Social media may not be a selling tool, but it does need to help your business generate more revenue – otherwise, what’s the point?
You need to be converting the social network users you’re engaging with into customers – which not only means directing them to your site but also encouraging them to buy in the first place.
But how do you get them to that next step in your conversion funnel when social media is famously not about sales?
Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to guide your fans and followers down the path to purchasing. Like all your marketing efforts, they require careful consideration of the audience you’re targeting, and how you’re going to appeal to their needs, desires and personality types. Be sure to arrange your audience into segments, and tailor your efforts to suit each one.
Place a link in your profile
Let’s start with a basic one. Whatever platforms you’re using, it’s essential to have a link to your site featured on your profile page – it’s all part of introducing yourself. Keep in mind that the vast majority of social users won’t know who you are or why they should be interested in what you have to say, so your link provides a means of learning more about you.
What’s more, when paired with a great ‘about’ description, your site link can bring in traffic which is more likely to convert. Your description should be brief and succinct; summing up who you are and how you can help your customers, while also leaving the reader wanting to know more. Frame your link within a call-to-action and with any luck, people will click the link to investigate you further.
Post links to your on-site content
The next tip is also pretty straightforward – broadcasting links on your social accounts every time a new post goes live. Obviously, this should be part of your content strategy already, as you want to get your posts reaching the biggest possible audience.
It also goes without saying that your content should be built to convert if you want to turn your readers into paying customers. Let’s assume it ticks all the boxes – what’s the best way to showcase it on your social accounts?
You could just put the title of the blog and a link, but this dry delivery is unlikely to encourage anyone to take a look. Here’s a few tips:
- Make your social posts exciting and intriguing, grabbing the attention of users and enticing them to click through to read the article.
- Include an eye catching and memorable cover image to accompany your post. Make it clear and relevant to the subject of your article. (Don’t forget to optimise the image dimensions for each platform!)
- There’s often value in reposting an article link two or three times, with the post reframed each time to suit different segments of your audience. Don’t overdo it though; people don’t want to be spammed relentlessly with content they’ve already seen!
Post visual content straight to social media
Not all content needs to be hosted on your site to drive traffic to it. Facebook, Twitter and several other platforms are great for showcasing new products and persuading people to go to your site to buy them.
This approach is very versatile when it comes to targeting customer personality types. Beautiful, high-quality photographs of visually-appealing products (such as clothing and furniture) will help window shoppers sit up and take notice, while detailed video reviews of more complex products (such as electronics and software) can help you explain how they work to cautious buyers and help you win them round.
Great visual media is more engaging than the average text post, and it has a better chance of getting shared too, increasing your reach to more followers (we’ll talk more about this in a second). Just remember to include a CTA and a link to the relevant product page whenever you post this kind of content, otherwise it won’t be helping your site out much at all.
Encourage users to share your content
Back to sharing – the more share worthy your content, the more likely it is to get shared by your followers, so that their followers will see it too. The more people sharing your content, the further it’ll reach, helping you connect with your future customers even if they’ve never heard of you before.
It shouldn’t be a chore to share your on-site content, so make it easy for your users. Provide big, appealing sharing buttons on your site – don’t settle for tiny, generic buttons as they’ll blend into the background and prove a nightmare for mobile users.
Be sure to take advantage of hashtags when you’re posting updates – remember, every time someone clicks on a hashtag, they can see what other people on the network are saying about the subject in question. Find out what your potential customers are talking about and feature those hashtags in your own posts to give them the best chances of getting shared.
Try seeking out the big names that influence your potential customers too, as getting a retweet from them will put your content in front of a huge and potentially very lucrative audience. By mentioning or quoting them in your article (in a positive light, of course) you’ll be giving your influencer free publicity and they’ll be more inclined to share you to their audience.
Another route is to simply ask influencers to share your content. It’s best to build up a relationship with them first, though – not only will you avoid coming across as pushy or self-interested, but you’ll likely receive more shares from them for future content pieces.
Help users out
So far, we’ve been talking a lot about what you can say on social media, but we haven’t talked much about how you can listen. As we’ve talked about in previous blogs, social media is a two-way street – you need to be engaging in conversations with users and providing value to everyone, not just preaching at your followers.
One way is to look out for people who need help or advice within your area of expertise. Monitor discussions about your brand and/or the products you’re selling. These do not only provide valuable market research, but if your site offers a solution to their problem, it gives you a perfect opportunity to direct the user there.
Let’s say you’re an electronics retailer, and you come across a tweet from another user asking their followers for buying advice; they can’t decide whether to get a Surface tablet or an iPad. Here’s where you can reply to that user and link them to a page on your site which compares the two, whether it’s an in-depth review article or perhaps a landing page with a comparison chart.
This way, you’ll be generating goodwill for lending a hand, providing the information they need to help them make a decision, and guiding them into the conversion funnel by placing them in an environment where they can order the product they want. This doesn’t just go for the user you’re replying to – it goes for everyone watching the conversation, and everyone who shares the user’s problem.
You can do this on larger scale by starting your own group (or joining an existing one). Offer help and advice to other group members, but only direct them to your site’s content when appropriate and necessary – focus on being a valuable member of the community first and foremost. With this method, people will be more open to your input and to the prospect of buying from you.
Offer sales, deals and discounts
This tip requires careful presentation to avoid coming across as salesy. The idea is to give your followers access to special offers (e.g. voucher codes or links to ‘secret’ sales), which aren’t advertised anywhere else, as a reward for their loyalty.
Customers love feeling valued, and will be more inclined to return the favour by purchasing from you. They also love the feeling of being part of an exclusive ‘club’, and they’ll want to share that feeling with others by sharing the deal out to their own followers; which will only boost your social traffic and conversions further.
Just remember, all things in moderation. Your special, exclusive offers won’t feel very special and exclusive to users if a new one comes along every two seconds.
For more help with social media, just feel free to talk to us. We can provide a range of social content to not only boost your web traffic but also increase your conversion rates.