Turn Followers Into Customers: A Guide To Social Media Conversion
If you’ve been honing your online patter and directly connecting with your customers on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform, good work! It’s never been easier for businesses to speak to and forge lasting bonds with their customer base, so a strong social media game is a must for your marketing strategy.
But while social media is unrivalled for sparking conversations, it’s trickier to convert connections on social platforms into actual sales.
Yet with a little bit of know-how, you can turn your social presence into a lead-generating powerhouse. Here are 6 principles for effective social media conversion.
The name of the game is engagement
Social media runs on engagement – people clicking, liking, sharing and commenting on posts that others create. It’s what powers social platforms’ algorithms and determines what (and whose) content gets seen the most.
The first step towards a sale is getting the customer to notice you, and repeated exposure is the way to make that happen. That means you’ve got to post the kind of things that generate engagements and increase your visibility on people’s newsfeeds.
Try to make use of images when possible. Posts with images receive 37% more engagement on Facebook than those without, and 35% more Twitter retweets.
Motivate people to interact with your posts as much as possible, maybe by asking them to submit captions for a funny photo, or even to tag their friends in it. The more engagement you get, the more regularly your content will appear in fans’ newsfeeds, maximising the chance of someone starting their journey towards a conversion.
When sharing anything from your website, think hard about how it could lead the reader towards the actions you want them to take.
Never just share your homepage. Instead, link directly to particular pages such as a new blogpost. This works even better if that content requires the reader to submit contact details, supplying your email marketing operation with new potential leads. When sharing promotions or deals, always link to a properly optimised landing page.
Remember- everything you link to must be mobile-friendly and fast to load – conversions fall by 12% for every second of loading time delay.
Provide social proof
Imagine you’re reading customer reviews for a curry house you’re about to order from, and loads of them are waxing lyrical about the jalfrezi special. Even if you’re normally more of a korma connoisseur, guess which dish you’ll be drawn to ordering?
This is what psychologists call ‘social proof’ – the way people automatically conform to what others are doing when making decisions – and it’s a vital factor in social media conversion. You need to prove to your prospects that others are already using and appreciating what you sell.
The best way to do this is to collect testimonials and good reviews from previous customers and share them to your followers. We’ve got more tips on leveraging online customer reviews here.
If you’re on Twitter, keep an eye out for people talking about your business and retweet their kind words.
Pay to play
If you want your posts to reach as many people as possible, you’ll have to pay to ‘boost’ them into the newsfeeds of people beyond your own follower list. We’ll focus on Facebook here, but most other social platforms offer similar functionalities.
Fear not, boosting posts leaves you totally in control of your budget while allowing you to target audiences who you think would be most receptive to your messaging, such as people in your local area with an interest in your sector.
You can even target different posts at different audiences without them appearing on your own profile, something known as dark posting. This lets you test what kinds of messaging and content work best.
As we’ve written about before, social media is becoming vital in customer service. Now that people have this direct line of contact with your business, they’ll expect you to engage with them on it, and fast!
Facebook rewards businesses that reply to 90% of queries within 15 minutes with a badge displayed prominently on your profile. This demonstrates to prospects that they can trust you to be on the ball after they go through with a purchase.
Here’s a stat all marketers should take notice of: having a question answered on social media prompts 49% of customers to make a purchase. A keen eye on your social inbox will make conversions far more likely.
Most social platforms offer a comprehensive array of metrics for knowing how well your strategy is performing, from click volumes, to number of people reached, to mentions of your brand. Check these every day to see how your content is doing.
To really get a handle on your social media conversion rates, make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your website, so you can track how many people are reaching the key pages of your site from social media and performing the tasks you want them to take.
If you notice shortcomings in these pathways, then you’ll be able to rethink your strategy in real time and make changes instantly.
A social media strategy that actually creates conversions takes 3 things: creativity, meticulous attention to results and a personable, always-on approach to customer service. Master this mixture and you’ll see tangible sales in no time.
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