How to Drive More Social Media Leads with a Defined Social Marketing Funnel

By Amanda DiSilvestro


Chances are your business is already on social media. But are you reaping all the benefits?

There’s more to social media than just posting content and advertising your brand; platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are great places to generate leads that could potentially increase your online sales. That’s why it’s important to have a detailed strategy of how to use social media to increase your leads and conversions.

This article will explain what a marketing sales funnel is, how to develop one specifically for social media, and how to best customize it for your business so you get more leads and increase your conversions.


What is a marketing sales funnel?

Before we can talk about how to establish a social media marketing funnel, it’s important to understand what, exactly, a marketing funnel is. If you haven’t researched small business marketing in depth, there’s a chance this is a term you’re not familiar with. In essence, a marketing funnel is a path that you want your consumers to take, starting with when they learn about your company. The ultimate goal is to have them make a purchase, or conversion, and the funnel consists of the steps, or actions, they need to take to make that purchase.

A basic trip through the funnel could look something like this:

  • Step 1: Attention. The potential customer becomes aware of your company.

  • Step 2: They go to your website.

  • Step 3: Interest. They view and research your products.

  • Step 3: Desire. The lead puts a product in their cart.

  • Step 4: Action. They make the purchase, completing the conversion.

These are the necessary steps in order to convert on most websites. There are plenty of other actions that a consumer can take on a website, and they’re an important part of the customer journey. The funnel, however, is generally divided into just a few sections, and most of the actions a person can take on a website fall into one section of the funnel (generally the interest or desire stages).

Why is it referred to as a funnel?

Think about what a funnel looks like: There’s a wide opening at the top, and it gradually narrows as you move down to the bottom.

It’s the same for marketing and sales efforts. At the top of the funnel, you target a large group of people with your marketing strategies. Your goal at this point, if you’re an ecommerce site, may be to get as many people as possible to visit your website. But not all of those people will make a purchase; in fact, some will visit your site and leave without taking any other actions. A smaller number will stick around to read your blog, look at your products, or sign up for your newsletter before leaving. Even fewer will take the time to add a product to their cart, and only a small fraction of the people (or leads) you started with will ultimately make a purchase. What starts as a large audience narrows until what you have left is a small group of people who convert. Whether a conversion takes a few minutes or a lot longer, it’s still considered movement through a funnel.

Thus, when people advise you to widen your funnel, they mean you should broaden your marketing strategy, especially at the top of your funnel, to attract more leads. This is where social media can come into play.

Why is it referred to as a funnel?

Social media plays a huge role in digital marketing, but there’s more to it than building a strong social media presence for your brand. You can use social media as a part of your marketing and sales funnel to help leads and customers navigate your brand and, ultimately, convert.

Using this channel, you can find new customers and increase brand awareness. Most businesses have a Facebook page, and many are also active on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other sites and apps. On these platforms, you can engage with followers and advertise your business by paying for targeted ad space. Social media also has the magic of sharing; when you post a piece of content related to your business, it can be shared repeatedly until it ends up in front of someone who’s never heard of your company, which prompts them to check out your website or social media profile. Regardless of which platforms you use, creating targeted ads and valuable content are great ways to produce new leads that will hopefully turn into conversions.

Perhaps most importantly, you can use social media to interact with customers and improve engagement. Customers can message business representatives easily through tweets, using Facebook Messenger, or through LinkedIn messaging. On social media, you can prompt potential consumers to sign up for your newsletter, request more information about your company or offerings, or simply follow your business page. All of these actions keep them involved and help guide them further down the funnel. 

Here are four steps to consider when creating a social media sales funnel.

Step 1: Create a custom or lookalike audience on social media.

To expand your sales funnel, try working with different audiences. You can do this by using data from your mobile app or by going through the people who already like or follow your page. The idea is to look at their demographics to figure out who they are and what they’re interested in, and then create an audience of people who are similar. Facebook recommends creating an audience of 1,000 to 50,000 people, depending on the size of your business, and to think about quality as well as quantity. After all, an audience that resembles your best customers will lead to better results than a lookalike audience of all your customers.

Once you create this custom audience, they’ll be shown targeted ads for your business. Since the group is made up of people who are similar to your target demographic, the chances are higher that they’ll click on the ads and end up on your social profile page or your website. Then, hopefully, they will like or follow your page to see further updates and information and move down the funnel.

Step 2: Keep them engaged by posting valuable content.

You don’t want to invite a bunch of people to your page and then ignore them. Remember the funnel: Most of these people are still in the big portion at the top (the attention stage), and they need to be guided toward the bottom of the funnel to a conversion.

One way to do this is by posting valuable and engaging content. Show them what your business and products are all about in a way that is interesting to them. Link to optimized blog posts with eye-catching images. Go live and talk about the value of a new product or give a behind-the-scenes tour of your company. Share coupon codes or sponsor a contest or giveaway. Ask questions, spark conversations, and try to build relationships with them. These relationships can enable higher visibility on social media and improved website metrics, such as increased time on page.

Better relationships will likely improve your marketing efforts without additional spend. To capitalize on this, always include a link to your website in your posts that’s relevant and helps drive people to a conversion.

Step 3: Monitor your progress and check your conversion rates.

Keep an eye on your metrics. If people are clicking on your links and converting, that’s great; now look for ways to make conversion happen faster or more easily. Use your metrics and A/B testing to find ways to improve, see if there are any hurdles you can remove, and modify your posts and content as necessary.

Step 4: If your audience isn’t converting, retarget them.

If you’re not seeing the conversion numbers you wanted or expected, try retargeting your audience with social media ads that are more relevant. This technique is used on leads who have already entered your funnel and helps make your advertising more personalized.

You may need to reevaluate the previous steps, including your audience, as well. Perhaps you’re not targeting the right group of people, and that’s why they’re not clicking on your ads. Review your demographic data and consider making changes to your lookalike audience. The goal is to retarget your consumers and continue to create engaging content to lead them to click on your link and convert.

Social media is an important part of the marketing and sales funnel. By paying attention to your funnel and using your social media efforts to drive leads through the funnel, you can earn more leads and increase conversions.

About the author

Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword research to recovering from Google Algorithm updates and changes. She writes on the side as a freelancer and works as the Marketing Manager for a Travel Company, Discover Corps, full-time. Learn more about her work at
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