What is a Facebook sales funnel?

As consumers pass through the cognitive stages discussed in the previous post (AIDAR), they simultaneously pass through the top, middle and bottom of the ‘’funnel’’, paraphrased as the TOF, MOF and BOF. The funnel is a metaphor used in the marketing world to map the customer journey, from when they first learn of the brand to when they complete the desired action such as making a purchase. The aim of the marketing strategy should be to maximise the number of people reaching the BOF, where conversion occurs. 

The funnel is traditionally visualised as wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, as there are fewer customers at each stage. It is inevitable that there will be less customers who buy the product than those who are engaged at the initial stage of awareness; not all leads will result in conversion. 

In 2020, consumers play an active role when engaging with brands: they search key words, look at customer reviews, message brands privately, and more. A key limitation of the funnel model is that it is evocative of a passive process where consumer’s ‘’fall’’ from awareness to action and retention. This is an unhelpful way to think about the marketing strategy, which should consider consumers as active participants. 

A useful metaphor which serves as a reminder to not only include push-style marketing, is flipping the standard funnel model and thinking of it as a mountain, where consumers ‘’climb’’ from the bottom to the summit. This is analogous to the journey from awareness to action and retention. The brand/ marketer cannot ‘’push’’ customers up the mountain, but instead should give customers the tools and information for them to climb up themselves. 

Facebook can be used to do this through:

      Allowing for self-directed research

      Poll- style ads on stories

      Facebook messenger

      Customer reviews 

The marketing strategy should be customer-centred. It is important to think more specifically about how to increase the number of people at the BOF, such as through thinking about the individuals themselves. Customers are not simply a statistic moving through the funnel, but are individuals with specific preferences and at specific stages in the AIDAR model. This links to touch points- the marketing should meet consumers at wherever they are at in the journey, rather than just presenting ads to them. Centering consumers by thinking of them as actively climbing the mountain to the BOF is a useful reminder of this. 

By Josie Clarke, Shoo Academy