November 19th 2012
7 ways to turn socail Media fans into customers
news article from BDC Advice Centre:
So your business has taken the plunge into social media. You have a Facebook page and are actively tweeting and blogging. Best of all: you’ve got a growing list of social media followers.
But are those fans buying your products? What can you do to help convert them into loyal customers? Here are seven tips for upping your social media sales conversion success.
1) Create a strategy—Start off on the right foot by creating a social media strategy. All those Facebook posts and tweets may not help your sales much without proper planning.
Step one: Determine the goals of your social media presence, whether it’s attracting more customers, boosting brand recognition or improving customer service. Decide who your target audience is, and spell out a content strategy covering:
- your key messages
- kinds of content that will appeal to your audience
- a list of keywords that describe your business. You’ll use these words in your content to help you rank higher in Internet searches for those terms. You can use Google AdWords Keyword Tool to find popular keywords relevant to your business.
Finally, create an action plan that sets out employee responsibilities for social media tasks and a publishing schedule for posts.
2) Optimize your website—The greatest social media page in the world won’t do you much good if it’s driving fans to an awful website—one that’s hard to navigate and plagued by jargon-laden text.
A clean, attractive website with compelling visuals is all-important for converting social media fans into paying customers. Visitors shouldn’t need to do a lot of clicking or scrolling to find what they want. Your site should also prominently feature your contact information and a clear call to action—a box or image that asks visitors to take the action you seek (e.g. buy your products, contact a sales rep or sign up for a newsletter).
3) Create unique landing pages—Improve your conversion odds by creating unique landing pages for each of your social media pages. This is a special webpage designed specifically for visitors arriving from a social media page. Make sure you have consistent messages and a clear call to action on the landing page.
4) Engage your audience—Social media is about soft selling—patiently nurturing trust and loyalty from your audience. Forget about traditional marketing that involves broadcasting sales messages at your audience. Instead, engage visitors with fun, educational and value-added content that they are likely to comment on and share via their own networks. Engaged followers are more likely to become clients—and tell their friends about you. Educational, advice-driven content will also help you to teach fans about your products or services.
5) Ramp up your following—Engaging content should also bring you more fans, and that will ultimately boost sales. Remember: Having a lot of fans is good, but it’s even better to have the right fans—ones who are interested in your company, willing to interact with you on social media and likely to move toward your goals.
6) Listen—As in any conversation, listening is half the job. Be sure you’re monitoring what fans are saying and doing. Look at what kinds of content sparks the most reaction and leads to the best conversion rates. And monitor other successful companies in your industry to see what they’re doing on social media.
7) Measure, learn and optimize. Measure how you’re doing using analytic tools available on most social media sites. These show what search terms people used to find your site and give ample data on conversion rates.