At a recent speaking engagement I was privileged to spend some quality time chatting to a number of small business owners after the event, and one of the biggest questions that they wanted answering is “How do I find the right leads on social, and how do I turn them into customers?”
I sat down and worked with them to find a solution, and with so many free digital marketing tools available all it takes is a little creative imagination to connect the right ones together to build a value driven online sales funnel for your business.
This post is the result of our brainstorming, and offers a strategic blueprint to guide you through building a social media sales funnel from scratch.
Step 1. Find Your Target Market.
Who are the people who would benefit from your products or services? Think about building a profile of your ideal customer. Who are they, if your in a B2B market what job titles would your ideal customer have? If you’re in the B2C market what conversations are your ideal customer having? Think about some of the keywords that your customers might use in their social bio.
Once you’ve put together a customer persona, head over to FollowerWonk at http://followerwonk.com. FollowerWonk is a powerful free tool provided by the great guys at Moz, and it allows you to search Twitter bios for any keywords you choose.
Enter some of the keywords that you identified as relating to your ideal customer. If your business is local you can also filter your results down to particular cities to find exactly the person that matches your offering.
Followerwonk will then return you a list of highly matched Twitter accounts that you can follow, and since you’ve already understood that you’re likely to be able to help them with the challenges they face, a high percentage will follow you back.
This is where you build a highly targeted community in your niche. This method distills your community, avoids wastage and is much more time efficient for you and your followers.
Step 2. Prove your value
Start a conversation with your audience as soon as you can. Start a blog at http://wordpress.com or if you want to self host a blog on your own website head over to http://wordpress.org. It’s simple to do, it’s free and you don’t need to be tech savvy to start writing.
WordPress is a great way to get started with blogging and if you can consistently provide valuable content on your blog that’s focussed around the topics your product or service solve you’ll quickly become a thought leader in your market.
Blogs are a great way of building a “virtual magazine” and every post you publish make sure you share a link to it on Twitter with the highly targeted following you are building up through Step 1. This will position you as an expert in your field and drive targeted traffic from social to your blog, which brings us straight to the next step.
Step 3. Build the list
Start building an email list on your blog by offering a regular newsletter signup form, or a free valuable tip sheet or eBook in exchange for the visitors email. Use Mailchimp or another similar email service to create a simple CRM system to mange your contacts.
You’ve now moved your potential new prospect from a follower, to an engaged reader, to an owned contact. They’re now someone who wants to hear more from you and has given you permission to keep in touch. Connections like this are priceless.
Step 4. Survey Your List
If you’re communicating to your email list on a weekly or monthly basis, don’t forget that in addition to the posts and information you share in your newsletters and communications you can add a survey to ask your list to tell you about their wants and needs.
Surveying is a great way to uncover the exact challenges that your target market are facing and can help you mould your product or service to their wants and needs. Use tools like SurveyMonkey for easy to use free and low cost questionnaires.
Step 5. Make The Offer
By this stage you should have built a high level of trust and connection to your audience. You understand exactly what they need help with, and now you’re ready to offer a solution. Keep up the regular communication in your newsletters, but now your list is full of fans who know your value.
Now you know exactly who you’re trying to help, what they need and how they want their challenges solved. You’ve qualified your list, you’ve listened to what they’ve told you in the survey results, now its time to get busy building or moulding your products and services to solve their challenges.
Because you understand the customer, they’ll understand your solution.
This 5 step strategy to building a sales funnel through social media is based around social listening. It is using social media to build the relationship based on trust, understanding, focus and commitment to serve.
This is incredibly efficient and done with the right spirit and a genuine passion the sales process becomes the foundation for a long term valuable business relationship with your followers that will have them come back time and time again to buy your products and work with you.
Need some help planning and building out your own online sales funnels for your business?
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