This post was originally published on 8/21/14 and has since been updated.
If you are committed to being a social media savvy company in this day and age, it just doesn’t make sense not to have at least a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Maybe you’re on more channels, and whether all of your content is being pushed out organically or you are investing in paid advertising, you have slowly built up your brand awareness with the number of followers.
But why did you decide to put your business on social media in the first place? Hopefully it wasn’t about getting popular, but because you wanted to generate sales. Your goal should be to get more followers or loyal customers to follow, like, and engage with your brand on social media, learn more about your products and services, and eventually convert. That initial click of driving them from your social media presence to your website so they sign up for your newsletter, discover and subscribe to your blog, contact you for more information, or ultimately make a purchase is why you’re establishing a social media presence to begin with. What are some ways, then, that you can mold your social channels to convert your effort into sales?
Don't Expect Them to Convert
You must ask your audience for more than just likes and comments, otherwise they will just think of you as a content-heavy resource in your industry on social media. Being content-centric, having brand awareness, and driving a lot of engagement is all great, but you cannot be timid or tight-lipped about sending the proper messaging. Include strong CTAs in your social media content to encourage users to take the next step towards actual conversion. Here are some effective CTAs you can implement on social:
- Learn more!
- Sign up!
- Call us!
- Download now!
Give Your Audience What They’re Seeking
If your users do decide to click on your CTAs and navigate to your website, make sure that you provide them with what they were expecting. The worst thing you could do is have a CTA that requires a specific action, but have a link that takes them to your homepage. It is imperative to have customized landing pages that follow up on the messaging and CTAs that got your users to click through. A newsletter signup CTA should link to a form submission page, while a “Buy Now” CTA should lead directly to a product page. By having straightforward landing pages and avoiding confusion for your users, you will have a higher conversion rate.
Not every business or industry can drive conversions directly from social media to a point of sale, and sometimes lead nurturing can also be a useful marketing strategy. This is especially true for businesses with very expensive and high-end products or B2B products where a typical conversion takes days, if not weeks to decide. Provide users with links that direct them to the content they need to make an informed decision of whether or not your product is right for them. Some examples of lead nurturing content are whitepapers, videos, webinars, and case studies. Outside of direct conversions from sales, it’s not a bad strategy to bring unqualified traffic to your website and nurture them with top of the funnel content until they are ready to make a purchase.
Track Your Social Media ROI
Implement custom campaign parameters into your social media URLs for each individual campaign that you do to measure which ones are the most successful at getting conversions. Google Analytics allows you to measure the entire buyer journey of the sales process, from A to Z, and by studying which campaigns are performing the best, you should have a better idea of what kind of content to post, when to post it, and on what platforms you need to have a social media presence in to get the best overall ROI.
Don’t have the Same Voice On all of your Channels. Be Different.
You want to give your brand a voice and persona that is unique and personalized to every social media channel. Users on Twitter might be scanning through their feed and looking for tidbits of relevant industry information from you, while on LinkedIn, they are actively looking to apply for a job at your company. Your content strategy for each channel should match up with the nature of that specific platform. Some of these social media channels provide analytics, along with your website’s analytics, to help you craft a more personalized and fitting content and messaging strategy for your brand depending on the platform you are on..
Have an Interesting Opinion
Always have up-to-the date content that is intriguing and fresh for your audience. It is okay to post or include content that is not directly related to your products or services, but make sure that you have an angle to relate it back to your business or industry. Go after high levels of engagement, but remember to actually provide users with information that will consistently bring them back to your social profiles, and eventually take the next step towards conversion by visiting your website.
For example, if you are a signature coffee shop and a popular publication just came out with a study that showed more and more small businesses are accepting Apple Pay as a form of payment, post the article on your social media profiles, and explain that your coffee shop is now also accepting the service. In some cases it makes sense to go even further and offer customers who visit and buy coffee with Apple Pay a 10% discount during the holiday season. Even though the newest form of digital payment and a coffee shop do not have much in common, if you can relate the two and not only provide cool tech news that users might find interesting, but also gave them an incentive to come and drink coffee at your shop, you can build a unique campaign that helps your bottom line.
By having a sales-driven focus with optimized content across all your social media channels that appeal to your users, you will not only grow your brand awareness and have higher levels of engagement, but you will also be able to increase online sales to your social media marketing efforts.
Need help converting your business' social media campaigns into sales? Contact us today.