In what was originally created as a platform to bring people from different communities through online social networking services, social media has evolved to become one of the largest and most promising marketing tools known to man. Marketing through social media increased dramatically when social networking giants such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram saw a boom in active users. Due to the increase in active users, businesses saw an opportunity to create brand awareness and increase traffic to their business websites by marketing products on social media and allowing users to engage with their content. So what exactly do we mean when we look at social media as a “top-of-the-tunnel” tactic for marketing? Let’s start by explaining what exactly the funnel is.
The Marketing and Sales Funnel
In marketing, you may hear marketers refer to something we call the marketing and sales funnel. In the marketing and sales funnel (as with any funnel) you have a top, middle, and bottom. Let’s think of it this way. In order for something to go into a funnel, it must go through the top to reach the bottom right? This is how we think of the marketing and sales funnel.
In order to pull in people to the funnel, you must have something to create interest in your brand. Interesting enough to attract potential buyers into the top of your funnel. Once you get them in the funnel, you can then utilize your middle-of-the-funnel tactics to get your leads ready to purchase your product or service. This is typically where your account executives, sales development, and business development representatives and specialist take over. This eventually leads into the bottom of the funnel, where purchase influencing, data-driven tactics, and sales closing tactics are utilized to ultimately inspire and lead your pool of potential customers into purchasing your product or service.
Social Media Reigns Supreme
When speaking of top-of-the-funnel tactics, social media reigns supreme. Social media serves as a platform where businesses can share videos, photos, infographics, and content geared towards sparking interest and influencing customers to jump into the funnel. The pool of customers gets smaller and smaller as they move through the funnel with some instantly leaving the funnel as soon as they find out they’re no longer interested, and with the extraordinarily high amount of users on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, social media is able to attract and the largest group of potential customers than any other top-of-the-funnel tactic.
Social media also serves as a platform where you can create and post just about any other top-of-the-funnel tactic there is. Top-of-the-funnel content in its essence can be engaging, visual, buyer-centric, and emotional in order to effectively attract an audience towards your brand. Social media encompasses the top-of-the-funnel process as it works to serve all of these purposes in creating a space for engagement and in turn increase the probability for more traffic and business for your brand.