How to use B2B social media channels across the four levels of the marketing funnel—awareness, evaluation, acquisition and expansion.
When developing a strategy to align your social media program to your marketing funnel, be sure to look beyond the awareness level. Social media can also impact the other three levels—evaluation, acquisition and expansion. And by connecting across all four levels, your marketing team can greatly assist your sales team in turning prospects into customers and creating experiences that keep customers coming back.
To gain some insights into how social media can be used at all levels of the marketing funnel, I recently interviewed Brandy Alvarado-Miranda, CEO of the BAM! Marketing & PR Agency. “Social media goes beyond the brand awareness level,” says Alvarado-Miranda. “While awareness gets your message out there, it’s important to keep in touch through the next three levels while making sure the tone and voice of your messaging stay consistent.”
Alvarado-Miranda adds that prospects usually move from awareness to evaluation only after they receive product messaging multiple times, and the features and benefits start to sink in. If they keep seeing a product, they are more likely to ask for more information and perhaps a demo.
After prospects complete an evaluation, social media can help the sales team advance them to acquisition by providing additional information. “Perhaps focus on the pain points the product or service eliminates, says Alvarado-Miranda. “And once that prospect is a customer, social media can contribute to the expansion level by introducing additional use-cases for a product or service so customers will keep buying.”
Align Social Media to Direct Sales Interactions
An important aspect of the social media plan used by your marketing team is to align the plan to how the sales team interacts directly with prospects and customers. Both teams need to know where prospects and customers are at in their journeys and what each other is communicating at each level of the funnel. This allows efforts to mesh so that the messaging from marketing enhances what sales communicates to prospects and customers.
“Social media keeps prospects and customers connected during acquisition and expansion to reinforce what they hear from the sales team,” says Alvarado-Miranda. “This dual approach keeps your products top-of-mind and consistently gets your message in front of potential buyers and current customers. At these two stages, feedback between marketing and sales is critical so that prospects and customers hear similar messages from both channels.”
Cast a Big Net
When posting social media, it’s helpful to create each message with the primary funnel level in mind. But also use messaging with general appeal to all four levels since it’s difficult to know which audiences your message might reach.
“Social media is like a big commercial fishing net,” Alvarado-Miranda explains. “You don’t know for sure what you will catch and where each person is at within your marketing funnel. Try to resonate with everyone but also tailor your message to alleviate the specific pains of targets who are at one of the four levels. By casting a wide net, you have a better chance of reaching the right audience with the right message at the right time.”
Another key social media tactic Alvarado-Miranda emphasizes is to quickly follow up with prospects who download a marketing asset or reach out through email. “It’s not enough to just hand these prospects off to sales,” Alvarado-Miranda warns.
“That might delay the response from the business, and right after a prospect shows interest is the ideal time to send out a social media post with a link to a customer success story video or a tutorial on how to use the product. An aware prospect is more likely to watch a video, which can drive home the messaging and advance them to evaluation.”
What Works Well Today Will Change Tomorrow
Alvarado-Miranda also points out that social media programs can benefit from using a marketing automation platform or a CRM solution. These solutions can segment audiences according to their funnel level based on factors such as when prospects and customers visit your website and which pages they click on. This information can trigger specific messages to send and allow you to track prospects as they move deeper into the funnel.
“Do your homework to evaluate who your audience is, the best time to reach them, and where they hang out on social media platforms,” adds Alvarado-Miranda. “Also identify their goals, pain points and which problems you solve to achieve those goals or eliminate those pain points.”
Alvarado-Miranda also recommends checking out the analytics that each social media platform offers to see if and how people interact with your messaging. You can then change your approach depending on what works well. But always be aware of where prospects and customers are in the funnel, and keep analyzing your efforts: what works well today will change tomorrow.
Stay In Touch Throughout the Funnel
Facilitating prospect journeys and turning them into loyal customers requires social media messaging at every level of the marketing funnel. Your marketing team can’t assume every evaluation will result in closed business and that every acquisition will result in expansion.
They need to keep in touch throughout the funnel and remind prospects of the pain points you solve. Doing so will transform their journeys to purchase your products into experiences and turn them into customers who keep coming back for more.
Originally published in M2T: https://m-2-t.com/b2b-social-media-channels/