We all wish selling on social media was as easy as showcasing your wins. It’s not.
What’s required? Setting up a whole pipeline, coming up with campaigns, interacting with the audience, and so much more. A heap of work! And yet, 51% of B2B marketers reported that social media resulted in lead generation and sales growth in 2020.
While there’s still no alternative to planning the campaigns and your hands-on skills, there are a couple of things in your social media sales pipeline that you can easily automate to save a ton of time and effort.
In this article, we list 5 ways to improve your social media sales pipeline using automation.
What is a social media sales pipeline?
Simply put, a social media sales pipeline is a framework to generate leads using social media platforms. It encompasses the stages and activities involved in identifying, engaging, nurturing, and ultimately closing sales through social media channels.
The key focus of such a pipeline is to engage and nurture your target audience throughout every stage of the sales process to ultimately convert them into paying customers.
Why should you automate your social media sales pipeline?
We’ve all heard that social media automation can be a real game-changer for your business. Let’s talk about specific benefits you can reap from it.
- Consistency and scalability
Automation ensures that your sales activities are executed consistently across different social media channels and campaigns. You can establish standardized workflows and processes that are followed automatically, reducing the chance of human error and ensuring a uniform approach. Moreover, automation allows you to scale your sales efforts without exponentially increasing your team’s workload.
- Increased productivity
Automation allows you to streamline repetitive, time-consuming tasks such as lead generation, content scheduling, and follow-up communications. By automating these processes, you can free up valuable time for your sales team to focus on more critical activities, such as building relationships with prospects and closing deals.
- Enhanced customer engagement
Social media automation tools can assist in maintaining a consistent presence on multiple platforms and can enable you to engage with your audience promptly. You can respond to customers’ inquiries and comments, communicate instantly with them, and offer them solutions faster. This proactive engagement can boost customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and ultimately drive more sales.
- Data-driven insights
Automated systems provide valuable data and analytics that can help your sales strategy keep up with the latest market trends. By tracking metrics, such as click-through rates and conversion rates, you can gain insights into the effectiveness of the social media campaigns. These insights help you identify what is working well and what needs improvement, allowing you and your team to optimize your sales efforts and make data-driven decisions.
- Improved lead management
Automation tools enable you to capture, track, and manage leads more effectively. You can set up automated lead generation mechanisms, such as lead capture forms or chatbots, which can collect prospects’ information and automatically add it to your sales pipeline. This eliminates the risk of losing leads and helps you and your team prioritize and nurture them accordingly.
- Integration with other tools
Many social media automation platforms integrate with other marketing and sales tools, such as customer relationship management systems or email marketing software. These integrations enable seamless data exchange, improved collaboration, and a 360-degree view of your sales process, making it easier to manage and streamlining the entire customer journey.
How to improve your sales pipeline using automation on social media?
Sadly, automation is not a magic trick. There’s no set-and-forget magic wand to automate your social media sales pipeline. It takes real strategies to make things work. But don’t worry because we’ve got your back. Scroll on for actionable tips to streamline your sales pipeline on social media.
1. Automate your brand’s marketing flows
One of the first steps in improving your sales pipeline through automation is to streamline your marketing flows. After all, marketing automation increases customer engagement by 300%, allowing you to effectively attract, engage, and convert prospects into paying customers.
From lead captures to lead nurturing, and even lead conversion, automation can help drastically reduce your scouring time on social media. It can be accomplished in two ways:
- Through integrations that tie all of your tools into a unified ecosystem and help you orchestrate your marketing flows. Zapier or Make are no-code tools that can help with this.
- By using feature-rich platforms that cover multiple stages of your marketing funnel. A case in point is HubSpot Marketing Hub or Marketo Engage.
2. Implement social listening
Automation tools can help you monitor social media platforms for mentions of your brand, customer feedback, or industry trends in general. By using tools such as Statusbrew or Brandwatch, and others, you can track conversations and identify opportunities to engage with potential customers or address any issues that they may have.
For example, here’s how Zoho CRM did this. The tool was never tagged in the thread but there was one casual mention that they discovered and replied to.
By tuning in to conversations about our brand, industry, and trends, you can get a better grasp of your target audience and come up with campaigns that hit the bullseye by addressing their needs and pain points.
Besides, with these automation tools, you can quickly spot customer questions, concerns, or even shout-outs about your brand online — even if you aren’t tagged. And guess what — you can just swoop in and address the issue with lightning speed, showing that you’re always there for your customers!
3. Use chatbots for lead qualification
Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular in automating customer interactions on social media platforms as 58% of companies in the B2B sector (and 42% of B2C companies) are already using them.
These AI-powered assistants can handle repetitive tasks, such as answering frequently asked questions and providing product information. On top of that, they can also capture and qualify leads in real-time allowing your sales team to focus on high-priority prospects.
Tools like ManyChat and Chatfuel offer user-friendly chatbot platforms that integrate seamlessly with popular social media platforms like Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp.
Salesforce, a leading CRM platform, has implemented Einstein Bots for lead qualification on any customer-facing platform, including social media. You can create your own chatbot to engage with prospects, ask or answer questions, and collect relevant information. But it can also help set up appointments and connect the leads with the right sales representatives.
4. Personalize your automated messages
Personalized messages are more likely to resonate with your social media audience and drive conversions. According to BCG, companies with stellar personalization strategies see a boost in their growth rates by 6% to 10%. But is it possible to maintain a high level of personalization while automating your sales pipeline?
The answer is yes. With the help of automation tools, you can segment your audience based on demographics, preferences, and behaviors allowing you to deliver targeted and personalized messages at scale. Here’s an example.
Source: Data Driven Investor
This is a real estate company that just wanted to follow up with their client. Even though they sent an automated message, they made the effort to include the name of the lead, a short introduction, and also relevant emojis. And the customer replied!
Sending a generic message to your customer doesn’t only seem kind of spammy, it affects their brand experience too. A little bit of personalization can go a long way!
5. Automate follow-ups and lead nurturing
Set up automated campaigns of direct messages on your social media channels to nurture your leads and guide them through their specific sales funnel. By delivering targeted content and offers based on their interests, past interactions, and funnel stages, you can keep prospects engaged and increase the likelihood of conversion.
For example, someone who has visited your product page multiple times might be considered a hot lead, while the user who has just liked the post might be classified as a warm lead. Using the data collected by the automation tool, you can set up a series of automated messages to nurture the leads and guide them to their sales funnel.
A warm lead might receive a personalized message, thanking them for their interest and offering a discount code for their first purchase. Meanwhile, a hot lead could receive a message highlighting customer testimonials and a limited-time offer to encourage them to make a purchase.
By delivering targeted content and offers based on the leads’ interests, past interactions, and funnel stages, you can keep prospects engaged and increase their chances of conversion. With an automated tool, you can keep everything scheduled and implement these ideas at appropriate intervals, ensuring consistent communication without overwhelming the leads.
By automating your social media sales pipeline, you can enhance lead generation, improve lead nurturing and conversion, and foster stronger customer relationships. This ultimately leads to increased sales, improved ROI, and sustainable business growth.
Embracing automation in your social media marketing endeavors is a valuable investment that can help you stay competitive in the dynamic digital landscape and drive success for your brand.