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.