How to Convert Social Media Followers into Long-Term Customers
Social media is undoubtedly one of the best places to be for any business that wants to connect with their customers – no matter what products or services they provide.
The number of worldwide social media users is expected to soar to over 2.5 billion in the next two years, so ensuring that your company regularly maintains and publishes quality content can help your brand to reach the 52% of online adults who use two or more social media sites.
However, once you’ve built up your social media following, you may be left wondering how they can benefit your business when it comes to sales.
Yes – having a large social presence can bring immense traffic back to your site, but how do you ensure that your audience become long-term, loyal (and paying!) customers?
In this article, we’ll share the tactics you should be using to convert social media followers into valuable, high-quality leads that your business should nourish:
1. Stay Connected with Your Audience
Your social media followers could be classed as “soft” leads. They’ve obviously shown an interest in your business (hence the initial follow!), but may need a bit of persuasion before they make a sale.
One of the best ways to persuade your audience that your business is right for them is to use messages tailored to the individual.
This is called personalised marketing – a strategy used by many successful companies to appeal to the 86% of consumers that say personalisation plays a role in their purchasing decisions.
This type of tailoring can be an overwhelming thought depending on the number of followers you have, but there are a few simple strategies that your brand can use to ensure that your audience receive this kind of personalisation:
– Replying to questions directed or left on your profile/page.
– Sharing relevant content from other people in your niche and tagging them in it.
– Thanking customers for following/liking your page.
– Featuring your new followers in a #FF (Follow Friday) update.
Let’s say you’ve gotten a comment on your latest Facebook post from a follower saying “Love the dress!”. You could reply with saying something like, “Hey <NAME>! The dress is cute, we agree. It’d look great on you!”.
These days, social media is a hectic place and if you’re posting the correct content, you may be gaining followers and seeing a huge spike in engagement.
No matter how difficult it may seem to keep on top of these notifications, it’s important to constantly monitor your online profiles and interact with the people who have shown an interest in your business.
2. Provide Special Opportunities to Followers
The chances are, your audience is just like you… A bargain or freebie will grab their attention.
As we discussed earlier, social media followers are “soft” leads that need a bit of warming up before they become a paying customer. Therefore, you might need a little something to offer them to make them more likely to buy from you.
Depending on your industry, there are certain items that you can provide your followers with to do this, including:
– Free online courses
– Discount codes and vouchers
– Special deals
Offering items like these will further the trust that your audience has in your brand. If they’ve purchased an eBook from you and it’s taught them valuable knowledge about the importance of social media for your business, why wouldn’t they want buy your tool that helps them to implement these strategies in their own company?
3. Encourage Reviews & Testimonials (and Make Them Visible!)
What better way than to make someone believe that you’re a reputable company than having other people tell them?
The chances are, when you’ve been shopping online and come across several brands, you’ve had a browse through each company’s testimonials and reviews before making your decisions.
Although it may not be the main influence over your choice, there’s no doubting that demonstrating that you have previous happy customers can help to sway a customer to pick your brand over a competitors’.
Including customer testimonials can easily be shown on your business’ Facebook page as the platform has its own dedicated section for reviews, but it can be a little trickier to grasp on platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
You may also struggle with asking existing customers to leave a review. They’ve purchased from you before and you don’t want to pester them with “Leave me with a great review for future customers!”. It could put them off leaving a review if it feels forced, and could even lead to them not purchasing from your brand again because they don’t want the hassle.
Instead, you could try and exploit the methods of communication you already have with your previous customers. There are multiple tools to help you do this, such as Feefo.
If your business sells a service, you may need to make phone calls with your clients; which provides you with a great opportunity to ask what they thought about your company. This method tends to be the easiest way to receive a testimonial from a previous client because it:
– Eliminates the need for customers to take time out of their day to physically type-up a review.
– Provides the customer with a way to quickly explain what they thought.
– You have the chance to ask specific questions related to certain aspects of their buying journey – where did they first see your brand? What is their favourite thing about their buying process?
If your business sells products, attach a hand-written note to their delivery parcel asking to leave their opinion on your Facebook page. Again, personalisation can play a huge part in a person’s likeliness to do something you ask!
Once you’ve asked the client what they thought and you’ve made a few notes on their feedback, don’t forget to ask the most important question… “Do you mind if I share this feedback on social media?”.
Remember – 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. The more you have visible on your social profiles, the better chance you have of the content transforming a new client.
As you can see, there are several strategies that you can use to turn social media fans into long-term valuable customers. Regularly auditing your social profiles can help you to assess what’s working and what isn’t, for you to find the best social strategy for your business.
Now, it’s up to you to implement them and see the benefits.