If you read about marketing at all you’ve no doubt heard about the “sales funnel”. The concept is basically this: You move people through a sales process. You create lots of awareness by spending money and time in advertising and PR. A certain number of people become interested, some of those people make an effort to explore their options, and eventually a few will become clients. So as people go through the funnel the numbers narrow until a few customers drip out the end.
The dream of social media is that you don’t have to blast your message to get the word out. You tell a few people and they tell a few people and so on and so on until you have this huge number of engaged interested buyers. This doesn’t require a lot of money, but it’s extremely time consuming. This social media funnel is supposed to look like this:
It all good in theory, but the reality is that this is a bit of a social media unicorn. There is as much noise in social media as there is in advertising, so your message largely gets lost. And people don’t engage in social media with an eye to buying stuff. That’s not their intent. They are engaged in SOCIAL media to be social. They are not going to “advertise” for you. So the real social media sales funnel looks like this:
Yes, there will be people who “engage” with you: people who comment, share and like. But those actions have a very limited lifespan and the effect quickly peters out. What typically happens, and you have probably experienced this yourself, is that you do a lot of work encouraging interaction and don’t get many (if any) clients for your efforts.
I’m not saying that social media is useless. There are ways to maximize your use of social media, but you really need to be committed to doing it and doing it right. And you need to invest more than a little time in the process. Facebook is slowly removing the free benefits and pushing toward paid models for businesses, so you do need to make some financial investment as well.
Having a presence in social media is important, but it’s not all important. If you are not interested in going all out, my suggestion is to establish a presence and spend just a little time each week (20 minutes) and a little money to stay active in people’s minds.
Use the 80/20 rule and have the most impact possible for the least amount of time. The guide is free and I’ll host a webinar soon to further expand on these concepts. Be sure to sign up for the BodyworkBiz Massage Marketing Tips newsletter to get the announcement of this upcoming webinar.