In 2020, social media remains the most popular channel for brands and businesses to connect with their audience and try to win new customers. As effective as it is, that transition from follower to a customer isn’t always an easy one to facilitate.
Social media users have grown exceptionally savvy of brands and their methodology on the platforms in recent years, presenting cynicism towards traditional advertising and understanding their important role as the consumer. Customers have to be earned on social media these days.
The question is then, how do you do that? Let’s explore a few methods we’ve found success with when trying to turn our social media following into an engaged customer base that converts.
How to turn social media followers into engaged customers
Here are ways to turn social media followers into engaged customers:
Understand them and their needs
You can’t expect to turn a social media follower into a customer if you don’t understand them, their wants and their needs.
There are a number of reasons why someone may have started following your brand on social media. They may have enjoyed a meme you posted, followed you to enter a competition or been a fan since day one. Whatever their reasoning, you need to understand them to get them across the converting line
Prior to launching a new campaign make sure to conduct thorough customer research. This will help you understand what your social audience wants to see more of and are most likely to react to. This can be done through analyzing comments and posts or establishing strong customer personas to work backwards from. Both of these methods help you to concentrate your content, marketing language and approach to fit a particular kind of customer.
An important part of this approach is understanding your customer base will never be entirely the same. Take the time to understand why your followers might be different on Instagram in comparison to Facebook and tailor your strategy. They are not just opportunities, but people.
Ultimately you should be able to offer your social followers something other than the hard sell. Understanding your customer needs means realizing you’ll need to switch up your social content every now and then. A constant bombardment of product pages and pushes to buy can be tiring and make consumers feel undervalued. If your followers want to see more competitions, quizzes and blogs give it to them!
Lean on influencers
Influencers rule social media. Quirky brand pages may have the language down and celebrity account can boast hundreds of thousands of followers, but influencers understand the platforms better than anyone and have earned immense power over their audiences.
Influencers are a great tool to utilize because at the end of the day they’re real people, just like your followers. There’s no better asset in social media advertising than relatability. Getting across the sense you’re offering a product that can quickly improve someone’s life is essential, and an influencer can help you do just that. People put their faith in their favorite influencers to offer great advice and guide their lifestyles, it’s essential to learn how to lean on and use them.
Don’t be afraid to make an influencer the face of your campaign. You may want to push the brand and make sure that’s what’s well known, but understand that is may not have the same reach as if you used a public figure who understands how to build a connection with an audience. Partnership with an influencer won’t just open you up to their audience but create the kind of content that makes your existing audience take you more seriously.
Audience building and customer conversion are built on trust. If you can’t establish trust between you and your visitors you have no hope of converting on mass. Social media is not just a platform for acquiring interest, but a stage where you can performatively build relationships.
Customer support is about more than just sending a free returns label or offering refunds. Customer support has spread to social media, where many individuals will use their accounts solely to make requests and ask questions about orders they’ve made. Don’t be afraid to answer these questions. Even if they’re negative, being seen solving the problem will make a difference.
That’s essentially the crux of this idea, to be seen by your audience. Social media followers will put more faith and trust in a brand they see speaking directly to its customers, acknowledging their concerns and acting upon their feedback. It’s not enough to say you have a relationship with your audience, you have to be constantly building upon it.
Establish ethos and ethics
Today’s consumers aren’t just concerned with what they’re buying, but who they’re buying from. This is especially true in the public marketplace that is social media.
The ethics of your brand are part of the many vital considerations a significant portion of your social media followers will make before they convert into customers. Customers are aware of the damage their purchase may do, whether it’s to people, animals or the environment. You need to assure them of your values clearly so they can see if they match up with their own before they convert or recommend you to a friend.
Create content and pages that clearly outline what you believe in as a business. It’s not enough to offhandedly claim you’re concerned about having ethically sourced products, for example, you need to outline what you are doing as a business to support this cause. Partnering with a charity and collaborating with them on social content can signal your ethos to your social followers and give them a reason to shop with you.
Social media followers are no or cynical, they’re not all trolls and they’re not just following you for free stuff. They are a significant part of your audience and potential audience that need to be listened to and communicated with professionally. Follow these steps and you’ll start to see an increase in social conversions.
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