If you are using social media marketing as one of your growth strategies, you are doing yourself a world of good. Growing an engaged audience is swell, but what I find that most developing brands value most is growth of happy customers.
Social media today is right at the center of everything. If maximized, it can do a lot more good than attracting Likes and Retweets – but serve as an engine that attracts an audience and sherpas them to buying.
As a marketer or entrepreneur, you have every opportunity to tap into social media potential to execute lucrative strategies that I’ve used to successfully turn followers to customers.
Start publishing gated content
First things first, before deciding to blockade your content with the often dreaded registration wall, you should to make sure that the material you’ve created is awesome, and worth the effort for the user. Content marketing – an approach that about 94% of businesses are currently doing – can build up your list immensely and organically if done correctly.
What is “gated content?” eBooks, guides, and other valuable content sources get equipped with an online sign-up form for followers to fill out before accessing the content. This essentially “gates” it from public view without a form fill. The fields required are in most cases names and email addressees. This approach offers free value to your followers at little commitment. The value for you is identifying partially anonymous social followers with more information about them and additional ways of reaching them.
Keep in mind, not all content is “gate-worthy.” It’s important that the collateral presents real educational value to the reader. Remember, since the content will have to be attractive enough to not only draw readers attention but compel them to fill in a form, it’s also crucial for the piece to be presented in a unique was that stands out and presents real value before even seeing it.
Mix in some promotional content
One of a brand’s most valuable assets is their website. It’s a platform where you could present your offerings to an audience exactly the way you want them presented. This makes your site an excellent destination for engaged followers.
By redirecting prospects to your website you increase the chances of converting them. This especially works if you’ve made the user experience of your site fluid and include multiple calls-to-action throughout your pages.
Linking to your website could be content focused – like sharing blogs, videos and other material – or promotional, like sharing product or pricing pages of your site. The typical rule of thumb is 80/20 between the two. Concentrate 80% of your posts on valuable content and the remaining 20% on promotional messaging. This puts majority of communication focus on nurturing trust among an audience without scaring them off with incessant sales tactics.
Share a story
Customers relate more to brands that get personal. It’s important to humanize a company and share its story with your followers. Social media is a wonderful outlet to make this connection.
The goal should be to identify the areas where you and your followers relate to each other. Sharing your own personal story can add character and improve your likability. Through platforms like Instagram, you can share photos about your products or even your employees burning the midnight oil to process those holiday orders. Show the faces behind the brand. This can create a soft spot, build trust and make conversion a smoother process.
Communication is a two way street. Followers tend to use social media as a platform for sharing thoughts, concerns and other feedback about a brand they’ve encountered. But that’s not all. Customers today expect brands to not only receive their feedback, but over 70% also expect interaction via personal response, according to most surveys. And over half of those want their Tweet responded to in under an hour.
When followers talk, talk back. Answer questions. Acknowledge compliments. Even negative feedback should not get brushed under the rug. Using best practices to respond to a comment, bad or good, may even impress other followers by your brand’s attention to customer service. Going that extra mile may mean they’ll reward your efforts by converting.
Remember, social media is more than just an engagement platform. For many, it acts as a lucrative sales tool. Following the steps of attracting a big, targeted audience, engaging them and slowly converting them will help to build a business to it’s full potential.