How to turn followers and fans into paying customers
Social media marketing is more than just a buzzword. (Or buzz phrase, I guess.) The US$30 billion of global sales attributed to social media in 2015 is proof enough, and that’s why so many businesses invest their time and money in building up fans and followers platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Of course, like any investment, you’ll only see returns if you spend your social media budget wisely. And that means spending it in ways that lead your followers and fans into your sales funnel and guide them through their first purchase.
The specific approaches to social media marketing are many and varied, but one key idea underpins them all: you need to target your campaigns, making them timely and relevant to your audience…just as you would in any other advertising medium. Today I’m going to take you through 11 of these approaches that are quick and easy to implement.
One of the things you’ll notice as you work through this list is that they’re not all top-of-funnel strategies. That’s because social media is a communication channel above all else, that gives you a chance to build brand awareness and trust. So any step you take to maintain the conversation with your fans and followers is a step toward conversion.
1. Create a great first impression
New fans are most likely to click through your social media profile from either a search result or socially shared content from their networks. That means there’s a good chance it’s the first time they’re seeing your brand, so make sure each of your social media profiles is a showcase. (Another source of traffic is from social buttons on your website, but you’ve already got those visitors’ attention!) Make sure you have correctly sized images for profile photos and page covers for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, paying attention to how each will resize for different screens. Take the time to set up a branded URL on each platform, too. (There’s sometimes a waiting period before you can do this.)
2. Set a clear goal for every campaign
Social media is fun, and it’s easy to get sidetracked by likes and shares, but the end goal should always be conversion! Your definition of conversion can change from campaign to campaign. Sometimes, you’ll want your content to go as far and wide as possible, to bring people into the top of your sales funnel. Other times, you’ll want to target a super-specific audience and take them directly to your product page to finalise their purchase. Having a clear goal in mind makes it easier to set up your campaign and track your results.
3. Use paid advertising
Social media platforms use mysterious algorithms to determine which of your posts gets shown to which of your followers, in what order. So it can be hard to figure out just how many people are seeing your content. A surefire way to boost that number is by paying for advertising. It’s easy to set up, and lets you target your campaign to a particular audience. Each platform also provides metrics to help you decide what works best, so you can do more of it.
4. Make your call to action sing
Make sure your campaign goal is as clear to everyone who views your content as it is to you. Don’t leave anyone hanging—add a call to action. Want your fans to read your blog post? Tell them why. Got an important public announcement to make, and you want everyone to hear it? Ask your fans to like and share it.
It might seem obvious, but people respond really well to being asked (or even told!) to do something.
5. Press the right buttons on Facebook
While we’re on the topic of calls to action, have you noticed that big button on the cover photo of your Facebook Profile? You can customise that button’s functionality, so fans can click it to call you, or visit your ecommerce store, or buy tickets to an event, or whatever you want. And the best part is, it’s free.
6. Add contact details to Instagram and Twitter
Instagram’s business accounts now let you set phone or email contact details. (You can also use the Facebook page link to automagically populate this information.) On Twitter, you can add this information to your bio, or include it in your cover photo. If it’s easy for your customers to find your contact details, they’re more likely to contact you.
7. Tailor your message for the platform
Facebook’s visual post format draws the eye, so it’s well suited to marketing your products alongside all the other content you can post like blog articles, user guides, and news about your online store. Twitter is less suited to direct advertising, and click-through rates are highest for posts where your link is accompanied by a note about “what’s in it for you”. Instagram doesn’t let you hyperlink your image caption, so you’ll often see the words “link in bio”—and that link gets updated daily.
8. Create custom landing pages
If your fans are going to take the leap and click through to your website, give them somewhere good to land. That will happen automatically if you’ve shared a blog post, but will need more thought when it comes to advertising your products. Make sure they don’t end up on your ecommerce store homepage, where they’ll then have to hunt around to find what they’re looking for. Instead, send them directly to the right product or category page or a custom landing page.
9. Offer discounts for your fans
Some online retailers prefer to keep a discount code permanently displayed on their social media profiles. Others post a new coupon code each time they run a new promotion, for better conversion tracking. Whichever approach you choose, a follower-only discount will encourage your fans to click through to your online store and snap up a bargain.
10. Run a contest or giveaway promotion
One of the biggest draw cards of social media marketing is the way your fans and followers can market for you. Contests are easy to set up through most platforms, and simply offering a prize for people who “tag a friend” or “like and share” your content can provide the incentive they need to widen your network for you. You can even pair your promotion with paid advertising to boost your reach.
Bonus tip: 11. Work the crowd
Now that 92% of consumers trust personal recommendations over all other forms of advertising, and 71% of those who have great social media care experience are likely to recommend that brand to others, social media is fast becoming one of the best ways to spread a positive message about your brand. Invite your customers to talk about your products, and make social media sharing tools readily available on your ecommerce site.
If you’ve already got fans and followers who love your brand, don’t miss an opportunity to get them loving your products, too. Neto is a leading ecommerce platform designed to help your business grow across multiple channels. It offers inbuilt social media sharing, a wide range of add-on integrations to digital marketing platforms, and inbuilt analytics to help you track your campaign success. Looking for more ideas on how to boost your conversion rates from social media? Try out these digital marketing strategies, or check out our tips for polishing up your ecommerce store’s design and writing better website copy.