Populating the Top of the Sales Funnel Through Social Media

Populating the top of the sales funnel through social media. Handshake 2.0

With the modern consumer receiving information about products and services from multiple channels, how does a company – which formerly reached its target market just fine, say, with print and television ads – now reach new customers?

The business use of social media addresses media fragmentation, the scattering of possible customers to multiple channels for news and information.  With a presence in multiple social media and social networking venues, a company can meet consumers where they are, or attract their attention through the equivalent of word of mouth referrals (“Check out what Company X is doing on Facebook!”)

In addition to responding to the challenge of media fragmentation, the business use of social media can, in some ways, automate the sales process.  We used the metaphor of the sales funnel to describe how social media can increase sales volume.

In the diagram above, we show a more detailed view of our vision of the relationship between social media and the sales process, again using the sales funnel as a metaphor.

What we’ve tried to show?  As much as companies and those who market their products and services would wish that the use of social media would lead directly to return on investment, R.O.I., social media is a tool to use to populate the top of the sales funnel.  Where there were few, there can be many.  Conversion of the many into sales and R.O.I. isn’t about the tool.  It’s about the company.


You’re invited to share this graphic by Kelsey Sarles for Handshake Media, Incorporated, a digital public relations agency and parent company of Handshake 2.0.  We only ask that if you quote it or use it, please cite its source.  Here is a .pdf version of  Populating the Top of the Sales Funnel Through Social Media.

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  1. Great post and graphic, Anne. Astute companies are using social media to feed the sales funnel, and qualify and nurture leads. The tough part is getting to closed loop systems that help track what happens with these leads and campaigns, but I believe CRM and online marketing tools are evolving to help accomplish this.

  2. Anne, this is a nice graphic that illustrates this concept nicely. I’ve found that social media can have a role in EVERY stage of the sales pipleline, including pre-sales, competitive analysis, service and customer satisfaction. It can even be a powerful source of new product ideas for the products you’re selling in the first place!

    Thanks for passing this along!

  3. Mark, thanks for sharing your experience!

    That social media can have an impact at every level of the sales pipeline is logical. The questions for early adopters: For a company my size? How much times does each take? At what cost? Over what time frame?

    For a small company, especially for a start-up with, perhaps, a solo founder, with little time to spare, a very small marketing budget, and a desire to let others know about its products and services, populating the top of the sales funnel may be what’s possible now. With greater revenue and more staff, all things are possible!

  4. Anne, I too, like this post and graphic very much. May I please use it in a post and presentation? Of course I will leave your attribute and give you full credit.

    Thank you,
    Steve Rosenbaum

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