Social Sales Funnel [INFOGRAPHIC]
by Ivan Serrano
Many businesses continue to cling onto the same old model of the sales funnel even though it's obvious times have changed. Gone are the days where consumers follow a linear path from exposure to purchase.
With the rise of the Internet and social media, buyers' behavior has become more erratic as there are now more distractions than ever taking their attention away from your products and services. Instead of following a pre-determined path, buyers will generally touch upon different levels of the sales funnel until they eventually purchase something. The process could take weeks if not months to convert a prospect into a buyer, but even then your job isn't done. So how does social media play into all of this?
Buyers no longer put too much stock into traditional and digital ads. Instead, they turn to their peers on social media for recommendations and place far more trust in these earned forms of media. In fact, 92 percent of consumers say they trust word-of-mouth and social shares from their friends and family over any other form of advertising. But earning these shares will take a lot of work on your part and it won't necessarily translate to sales immediately. However, you can improve your odds by doing the following:
+ Know your market – you should already have a good idea who your target audience is. Now you need to find out what social platforms they use, what kind of content they want and the best way to approach them.
+ Prove your value – Once you've created a buyer persona, engage them in conversation as soon as you can. Show them how your product or service can improve their life or solve a problem. Interact with customers directly through the different social networks and create a rapport. Customers want to know that brands are listening to them.
+ Stay in touch – You need to be there for your customers every step of the way and then some. Gone are the days where you can forget about buyers after the sale.
The following infographic goes into more detail on the new social sales funnel and how you can update your approach for higher conversion rates.