How’s your current sales model treating you? Is the sales funnel failing to produce legitimate results? It could be because you haven’t updated it for the 21st century. In this digital landscape, more companies are generating their leads from social media, and, in some cases, turning the traditional sales funnel on its head. Read on to learn how to be more dynamic in the social realm. Learn From Larger Brands A recent report from Simply Measured found that the most successful brands worldwide tend to tweet frequently. While it’s not surprising that these large brands have a higher following than smaller businesses, they also tend to be far more engaged with social media than peers in the small-business sector. Of the Interbrand Top 100 Brands, 98 percent tweeted at least once a day during the fourth quarter of 2013, while more than half of smaller companies didn’t tweet every day. There is a relationship between engagement and frequency of posts, and every business can benefit from being more engaged. Engage Your Customers for Maximum Returns The most successful companies know that when you engage with customers, they will do a lot of your work for you. According to ClickZ, re-thinking the funnel to include social media can revolutionize the sales cycle. Getting clients to advocate for you is a great way to gain new business; there’s no better place for them to share their experiences than through social networks like Facebook and Twitter. You can even use these platforms to gauge new marketing methods. Try throwing out some questions to your captive audience. How did they find your company in the first place? If they found you through word of mouth, you should be focusing your efforts on customer retention. Identifying Sales Opportunities with Social Platforms Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can enhance the sales funnel in other ways as well. For instance, social media is optimal for lead generation. According to Jeff Kalter on Business 2 Community, a website alone is not enough to generate interest. Some enterprises are disappointed in the lack of leads they are getting from their Web presence, but this can usually be improved dramatically by strategic use of social networking. Promote your blog entries on Twitter and Facebook. If you’re lucky, your followers may share your media as well. Just make sure your presence isn’t entirely geared toward self-promotion. Share information posted by other people, and it’s more likely others will share your original content. Optimize Your Funnel for Social Media Lead Generation First, you have to choose one or two channels to work with. Depending on the size of your company, you should probably keep it to just one or two, at least in the beginning. Doing some customer research can help determine which platforms to use. Media companies tend to excel on Twitter, while more visually-oriented brands can do well on Pinterest. Are you in the business-to-business sphere? You may want to start with LinkedIn. If you already have a Facebook or Twitter page, take a look at your platform from the customer’s point of view. In an article for Social Media Examiner, Nichole Kelly suggests that you make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to make a conversion. For instance, when people do find you on Facebook or LinkedIn, do they have to search around the platform to find a link to your site? Rather than making them jump around, have a clear call to action, you will create more leads. Segment Your Leads Kelly suggests that leads found through social media should be nurtured differently. Social media users may enter the sales funnel earlier in the buying process than other leads, so you have to be careful with how you treat them. Don’t immediately ply them with information they won’t need. Create a segment on your email marketing campaign list for leads found on social media. Send them useful information that will help guide them in the eventual decision-making process.