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Use The Social Media Sales Funnel and Stop Sending Customers Away

Money shredderDo you ever wonder if all those social media links are costing you leads?

Now I'm not talking about the share buttons you see hovering over to your left, or that you have access to on your mobile device. What I'm talking about is a typically thick strip of icons that tell people to join you on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and about 60+ other social media sites that can help you display social proof.

Bottom line: all of those buttons are sending people from your blog, your home base, to a site that you don't control.

So have you been lied to all this time about how to use social media? Does this mean you should stop using Twitter and Facebook?

Not at all. What you need is to put these sites into their proper place, at the top of the social media sales funnel.

The Social Media Sales Funnel

Here's what this elusive beast looks like. Prepare as I stretch my lack of graphics skill to the limit…

Social Media Sales Funnel

At the top of the funnel we have SEO and social media which in this case does not include blogging. Ideal customers are attracted from social media and SEO into the next stage of the funnel which is your blog. From there vistors are captured as leads, enter into a lead nurturing program where ultimately customers are earned.

As with every funnel only a certain percentage move from stage to stage. Here the only reason that the lead nurture stage is smaller than the lead capture is that we're sure to see some drop off. If you're using double opt-in people might not see the emails and verify that they want your freebie. Also, some people are funnel jumpers and might go straight from lead capture to customers.

It could happen. Be happy when it does.

With the exception of funnel jumpers everyone else should go into a lead nurturing program.

This takes us back to the million dollar question…

Once Someone Is On Your Site, Why Send Them Away?

There may be a few reasons, but building a community around your business isn't a strong enough one.

With each social network you operate on you want to not only provide value but provide a bit of value you don't offer anywhere else. You may be running a contest on Facebook or perhaps send your Twitter followers a download link for an ebook. In any case, be sure that offer isn't available anywhere else than that network.

The Two-Week Challenge

Here's a challenge for you, if you choose to accept it. If you do accept it let us know by leaving a comment down below. Then do the following:

Write down the number of followers you have on Twitter and the number of likes on your Facebook page. Wait a week and write down the number of each you have. This is your benchmark.

Make a full backup of your WordPress site and widgets.

Remove any social media buttons from your site that send people off of your site. This could be a widget or footer links. Be sure you can get them back.

Wait one week.

At the end of the week write down how many Twitter followers you have along with the number of Facebook likes your page has.

Any significant change? Did the growth of these communities slow down at all?

Let us know in a reply to your comment below.

Good luck.

Comments

  1. I still have links to my social media profiles, but your points are interesting. Since this is a fairly old post, do you have any more feedback and experience from removing them? Or could you just open the links in new pages instead?

    • I’ve changed my tune since writing this and as you can see on the blog I have my social networks (boxes and all) in the sidebar. Most of those however won’t take people off the site (in the case of the Twitter and FB items).

      I’ve also prioritized the blog sign up above all of them too.

      That’s the current set up Jens!

  2. That is good information. Thanks!!

  3. Hey Robert,

    I totally get what you’re saying here, but I gotta disagree slightly. If someone is serious about what you’re offering, they won’t care about your social networks, they’ll go straight to your contact page to give you a call.

    That’s just the experience that I’ve had with it. And also, because I’m so heavily into social media, if I can’t find someone’s social icons to follow them, then, depending on what I’m doing at the site, I’ll either leave or contact them to see if they have a Twitter or Facebook to follow them. Because sometimes, I want to follow them to keep them top of mind for when I’m ready to enlist their services. Not always am I completely ready to buy right then and there. If I’m given no other option than to contact them by phone or email, I’ll most likely bookmark them and completely forget about them.

    I don’t think completely getting rid of social media icons is the best of ideas. Maybe making it a bit more difficult, such as putting it in the footer or on the contact page would be a good idea, depending on what you’re going after. But completely getting rid of them can turn a lot of people away.

    Thanks for the article!

  4. I usually look for social media links under the “contact” or “about us” sections. Logically, doesn’t that seem like the proper place for them? I’m always kind of surprised that more B2Bs don’t take on this strategy, and instead go with the buttons. Our site is about to be redesigned, so I’m not sure yet what the outcome will be as far as the social buttons go, but I’m sure we’ll definitely take this advice into consideration.

    • Great points on the location Emma. No reason to include the social media link buttons on every page, but the about page is a great place to have them if you’re going to.

    • I look for them in the same place Emma. The function of the “About” page is pretty much all about building trust — checking to see if these are folks you are comfortable with — and I think the social links are especially useful there.

      But I also look for them in the Blog. If I read an interesting post, I may want to follow them right there, subscribe to the RSS feed, etc. AND I find it very frustrating when I can’t find them there πŸ™‚

  5. Hey Robert,

    I’m launching a new site about content strategy and there will be absolutely NO social media buttons on it (other than the sharing buttons of course :)). Basically incorporating the same logic that you have here. If you are tired of reading the post…you can either go to another post, or subscribe. I’m taking a page out of Derek Halpern’s book in terms of design.

  6. Hello Robert. I’ve always said that Facebook etc should lead into your online property, not AWAY from it. Getting that funnel designed properly is a MONSTER though. I’ve acquired a license to an awesome FB plugin today. VERY exciting.

    P.s. I’ve noticed your ComLuv doesn’t give links but just titles in a straight line. You may want to have a look at that πŸ™‚ Nice touch challenging your readers. I may even take it up myself.

    • Hi Ivin what is that plugin by chance? πŸ™‚

      As for the ComLuv I thought it only showed you your last 10 post titles for you to choose from? The link in your comment is clickable though so not 100% on what you’re referring to. Let me know and I’ll take a look. Thanks!

      • Robert, apologies. It seems it’s fixed now. It wasn’t giving links this morning just text.

        This plugin is GREAT. You’ll especially appreciate it because it will do wonders for your clients pages and list building. In theory of course. Do you mind if I email you a link?

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