Is social media best used for sales or for brand awareness and engagement?

The age-old question that marketers have been debating even before Mark Zuckerberg started TheFacebook in his tiny Harvard dorm room back in 2004.

So what’s the right answer? Is there one? Many marketers lean towards the side of brand awareness and engagement, while others can’t quite see the point of social media unless it’s eventually leading to sales. But what if we could mesh the two and build a system that looks at social media as one continual, relationship-building process that eventually turns fans and followers into customers and evangelists?

Ian Cleary, Founder of RazorSocial, online marketer, Forbes contributor, and kick boxer, shares his insights into how we can do just that. As marketers, we can benefit from beginning to look at social media as one fluid process instead of segmented, unrelated puzzle pieces. The process? Ian Cleary’s PRISM funnel.

A huge thank you to Ian Cleary for packing episode #51 of The Science of Social Media full of inspiration and actionable takeaways for marketers looking to build a social media sales PRISM funnel that works. (Part of our brand new podcast series!)

In this episode, here’s what you’ll learn:

Ian Cleary shares insights into his unique social media PRISM funnel – giving marketers a great model for understanding how to connect social media to the bottom line. You’ll also learn other useful things like:

  • The importance of an editorial process
  • Automation tools that help to find great content
  • Why both awareness and sales are an important part of social media
  • How relationship building is time well-spent on social
  • B2B marketing tactics on LinkedIn

Awareness to Sales Building a Social Media PRISM Funnel - Ian Cleary

The PRISM Funnel by Ian Cleary

PRISM Funnel Overview (Source):

Ian Cleary PRISM Funnel

  • P for People – You build an audience of people interested in your products and services (followers/fans).
  • R for Relationships – If you have a relationship with your audience, they are more likely to take action. Valuable content is a great way of building an engaged audience.
  • I for Inbound Traffic – When you share out your content (e.g. blog posts) on social media to an engaged following, you get traffic to your site.
  • S for subscribers and social retargeting – Most people arriving on your site won’t buy your products or services immediately, so you need to capture their details. You can do this by building email subscribers or retargeting them with ads if they don’t subscribe.
  • M for Monetization – You then build a sales funnel to monetize the traffic.

A Great Moment

Ian Cleary Quote - Buffer Podcast

“Forget about social media in the short-term of building fans and followers. Think about social media as a directory where you get access to hundreds of millions of people and details”

– Ian Cleary