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sales funnel on social media: how to attract, interest, and retain customers

Often SMM specialists, especially juniors, possess many tools, applications, and skills needed in social networks but don't know how to achieve results and solve tasks using all this.

Success of the project depends on understanding the product, its features, tasks that we face, and how we can achieve them. In social networks, SMM strategy is responsible for this. By the way, we have already written about how to develop it, you can read it here.

Of course, the goals of the business in social networks can be different, but most often it is sales. Let's figure out how to build a sales funnel in social networks based on the classic AARRR method.

Sales Funnel: in simple words

All buyers go through a similar path - from not knowing the company and its product to purchase. This path is the sales funnel. The process was described back in the early 20th century, but the sales funnel is still relevant and can be applied in almost any business because it relies on the laws of human psychology.

AARRR stands for:

If we describe each of the stages, then we have the following:

  • 1. Attracting an audience through advertising, sowing, or influencer marketing.
  • 2. Activating interest in the product and engaging the audience in brand content.
  • 3. Retaining the audience to increase loyalty to the product and brand.
  • 4. Selling the product to an interested audience.
  • 5. Recommendation of the product by buyers.

It is worth saying right away that activation and retention in social networks can be safely combined into one stage because the same content is used for these purposes.

If you understand the principle of the funnel well, you can use it not only in social networks but also everywhere where a person encounters content: blogs, websites, messengers.

Why bother?

Of course, you can just set up targeted advertising with a specific offer - a single post for each audience segment. And we will even get some results, especially if it is not a product with a long decision-making cycle or a complex business area where selling content may not be used at all. But to talk about the effectiveness of advertising and audience loyalty, we must get to know the person and "take him by the hand" to the purchase.

In current conditions, such a scheme of working with the audience is especially relevant because the funnel gently leads a person to the target action:

  • - calls to "buy now" irritate people and push them away
  • - advertising platforms are limited
  • - the approach to shopping has become more conscious - people make more thoughtful and longer decisions

After the pandemic, the traditional approach to sales became less effective, companies had to adapt and switch to online. A person could no longer touch the product in the store, so it was necessary to increase the funnel and replace this experience with stories/photos/videos.

Companies began to pay more attention to improving the user experience, in some businesses values and meanings changed, thanks to research, more customized offers appeared.

How does each stage of the sales funnel work?

Stage 1. Attraction

This is the widest part of the funnel - at this stage we work with the widest (and coldest) audience possible. The goal of this stage is to reach as many people as possible. We can attract them through targeting, seeding, collaborations with bloggers, contextual advertising, and mailings.

What type of content is suitable?

Introduction posts, facts about the brand or product, trends from your industry, working situations, cases that demonstrate your expertise, step-by-step instructions, posts with answers to frequently asked questions.

At this stage, it is important to relieve people of the stress of getting to know something new, not making them search for information for a long time. Write in as much detail and clearly as possible about you and your product. At the same time, take care of your profile - it should also attract an audience. Update highlights with important information, check the profile header, and align the funnel with the content plan so that it is clear from the last 3-6 posts what is happening here and what topics are being covered.

What to track?

Number of subscribers, likes, and comments, engagement, website traffic, content shares, and mentions of your profile.

It is important to gather an audience that has interacted with the content. These are the people we will work with further. If you lead people to the community page, then warm them up further with content, if you lead them to the mailing list - with further materials in it, and if you lead them to the website, you can create audiences for retargeting using the pixel.

Stages 2 and 3. Activation and Retention

The tasks of the stages are different, but the content for them is the same. It is important to explain to the audience what your USP is, what sets you apart from your competitors, increase interest in the product, explain what problems it can solve and address objections.

What kind of content is suitable?

Product reviews and usage examples, UGC content, expert interviews, inspiring stories, research results, checklists, surveys.

At these stages, targeted advertising does not require additional content since the audience is already familiar with your brand, and you can promote community publications calmly.

What to track?

The number of applications, website clicks, newsletter subscriptions, the number of users who have purchased from you the trip wire - an inexpensive offer that complements the main product line - if you have one.

Stage 4. Sales

We have attracted the audience, aroused their interest and trust. Now it's time to sell, both natively and "directly." The profitability of all the work that has already been done up to this point will depend on your ability to convert users into customers.

What kind of content is suitable?

Webinars and live broadcasts, newsletters with promotions and special offers, before/after posts, calls to action at the end of posts or directly selling posts.

What to track?

At this stage, it is important to track the number of sales, the average customer value, and the average order value.

Stage 5. Recommendation

Despite the fact that the sale has already been made, we do not forget about the last stage of the funnel. We need to ensure that the customer returns to us again and again and recommends our product to their friends.

What kind of content is suitable?

At this stage, content creators should not be us but the buyers themselves. To do this, we build a system that makes the audience want to share information about the brand and become its ambassadors.

What to track?

The main metric of this stage is the virality factor, which is calculated as follows:

The more viral it is, the faster information about the product spreads, which means the more the audience likes it.

What's next?

For new audiences, we repeat the sales funnel, and for existing ones, we work on loyalty. Our goal is to retain the customer, increase the average order value, purchase frequency, and LTV - the amount a customer brings in during their lifetime.

The sales funnel should draw customers into the vortex of the deal. To do this, it is necessary to clearly outline the business stages. They will be different in different areas, but the sequential principle will be the same.

By using such structuring and pinpoint analytics, we will be able to understand at which stage of the journey most people drop off and make changes to improve conversion.

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