Social Media and the Sales Funnel

| January 17, 2013 | 2 comments

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No matter what type of organization you work for, social media can play an important role in moving prospects down the sales funnel toward the goal of closing a deal. 

Sales-FunnelWhether that’s purchasing a product or service, signing up for membership in a nonprofit association, attending an event, making a contribution, or supporting a political candidate, it doesn’t matter.

Social media has become the critical tool at the top of the sales funnel. It creates an environment in which your business or campaign becomes recognized online and the sales process can really begin. If you’re focused only on ROI, you’re missing its value. Social media is about creating and building brand awareness through exposure, influence, and engagement. Analytical tools can measure success or motivate you to recalibrate. 

How Many Touches?

Recently, I spoke to a board member of a small association that sent out a single fundraising email at the end of the year. It didn’t work. She understood why.

Campaigns often need between seven and 12 touches. Social media is frequently a first, second, or even third touch before any other marketing technique.

Think you can simply share content from other sources? Sorry but you need your own content in the mix. That means original written or video blog posts that showcase your thought-leadership. Then you must disseminate the posts widely over social media, appropriate for your strategy, so they can be found and shared. Fresh, relevant, quality content is also one of the keys to a solid SEO strategy.

It’s unlikely that your audience has committed yet. You need to persuade them through your brilliant original content. Then, you need them to trust you enough to click on a call-to-action embedded in your blog or website to get that irresistible eBook, report, or ticket to an event in exchange for something of great  value to you—their email, phone number, and address.

Moving Closer to Closing

Obtaining that data moves them down your sales funnel. Usually, you’re not yet at the point of closing.  So now you bring other tactics to bear like a tele-prospecting and nurturing stream. That’s right—old fashion phone calls. Even direct mail for non-responders.

You could be lucky and make the sale. But with all these techniques, you still might be only half way to 12 touches. So, next:

  • Keep up the social media, creating a regular stream of content;
  • Conduct A/B testing to determine the best offer when someone clicks through to your landing page;
  • Test the landing pages, timing and frequency, too.
  • Analyze what gets the best response.

To get to prospective buyers, attendees, or voters before the competition and nurture the relationship, start with social media and build brand awareness through exposure, influence, and engagement. Then expand, grow, and win. 


Need help with your digital program? Contact me right now at 202.630.8014 or for a free consultation.

We help companies, nonprofit associations, and others communicate with more people, build reputations, and exceed objectives through digital strategy, tactics, and training.

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  • Todd

    It seems like the combination of good SEO and good ‘active casting’ (email, phone calls, direct mail, web ads, radio, TV etc.) are key. Customers must always be able to find your website easily and find what they want or need and you must constantly be looking for them and showing them what you have to offer. It’s hard to find what combination of factors will make the connection between their need or want and your product or service but having a good process and being persistent will help identify best practices so you can repeat them.

  • scott_peterson

    Analytics are key, Todd. Plus continuous study. Thanks for the comment.

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