There are approximately 3.2 billion people who use social media, which equals 42 percent of the global population. With so many people active on social media, companies need to be active as well to cultivate and convert leads. It's great for brands to engage on these platforms. However, they need to strategically engage with followers to expand their customer base.  

Understanding the Marketing Funnel

To convert leads, you need them funneled through to your website so they can complete your Call-to-Action (CTA). The steps your leads need to follow to get to your website are called the funnel. For example, leads come through your funnel and purchase your product or service or download a free ebook you've offered.

Creating Effective Funnels

Social media platforms can become a huge resource for your company in funneling leads to your website. An average of 91 percent of Facebook users follows brands on the platform. Thirty-nine percent of Facebook users follow a brand's Facebook page so they can receive special offers. Social media users want to connect with your company on these platforms. However, if you don't create the right funnels, you run the risk of poor lead conversion. Follow these steps to improve lead conversion.

1.  Make a Decision

You need to decide where you want your leads to go, and you must define your content as well as your CTA. The needs of your company will change. You may need to generate more website traffic. Maybe you want to simply generate increased brand awareness. Defining your current needs makes your funnel-creating process easier so you can create targeted, relevant content that reaches the right people.

2. Stay on Target

You can't expect to funnel leads to your website or landing page if you are unfocused and throwing all of your content at once at your followers. Focus on a strategy that caters to what each of the different platforms is geared to. Consider the following funnel content that works best on the various platforms.

  • Sharing Videos: Vimeo, YouTube, Periscope, Facebook Live, Twitter Live
  • Links and Microblogging: Twitter, Tumbler, LinkedIn, and Facebook
  • Sharing Photos: Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat
  • Networking: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

3. Track Lead Statistics

Crafting high-quality, relevant content is a great start. However, you need to track statistics to see which of your funnels in your multi-channel approach is working. Continue creating more of the same content for those funnels that are working well. Create new content for those funnels that aren't working great.

You can use an analytics tool like Sprout Social to help you ascertain metrics on your various social media accounts. This tool is compatible with tracking metrics for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. There is a free trial period, but you will need to pay for this service.

Installing the Google Analytics tracking code on your website or blog can be another valuable resource for real-time reports and identifying traffic to your website. There is a wide variety of reports you can access, such as conversions, behavior, acquisition, and audience.

You can track analytics on your social media accounts to see which marketing funnel content is working. For example, click the analytics link under your Twitter profile drop-down list to find details on the top tweet, top mention, top follower, and top media tweet for each month. You can find metrics for each tweet such as the number of impressions, the engagement rate, and engagements such as likes, retweets, or link clicks.

4. Embrace Flexibility

You may have been using your Twitter profile for microblogging and sharing links. Maybe your Instagram page was focused on sharing engaging photos to increase brand awareness. Both strategies are meant to drive traffic to your website—Twitter more actively with links and Instagram with a less heavy approach.

However, if a user on Instagram sends you a direct message to find out specific information on a product or service, they have become more aggressive in finding information about your brand. This is a good thing, but it might mean that you need to shift your focus on Instagram and start posting links. Just remember that URLs can be placed in the caption, but they won't link to the actual site. You can pay to add links directly to your photos.

5. Follow the 80/20 Rule

When building a social media marketing funnel that converts, you should follow the 80/20 Rule. This marketing rule is based on the Pareto Principle created by Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto. His principle referred to the fact that at the time, 80 percent of land in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population. This principle transcends various disciplines and applies to the marketing in the following way:

  • 80 percent – Engage with followers to cultivate a brand relationship
  • 20 percent – Promote brand awareness through strategic funnels

When you focus on merging your social media marketing strategy with the right funnel, you can effectively increase your conversion rate. Be open to evaluating your strategy to see which funnels work and which ones don't. Get started today creating the right funnel that perfectly meshes with your social media platforms.