These days everyone has an opinion on social media. Instagram is no exception. My company's Instagram account gets constant feedback, some of it useful, some of it not so handy from my fellow employees.
One conversation was a real illustration of how marketeers, this one included, need to do a better job of explaining our jobs and in particular the marketing/sales funnel.
My colleague showed me a competitor's Instagram feed. It was all about their product, offering bite size chunks of language learning to their audience. Our feed? "It's too abstract. Too many people. You can't tell what our product is or how it works."
He was right (and so was I). So I explained the funnel. See, our competitor was using Instagram about half way or so down the funnel. Customers were engaged, they were starting to understand the product. They wanted a piece of what it offered, but weren't quite prepared to commit yet.
Us? We're much nearer the top. We want to present customers as heroes, with lifestyles to which others will aspire. We talk briefly about our service, but we're much more interested in generating awareness, through our customers, our teachers, our employees.
When I explained the funnel, my colleague, a super-bright teaching academic got it straight away. And then cornered me on how marketing could help him trigger decision making and loyalty. Luckily I had plenty of ideas, (none of them to do with Instagram), but that's a whole other story.
When building a social media strategy, a good plan of attack is to make sure your tactics cover each stage of the sales funnel. As you can see below, each step includes a specific question that your marketing strategy should answer. AWARENESS—How will potential customers find you on social media? EVALUATION—How will they use social media to compare you to competitors or similar products? ACQUISITION—How will you get them to buy or convert today? ENGAGEMENT—How will you use social channels to keep in touch with customers (so you can sell them more things later)? ADVOCACY—How will you get them to recommend your product on social channels to their friends?