8 Ways to Convert Your Social Media Followers Into Customers

For many consumers, the easiest way to stay in touch with a brand is by liking their Facebook or Instagram business page or following their Twitter account. B2B consumers may follow a company’s LinkedIn page or, better yet, personally connect with someone on their sales team. But that doesn’t mean they’re actually buying from a business…not yet, anyway. Let’s explore what it takes to convert.

Nurture Your Social Media Soft Leads
A GlobalWebIndex flagship report on the latest trends in social media revealed that while almost 40% of internet users are following their favorite brands on social, 1 in 4 are following brands they are thinking of making a purchase from. This syncs up with their finding that 30% say one of their main reasons for using social media is to research/find products.

You might want to refer to non-customer social media followers and fans as “soft leads.” They’re aware of your brand and are interested enough to engage with you over social channels, but haven’t crossed into customer territory. But chances are good they’re at least thinking about it, so what can you do to help them along?

1. Cover the Basics
You may not have 78 million Facebook followers like McDonald’s or even 560 thousand followers like Prudential, but…you have social media accounts, right? That’s your first order of business. Get on the channels that are most appropriate for your brand and follow the lead of your customers. If you’re asking visitors to your website to “like” or “follow” your pages—and regularly posting interesting, relevant, and sharable content including sales offers—you’re on the right track.

Get insights into What Your Social Media Activity Is Saying About Your Brand.

2. “Work” More Than One Social Media Channel
GlobalWebIndex reports that internet users have an average of 5.54 social media accounts. Which ones are your customers using to connect with brands in your market? B2C fashion brands are wise to post frequently to image-based Instagram, while B2B companies may have better luck with professional audiences on LinkedIn. But it’s not that simple.

Follow the same logic of multi-channel marketing: visibility and engagement across social channels, too, means more impressions, reinforced messages, and “more ways” to respond to your offers, even if your strategy is unique for each channel.

3. Promote Exclusive Offers
Social media makes it easy to get specific with your offers. As you get to know the preferences and social channel behaviors of your fans and followers (they love sharing your funny memes or they’re most active on weekday mornings), you can create sales offers and campaigns that are likely to catch their attention and drive action.

And in fact, according to Hubspot, 58% of Facebook users expect exclusive offers, events, and promotions when they become fans. They want to see your offers so make sure you’re delivering! Try on this for size: “Exclusive offer for our Facebook community: Use coupon code FACEBOOK15 for 15% off your first purchase!”

4. Don’t Go Offer Overboard
SproutSocial shares the stat that 75% of customers have purchased something because they saw it on social. But interestingly, 57.5% of customers say they’re annoyed with too many promotions by brands. In fact, they find this the most annoying social media action a brand can take, even more annoying than not having any personality. Ouch.

That said, time your offers according to a schedule, using logic based on your customers’ preferences and behavior. Finding the right offer cadence may require some testing (what doesn’t?), but it’s worth the effort when you know that preventing an “unfollow” is as important as promoting a “buy now!”

5. Consider Programmatic Advertising
As we explore in depth in How to Generate Leads With Facebook Ad Campaigns, the social channel is one of the best places to deliver offers to highly targeted (we repeat: highly targeted) platform users, whether they follow your business page or not. Aside from building brand awareness in front of new potential customers, investing even a small piece of your marketing budget in social media advertising can yield a satisfying ROI.

6. Ask Customers to Share Offers and Purchases on Social
We all know by now that people seek—and trust—the recommendations of their family, friends, and colleagues.

They also appreciate feedback from their consumer peers who share their experiences in customer ratings and reviews.
In fact, an infographic from Hubspot reveals that 63% social media users feel consumer ratings are #1.

What’s more, when you ask customers to promote offers and share their purchases (that is, not just provide a rating or review) over the social channel, sales are likely to trend upwards. Hubspot’s inforgraphic shares these results:

· Each Ticketmaster event post by customers on Facebook results in $5.30 in direct ticket sales
· Every Eventbrite link shared on Facebook generates $2.52 in ticket sales
· When Tea Collection added the “Like” button to its products, they saw a 10X increase in daily sales

7. Partner with an Influencer
Influencer marketing can generate 11x the ROI of traditional advertising. Even if partnering with a celebrity is out of the question, budget-wise, it might be appropriate to consider working with micro-influencer, defined by ExpertVoice as a person who has a greater than average reach or impact through word of mouth in a relevant marketplace. These non-celebrity thought leaders have increasing influence over what consumers buy. It’s something to keep in mind. Learn more in Using Influencer Marketing for Measurable Response.

8. Cross-Promote For Multi-Channel Marketing
Let’s get back to the multi-channel topic. If you want to see more “action” on social media—and we’re talking about sales, not just likes and shares—you’ve got to encourage your most enthusiastic potential customers to follow your pages in the first place. How else will they see your social offers?

“But they’re already getting offers through email marketing,” you say? Maybe so. But if they’re seeing your offers in more than one place, they’re more likely to take action on one of them. Encourage email subscribers to follow your company on social media, reference social media activity or popular posts in your e-newsletters, and, while you’re at it, post something on Facebook about how great your weekly email is.

Learn more about the relationship between social and sales in The Secret to Direct Response Success Using Social Media.

Contact us for expert guidance on all-things direct response marketing and make the most of every channel you use to connect with your customers.