What is your social media strategy (do you have a social media strategy?). We previously covered how social media drives sales through discovery (I need to solve a problem — where can I solve it?) and connection with businesses (the provider of my solution) and how social media can provide customers information they’re looking for at the top of the funnel. Here in part two, we’ll cover the middle and bottom of the funnel and look at how social media can help boost your bottom line.What is your social media strategy (do you have a social media strategy?). We previously covered how social media drives sales through discovery (I need to solve a problem — where can I solve it?) and connection with businesses (the provider of my solution) and how social media can provide customers information they’re looking for at the top of the funnel. Here in part two, we’ll cover the middle and bottom of the funnel and look at how social media can help boost your bottom line.
MIDDLE OF THE FUNNEL
The middle of the sales funnel is arguably the most critical part of the sales funnel because this is where you turn visitors into leads and separate good leads from bad leads. And while social media shines at the top and bottom of the funnel as well for different reasons, the middle of the funnel has changed the most from traditional marketing: consumers are doing more research before making purchases, and the middle of the funnel is where we provide them the information they need to make a decision.
Social media offers product information and answers customer questions. Consumers research before making purchases more than ever. Once customers discover you as a potential provider of the solution to their problem, they want to know how what you offer will solve it and will compare what you offer to other possible solutions. By supplying the information that prospects actively seek at every step of the purchase process, social media helps close sales.
Shoppers seek relevant product information across variety of platforms.
Consumers research products before they buy, now more than ever. Simply having a website and even engaging in SEO isn’t enough. Content marketing through social media is now a must-do. And while at least half of consumers seek deals or coupons, must also provide quality information about your products and services like reviews, news, how-tos, expert advice, White papers, videos, infographics, and photo content, all shared through social media.
Social media provides the ratings and reviews consumers seek before purchase.
onsumers talk about positive and negative brands online via social media just like people did with word of mouth before the Internet Age. Business can re-post ratings and reviews on their own website or let customers search for them on other sites such as Google, Amazon Yelp and others.
Social media powers earned media.
When consumers find engaging and useful information along their purchase journey, they share this content more broadly. These social shares, referred to as earned media, have the added benefit of an unspoken endorsement from the sharer. It’s still true that the most credible advertising comes straight from the people we know and trust. More than eight-in-10 global respondents (83%) say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family. But trust isn’t confined only to those in our inner circle. In fact, two-thirds (66%) say they trust consumer opinions posted online. There is a huge opportunity to share positive consumer comments via social media.
Earned media is what marketers traditionally view as PR. Whether it appears on social media, third party media, or curated media (search and review sites) earned media gets other people talking about your company and/or brand – especially customers, influencers, and other media entities.
Earned media drives sales.
A large majority, 80%, of consumers report that they are more likely to try new things based on friends’ suggestions because of social media. And 72% of consumers report that because of social media, they are more likely to stay engaged with brands (Lithium, Nailing Social Media ROI, 2012).
Shoppers don’t shop alone. Shopping is, more than ever, a social activity. This plays out from discovering a new product or service to purchase considerations, to deal closing perspectives. Consumers want or need to get input from their family and friends through the use of photographs and one-to-one communication. Purchase decisions are often made by more than one person. This is now done more and more via our phones: phone calls, texts, pictures shared via text and social media apps on our smartphones, and video communications apps on our phones. Specifically, smartphone owners:
• 37% take pictures of products.
• 34% send the pictures of the products they see to friends.
• 33% text and/or call friends and family about specific products while shopping.
BOTTOM OF THE FUNNEL
This is where potential customers become actual customers, and move on to fans and even brand advocates. Social Shares Increase revenue and order size. According to a study from AddShoppers, each social media share is worth $2.56 in revenue & average social orders are 8.2% larger. Data in the report was pulled from 10,000 e-commerce websites and 304 million unique users.
Remember, 80% of Small & Medium Businesses (SMBs) use social media to drive growth, and 60% say they’ve gained new customers through social media. 83% of B2B’s use social media to increase brand exposure, 69% to increase web traffic, and 65% of gain market insights. 70% of B2C marketers say they have acquired new customers through Facebook alone. Now that you know how to better leverage social media, you can join those organizations to boost your sales through social media.