There are people who have successfully turned their fans into profitable prospects. But first we should understand, whether more fans actually mean more business? Marketers are operating at a greater pace in expanding their audience base on various social media channels. Earlier it was believed that this social media strategy could only be applied to B2C (business-to-consumer) companies, but there are number of cases where success is also seen in B2B (business-to-business) companies as well.
Companies like HootSuite and HubSpot which fall under the B2B category have made great success by providing interesting content to its followers. Similarly under the B2C category, companies like Coca-Cola and Old Spice have turned the table upside down with their extraordinary social media campaigns. But the question is, “How such measure can contribute to the revenue of a company?” All marketing executives will question, “How can businesses monetise social media fans?” Companies have started to prioritise revenue generation when it comes to making social media strategies.
Social media is not about spreading the flashy sales pitch to the public, it’s intended to strategically design the content and act wisely. Here are few tips for you to get a head start.
Know Your Business Sales Funnel
Placing leads into sales funnel becomes a daunting task if one fails to have a complete idea of the sales process supporting it. Before launching anything, you should consider the answers to some questions such as, “what market channels are adding leads to the funnel?” “Is the sales follow-up process being followed?”, and “what is the duration and time to close a sale?” It is important to look for the role that social media plays in the entire process.
- Will the present social processes generate favourable response from social media leads?
- Where do the social media leads fit in the present buying process?
- Will the conversion rate persist in the future as well?
As a business owner you will need to perform few tests in order to analyse the behaviour of social media leads. The main reason being, the behavioural differences between the social media leads compared to that of other traditional marketing leads.
With social media, a company is able to reach the potential buyer much earlier in their sales process. This buyer’s attention has enormous value but can be overlooked if the performance from the social media leads is not pre-decided. In contrast to the traditional sales methods, social media helps by adding more levels that enlarge your sales funnel.
Work on Your Path to Conversion
It might be a piece of cake for potential buyers to purchase from your site, but there are customers who are hesitant to make a purchase and may hold back for further information or research before they buy, therefore the conversion ratio drops.
Analyse your Facebook page carefully. Is there a situation where any potential buyer has to look for your website in the info section, and then visit your website to know how to buy from you? If this is true, then you are potentially losing the benefit from your Facebook fans and hampering your conversion rate from purchasers to browsing visitors. Look for options where the fans can be easily be transferred within Facebook. This will surely increase your revenue slab. The success in any social media platform depends strongly on the content being shared.
Make sure your blog contains conversion points which help in transforming the posts into some landing page. Before applying any strategy, it is important to test it and know which plan will work the best in converting the social media traffic. Understanding the conversion path of social media can help in optimising the steps.
Look After Your Soft Conversion
As social media enters early in the sales process, the customer might not be prepared as yet to purchase anything. Nevertheless this is a great opportunity to get interested fans onto the list of email subscribers. Followers who are willing to share their email address in expectation to receive some valuable content, are known as soft leads. Basically they are interested in the content provided by you, but have no immediate intention of making a purchase. In order to convert these soft leads into a sale, you need to direct your email marketing campaign in such a way that it gradually pushes them down the sales funnel.
Social Media Leads Are NOT the Same
Small business should not confuse social media leads with other traditional leads. If you follow the same steps with the social media leads as you did with the other leads, then you are sure to kill your sales funnel. As already mentioned, leads from social media enter the funnel at a very early stage, hence they should be handled accordingly. You need to nurture the decision making process of the customers and finally convert them into potential buyers. With the help of decision making techniques, you can get the answers to the common questions to the purchasing process and can help in overcoming the objections in the sales process. This will enable you to convert the fans into hard leads. Now, what is a hard lead?
If any lead has taken an action which directly suggests that they are now showing interest in purchasing your product, then it is termed as a hard lead. The lead is now said to be in the research and consideration phase and there is a great opportunity of converting into a potential buyer.
Social media is a great platform to develop trust with the customers. If you continue to help your fans in making decisions, they will definitely buy from you instead of going to your competitors who fail to focus on these points. The emails sent to the soft leads should be a mixture of relevant content and decision making, which will indicate the moment the lead is ready to make a purchase.
Analyse and Report on Your Results
This is an important step in the process and is also the most neglected one. You cannot know the outcomes for all your effort unless you analyse your results. You can make use of free apps such as Google Analytics to track customer interactions within your site. Set goals, report your results and milestones so you can monitor the conversions within social media.
Sales Funnel: Further Reading
Sales funnel management can sometimes be a difficult process to understand. If you’re new to business and want further information on this topic, we suggest reading up on the following articles from Wikipedia. You can also contact our Help desk for further information and help.
- Purchasing Sales Funnel and Reference Materials
- Sales Funnel Process – Selling Process
- Keeping Control of your Sales Pipeline – Mind Tools