.04 AM

The funnel concept fails to capture all the touch points and key buying factors resulting from the explosion of product choices and digital channels, coupled with the emergence of an increasingly discerning, well-informed consumer.

[to continue, click HERE]

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