Drilling in on Social Conversion Strategies

Dave Evans is one of the smartest guys in Social Media today and has the ability to ask questions that make you stop and think. Really think. So, when he asked my opinion on where social media meets conversion strategy, I really had to think.

The result of our collaboration is his latest ClickZ article Social Conversions: Taking Step Two. For me, the process crystallized the reasons that so many of us have trouble seeing the ROI in social marketing. We’re looking at it wrong.

I will expand here on how we use inappropriate strategies for our social marketing campaigns. In subsequent posts, I’ll drill down on some of the strategies mentioned in the column and show you how they work.


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The Flaw in our Social Marketing Model

Dave’s article hints at the way we use old measures of success in new paradigms. We see social media as simply another way to drive traffic to our traditional conversion funnels.

With this model, we try to cram our social strategies into the Awareness portion of the marketing funnel. While this is a valid use of social marketing, it is it’s most limited.

We try to stuff our social media strategies into the top of the marketing funnel.
We try to stuff our social media strategies into the top of the marketing funnel.

When we realize that there is a whole world of conversion after the purchase we begin to use our social marketing more strategically.

Strategic Social Marketing

We can use social media strategically when we apply it to the post-purchase portion of the funnel

This expanded model for social media let’s us use social channels more strategically.

Instead of asking, “How can we use video to drive more traffic to us?” we can instead ask, “How can we use video to increase use of our offering?”

Instead of asking, “How can we use Facebook to build a list of prospects?” we can ask, “How can we use Facebook to get people talking about our product?”

Can you see how we would apply social marketing in a more purposeful way when we change our point of view? Doesn’t it become clearer how we would measure the success of our social campaigns beyond just traffic and page views? If you answered “Well, kinda,” don’t worry.

I’ll be exploring best practices for some of the strategies mentioned in the Social Conversion article, including:

  • Use of notification emails which “are among the most overlooked opportunities for engaging new product users.”
  • Designing a blog that converts buyers to users, users to opinion, and opinion to talk.
  • B2B implementation circles

Keep up with the conversation. Subscribe to The Conversion Scientist and the Conversion Scientist Podcast. Don’t miss a post.

For a complete understanding of the marketing funnel, read Dave’s book Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day.
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Brian Massey is the Founder and Conversion Scientist at Conversion Sciences. He is the author of Your Customer Creation Equation. His rare combination of interests, experience and neuroses were developed over almost 20 years as a computer programmer, entrepreneur, corporate marketer, international speaker and writer.

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  • Your strategy is intriguing, and your graphics really help make your point. I use the bare basics of social media (primarily Twitter and FaceBook) but haven’t really been promoting a revenue based product as much as I’ve been using social media tools to connect with interesting people, and learn the landscape. Thank you for starting the conversation and sharing your insights.

  • I really like how you have sorted it all out for the laymen like me. That is a really awesome before-after diagram. Would you mind if I share it with others?

  • Steve,

    Please feel free to use the graphics, but be sure to reference Dave’s book, from whom I stole the basic funnel (pp 41-42).


  • Zoey,

    Thanks for the comment. In my day job, I recommend specific strategies for Web marketing, but have been reluctant to offer social strategies. I’ve learned a lot from collaborating with Dave Evans. Now I have the start of a framework in which to recommend specific social strategies for specific goals.


  • Brian,

    You are definitely asking the right questions – it’s not about traffic or prospects, it’s about engaging people.

    But I am not sure I get the diagrams – are you suggesting that [ex] video is most appropriate for purchase, and social bookmarking is more appropriate for awareness?

  • Pat,

    Your question about the placement of social strategies in the diagram is a good one. They are really littered about with regard to the drawing I did in the post. Each business will apply different social strategies to different parts of the funnel based on what their audience wants and what they have the resources to support. So, using video to increase usage is just one application of video in the post-purchase part of the funnel. PLUS, video can still be used as a raw traffic generator.

    The key difference is that we are applying social strategies to more specific goals, and that focus, in my experience, will make them more effective.


  • Matt Hammond

    Broken image at the bottom of the post.