Congratulations! You've gotten past the hard part, created a business presence on social media, and garnered a loyal follower base. You may now have noticed though that despite your follow requests piling up, your sales have plateaued. So now it's time to initiate the second phase of your 'business on social media' plan - let's start your marketing campaign and get those followers purchasing!
'Conversions' are when brands have successfully converted (or turned) a casual follower into a paying customer. Meaning your social media account has directed people to your website and they have made a purchase from you. Social media conversions are something every brand and business should be keeping an eye on. Facebook conversion rates are increasing each year as more people are engaging with companies over social media and then buying their products. Converting social media followers into customers has helped lots of brands succeed and given them the opportunity to convince an already captive audience that their products are worth viewing and buying.
Social media marketing is just as important as building an online presence, it'll take a bit of work to see results, but you could build a really loyal customer community, so it's definitely worth investing your time in.
There are quite a few social media advertising tips around, teaching small businesses how to use social media to convert followers into customers. Let's explore some of the most popular ones:
Invest in Paid Social Media Ads
Right now, all major social media platforms offer paid ads for any of their business-minder users to take advantage of. Knowing social media advertising tips and tricks can help set you apart from the competition. Paid social media ads are a quick and easy way to convert followers into customers, expanding your customer reach, online following, clicks, engagements and of course those all important sales!
These ads allow you to target a specific consumer base, driving relevant traffic to your online store. However, you should be aware of both the positives and negatives of paid advertising before opening up your wallet. While Facebook and Instagram conversions are usually high for these kinds of ads, it's important to understand your audience and know what is the best social media platform for your business before deciding which you should advertise on.
- Affordable: Facebook ads are at a fixed price 79p per click so you know how much you're paying
- Demographic targeting: specific demographics can be targeted based on age, location or language
- Widest audience: with over 2 billion active users, Facebook is by far the most used social media
- Time consuming: to avoid 'ad fatigue' Facebook ads need more up-keep
- Creative is key: Facebook cater to creative posts meaning more time/effort
- Algorithim changes: due to their new NewsFeed algorithm, marketers have to pay more to get organic ad attention
- Affordable: Instagram ads cost between 39-79p per click so could be the cheapest option
- Targeting: Instagram also has great demographically targeted ad features
- Shopping: the app allows sellers to group products into collections and highlight specific products in photos
- Limited target audience: Instagram is used by a younger demographic so can be limiting
- Text restrictions: as a visual space, there are limited areas for text
- Algorithim problems: Instagram has reordered posts by perceived importance to the user, so your posts may be missed!
- Keyword targeting: Twitter enables its users to search keywords to see what tweets have mentioned similar words
- Easy set-up: setting up ads with Twitter is just like sending a regular tweet, quick and easy
- Conversational: through retweets and mentions your customers can engage directly with you so advertising can create a real-time dialogue with customers
- Very fast-paced: on Twitter, there are 6000 tweets per second across the globe, you might go unnoticed
- No set rate: Twitter doesn't have a fixed rate you 'bid' for clicks like an auction so you may get less (or more!) for your money, depending on how saturated your market is
- Brand perception: sometimes Twitter users will ignore sponsored or paid content and sign it off as spam
Make sure you research your target markets' favourite platforms so you know where your focus would be best placed. Knowing how to convince your followers to buy your products really comes down to understanding who your customer is and how they like to shop. You can collect this data from on-page surveys or by simply messaging customers online. Trial and error is the best methodology to learning how to sell on social media and you'll soon get those social media sales if you tune in to trends and keep your customers in mind!
Run Social Media Special Offers
Aside from using paid social media advertising, there are some other marketing avenues you can explore. Promoting deals, discounts and special offers on social media can be a low-cost means of converting followers to customers.
Your followers are already somewhat interested in your brand as they've followed you online and may already be engaging with your content. They are considered 'warm' when advertising to them. Converting a warm follower into a loyal customer is easily done when you have great promotions and deals to tempt them!
Everyone hates a cold caller though so make sure you keep the following social media advertising tips when promoting your brand and special offers online:
DO make limited-time, one-off offers that they won't be able to resist
DO ask customers with significant online influence to promote your offers and brand
DO promote offers on features other than products, like shipping
DON'T only post about selling or discounts as that will put customers off looking at your products
DON'T spam your social media accounts with promotional offers, you will lose followers and maybe even receive negative comments/reviews
DON'T just promote a special offer or discount on one platform, use them all! Plus Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be linked so you'll only have to post once
Promote Your Brand Through Familiarity and Trust
We understand that many small businesses don't have a large advertising budget, particularly when just starting out. So we wanted to explore a way to convert followers into customers without spending lots of money. Even if you do have a sizeable advertising budget we still recommend doing this to build brand loyalty and improve your organic customers.
The main reason people follow a social media account is because they like the content they see, and it represents a brand they find appealing. So take some time to build on your brand awareness with your posts and gently coax your followers to purchase from you by:
- Posting positive content: stay positive in all your posts, never post an angry or negative comment - it affects how people think about your brand.
- Post regularly: regular updates on your social media accounts build a trusting relationship between follower and brand
- Engage with followers: if someone comments on your posts then keep the conversation flowing! Encourage your followers to comment by asking them directly: "What is your favourite thing about this article/post/product?
- Stay up to date with your community: keep up to date with news that affects your community. Whether that is local news or industry related news - post about it (but remember to stay positive!)
- Show off your products: let people know what your business is up to, sharing sneak peaks of new product launches or gentle reminders about your best selling lines can convince people to take the plunge and buy
- Share feedback: positive reviews you've received on social media is also a really great way to show potential customers so share away!
Try to post content that your followers will relate to and can get behind. It's important to keep a nice balance of your posts about new products or services with a few 'non selling' posts, perhaps a post about a local or industry specific event or sharing a funny review! If you're 'always selling' it can turn potential customers off and you might end up losing followers.
There's no getting away from it, social media is a huge influence on shoppers' habits and product trends that can cause surges in business sales. It's definitely worth spending some time learning who your followers are and working out what works best to convince them to purchase.
We hope you've found these tips helpful, play around with the different options available to you and see what works best for your customers. Whether your platform of choice is Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with our social media tips and tricks you are sure to get those sales rolling in.