But – social media isn’t exactly a good place to be a traditional sales funnel. The process of contacting prospects is different than if they found you through a Google search or Google advertisement. While the “Social Media Marketing Funnel” has similarities to a conventional funnel, there are some key differences:

What does a traditional sales funnel look like?

Traditional sales funnels all have the same basic steps and processes. While the actual actions may differ slightly from company to company, they nonetheless guide the prospect through a series of steps that result in not only buying your product but also being committed to your solution:

  • awareness
  • interest
  • engagement
  • action
  • Advocacy

Here is a visualization of the process:

Source: buffer

Regardless of what type of product you offer or what tasks are involved in the process, the same basic formula applies to almost every transaction you make. Prospects get to know your solution, develop an interest, engage with your brand and buy your product. Consulting firms like McKinsey have also developed refined approaches to the traditional funnel. I like this very special Consumer decision-making tour by David Court, Dave Elzinga, Susan Mulder and Ole Jørgen Vetvikthat is less linear and more complex. It reflects a variety of influences and decision points a buyer / prospect is exposed to.

How can this be applied to social media?

When it comes to a social media marketing funnel, the actual stages don’t change. However, the tasks associated with a social media marketing funnel are unique to that channel and may even vary depending on the platform you are using.

Here is an example of how you can fill out a social media marketing funnel with tasks that are very close to a traditional sales funnel:


As you can see, this social media marketing funnel applies to specific promotions and different stages of the funnel. In the beginning, when potential customers become aware of your product, they can view and follow your business on social media. This eventually leads to a more open engagement with mentions and direct messages. It shows how perseverance pays off throughout the process of getting to know a prospect. 44% of sellers give up after just one rejectionHowever, success in social selling depends on a constant flow of interactions to build familiarity. For most successful social sellers, giving up after just one rejection would result in a large loss of sales.

The conversations help determine the stage of the sale and move your prospects through the buying process as they develop familiarity with your company and product. ON Hubspot’s 2018 survey It found that only 69% of marketers believe converting leads into customers should be a top priority.

Keep it natural with social selling

At its core, social selling tries to simulate a traditional sales funnel in a social media environment. The process of raising awareness, the subsequent discussion with and clarification of interested parties is of central importance for the main tenants of the effective social selling strategy.

Selling on social media is based on a more natural conversation process than developing selling through other channels. By mirroring a traditional sales funnel and assigning the various tasks and phases, you can help yourself better understand your own sales processes and optimize them over time.

This article was previously published on the SocialSellinator blog.

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Author: Jock Breitwieser

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