This article is intended to provide some guidance on using your social media channels in your sales funnel – the way your customers move from awareness to purchase (and beyond).
- Your website and social media complement each other.
- Use your website as the starting and end of your online sales funnel.
- All your social media posts should lead back to your website.
- There is no “one size fits all” sales funnel that integrates social.
Before we dive in, let’s understand why you need your website to be at the centre of your online marketing strategy.
Using Facebook as the social media example, why should you have both a website and a Facebook presence.
Reasons why you still need a business website
I’ve paraphrased and quoted these 6 points from a great article by John Howard on the Frontera Marking Group blog. Why reinvent the wheel right?
As John said, these aren’t in any specific order, they’re all important.
You don’t own or fully control your Facebook Page
Facebook owns it. That means Facebook make changes to any designs, layouts and policies at any time which can negatively impact your business presence. Because you don’t own the Page, there’s nothing you can do to stop Facebook making these changes.
Your competitors can advertise on Facebook
Here’s the reality – your customers can view advertising from your competitor while viewing your Facebook Page. In fact, your competitors can specifically target the kind of people visiting your Facebook Page based on their profile and browsing history.
You wouldn’t display competitor advertising on your website. Do you really want to funnel all your online traffic to a place that allows this?
Search Engine Optimisation
Search engines like Google place greater importance on having your own website for ranking in local search.
Even though a Facebook Page will show up, it generally won’t rank as highly or appear as early in search results. Since you don’t have control over everything that can effect your search rankings for your Facebook Page, the results will probably never be as strong or might not even appear in search results you would consider highly relevant to your business.
Facebook Insights have improved and will likely continue to expand over time, but the analytics aren’t nearly as good as what you can get from your own website.
With your own website and Google Analytics you can receive far more information on your visitor traffic.
Google Analytics won’t track names and addresses, it does give you access to an incredible amount of data including age, location, browser, operating system, pages viewed, where they came from, city, state and much, much more.
Facebook has limitation on what you can achieve from a design point-of-view and it’s not always possible to present your company or your brand in the way you want.
You’re limited in the size of the key content areas and there are also restrictions on certain types of content and promotional opportunities.
With your own website, you can publish what you want exactly how you want it.
Not everyone is on social media networking sites.
Depending on the source, research has found that anywhere from 30-45% of internet users in the USA don’t use Facebook.
So, while Facebook is a great way to add options to how customers can interact with you, you may be eliminating almost half of your potential customers if you limit your business to only a Facebook Page.
Your website is a marketing tool
Your organisation’s website is an integral part of your marketing communications strategy.
It’s open 24/7 and is, for many people, the first place they will interact with you online.
When someone visits your website, don’t ignore them. Instead, create a service that helps customers achieve their goal – to make contact, to purchase a product, to get help, etc.
To qualify sales opportunities, use your website to showcase your product or service. Encourage site visitors to contact you from the website and/or subscribe to a e-newsletter. They might answer a short questionnaire as part of the sign-up or contact process.
To drive people to your website, add social media to your sales funnel. It will help you reach your customers so that they can engage with your organisation.
Using social media
Here are some ideas to make your social media posts effective:
- Write news or blog articles to encourage repeat visitation.
- Avoid being too “salesy” in your blogs. Keep it real. You gain credibility and appear as a expert when you write from a personal perspective.
- Consider establishing a e-Newsletter to stay in touch with customers. Try special offers only available to only newsletter subscribers to gain traction. Keep it short and simple.
- You might have a passionate, subject matter expert in your organisation – they might write a column for like-minded enthusiasts. You could survey your clients to find out what common interests they have.
Post once, reach many
Having multiple social media channels doesn’t have to impose more work on you or your comms team.
Your website can be set up so that your posts are automatically sent to your social media channels. This saves you valuable time not having to post on all our social media channels separately.
All your posts should include a link or call-to-action back to your website
I hope this article helps you, if so, please leave a comment below.
If you have any questions, contact me and we can work together to improve your online presence.