They Like You. Now What?

How to get started engaging your target audience and converting your social media followers to customers

March 2015

 

You’ve asked to be followed, liked, and connected. You have social badges on your website, in your email signature, and in your newsletter. Your efforts to gather an audience on social media are starting to pay off.

So, now what?

It’s time to get that audience engaged with your business and begin the process of social selling, or converting followers and friends to customers and repeat customers.

The Role of Your Website

According to Karen Leland, branding and marketing strategist from Sterling Marketing Group, converting social media followers to customers has to start with your website. “Is your website modern and attractive, and does it communicate well? If not, you won’t convert followers to customers. You shouldn’t start a branding campaign on social media if it will only drive people back to a website that won’t help you convert,” says Leland.

Amir Zonozi, chief of strategy at Zoomph, a social media engagement platform, suggests adding an app to your website that will pull your social feeds and embed them onto your website. “That provides social proof when people come to your website,” he says. “It captures a moment on social media and makes it last on your website.”

Content Is the Key

"The goal is always to find a way to provide value in the mind of the follower,” says Scott Klososky, a former CEO of three tech startups and current principal at consulting firm Future Point of View. “Followers, friends, or readers are worthless unless you can get them to take action every now and then, and the action a business owner wants is for them to buy something. In order to get someone to follow you at all, you must have a small level of trust or fascination. This must be grown through providing valuable information or entertainment. Once you have accomplished that, you need to use your influence to complete the transaction and get the follower to purchase.”

Don’t hesitate to repost your content at different times and on different days so that your content is seen by followers with a variety of different social media viewing habits. For example, if you post every day at lunchtime, only your target customers who are also on social media at that time will see your posts. It is especially effective to repost to Twitter, because people use the platform more like a newsfeed and won’t scroll back to see posts made days or even hours earlier.

Call to Action

The success of converting followers to customers is often dependent on making it as easy as possible to buy from you. “A critical step (in social media marketing) is having a strategy to get people to take action,” says Klososky. “Most people who follow a business will remain passive until there is a very compelling and clear call to action. They are not going to become a customer just because they follow you and read your posts. Embedded in those posts must be calls to action that are interesting enough that a prospect will take action and move along the customer journey.”

The Social Marathon

Social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to build a big picture strategy and you can’t expect a post you make today to lead to a sale tomorrow.

 

Topics: SMALL BUSINESS

 

 

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