The phases of the marketing funnel might look a bit different for every business, but the goals are the same: to capture the attention of potential customers, tell them about your business, convert them to paying customers, and keep them coming back.
With over 3.4 billion users worldwide, social media is a powerful way to reach new people and move them through the funnel. And it works in tandem with your other marketing efforts, making it a valuable component of your integrated marketing strategy.
Here are a few ways social media can help you build and sustain relationships with your audience throughout their customer journey.
The first phase of the marketing funnel is about generating awareness among as many people as possible. As potential customers become familiar with your business, there’s a better chance they’ll think about you when they’re in need of the products or services you provide.
Spread the word about your business by sharing links to your website or e-commerce store on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and anywhere else your potential customers might be—and encouraging your current followers to do the same. (Hint: you can create, publish, and schedule organic Facebook and Instagram posts directly through Mailchimp.)
Create customized Facebook and Instagram ads that target a specific audience—like people who are within a certain age range or live in a particular location. These ads allow you to communicate your brand story in a way that will resonate with the folks you’re targeting, so you can familiarize them with your brand and drive more traffic to both your social profile and your website.
Show the value of your product or service
Once a potential customer is aware of your business, they’ll move on to the next phase of the funnel: consideration. They’ve already shown an interest in learning more, so it’s a perfect opportunity to showcase the value of your product and convert them into customers.
Social ads bring new eyes to your site, but there’s no guarantee that people will become paying customers on their first visit. Fortunately, it's easy to create retargeting ads that'll bring them back when they're ready to buy. Add the Facebook ad pixel to your connected site (or landing page), create a retargeting ad in Mailchimp, and visitors will see your ad as they browse Facebook, Instagram, or Facebook's Audience Network.
Organic content—like reviews, ratings, and customer testimonials—can also help you reach new people on social media. A recent survey found that consumers read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business. And since the same survey also found Facebook to be one of the most trusted review sites for local consumers, adding reviews and testimonials to your Facebook page could help convert visitors into paying customers. Learn more about the benefits of customer reviews.
Educate your customers
Social media is also a great place to provide educational content to your audience, whether they’re still in the consideration phase or they’ve already become paying customers.
Develop how-to videos and share them socially so potential customers can see how easy your product is to use or how effective your service can be. And don’t forget about the people who have already made a purchase; videos providing assembly instructions and usage tips can help give customers the information they need to make the most of your products.
As the popularity of social media grows, so too does the need to offer customer support across your social channels. Facebook and Twitter are often the first places people visit when they have questions or comments, and it's important to address them as they arise. Not only will you help folks in need, you’ll also show potential customers that you’re responsive to feedback and quick to resolve any issues that might occur.
Keep customers coming back
The customer journey doesn’t end when someone makes a purchase and learns to use your products. Social media will help you drive customers toward the retention phase of the funnel—and closer to becoming frequent shoppers or brand advocates.
Create and share organic content (like articles, blog posts, images, or tips) socially to keep your audience engaged. As you learn more about their preferences, you can increase the relevance of your content and inspire people to visit—and engage with—your page more often.
Establish a sense of community on your social pages with content that encourages audience engagement. You could start a Facebook group, host Twitter chats, or even create a Pinterest board to share images of your products in action. A strong social community will humanize your business and make your customers feel like they’re a part of something special. And it can help your bottom line, too: Studies have shown that customers who feel emotionally connected to your brand have a 306% higher lifetime value and are more likely to recommend your brand to others.