Social media platforms are the new marketing frontier. There are more than 1.59 billion active Facebook users worldwide, and more than a billion of these people log on every day.
Many are logging in from mobile devices, one more reason to make your website mobile-friendly. This large an audience can create amazing brand awareness.
It’s free to create a page to advertise your business. It’s fairly simple to create a page too. In fact, businesses are continually gravitating towards social media for advertising. Like webpages, social media sites give your enterprise extra depth and credibility.
However, it’s one thing to have thousands of followers, it’s another thing to have customers. So how can businesses truly take this tool and convert followers into loyal customers? There are so many webpages and social media pages out there, how can you make your business stand out?
Related Article: The Security Risks in Social Media: Interview with Joseph Steinberg
1. Have High Quality Content
While you may have a great Facebook page and website with great graphics, first consider that content is king. Content is how you make yourself attractive to search engines, and Google demands high quality content. Keep in mind that Google commands 31 percent of all web traffic. Quality content helps you move beyond the brand awareness phase and inspires clicks, turning followers into customers or subscribers.
Your content can give you a better relationship with fans. If you understand your target audience, you can write on topics that may not specifically advertise your product, but these posts give your target audience content they want, which may relate to your brand. This way, you are developing a relationship with your potential customer instead of going right for the sale. Social media content is shareable, which also heightens brand awareness.
2. Give Them a Reason to Click
The first thing you notice about a post is the headline. Creating a headline that people want to click on can be tricky. Headlines should do two things, deliver value and pique curiosity. You can achieve this by promising something. Promise your audience a benefit if they read. You could offer better health, wealth, or a how-to guide to a better body. When doing this, keep your target audience in mind. Twenty-somethings may not really be interested in your retirement plan.
There are so many things to look at online, and many social media users report that most online businesses post things that are just unconvincing. One reason these brand managers fail in this department is simple: they don’t create a convincing call to action (CTA). CTAs have to be clear, concise, and direct. If your post doesn’t give them instructions on how to act on the information they’ve just received, sales and/or subscribers are lost.
Adding an image is one way to boost clicks. There are countless posts that people scroll through looking at their Facebook timelines or Twitter feeds, so images create a post that catches readers’ attention. In 2014, a study found that adding a photo to a tweet increased click-through rates by 35 percent.
Including promotional codes is another way to incentivize clicking on your webpage. People who happen upon your profile may be intrigued to find out more, and already-interested leads get an additional boost by adding a promo code. A secondary benefit of the promo code is that it gives you valuable information on how you’re getting customers. You can have a promo code just for Twitter or Facebook so you know exactly where the majority of your social media customers are spending their time online.
3. Publish Gated Content
Gated content is a concept where followers can only get the promised exclusive content by filling out a form. This form, the “gate”, mainly consists of a name and email address as the only way to access this content. Since you’ve got an interested follower, filling out the form gives your marketing department a means to send out exclusive offers or newsletters.
However, use these gates sparingly. Public content is essential for good organic search engine visibility and Search Engine Optimization. On the other hand, the social media marketing channel is perfect for gates because you already know that the person clicking your site wants your content.
4. Listen to Your Fans
Social media is a great place to truly learn what your customers are thinking. Many business Facebook pages have a built-in customer review section. In addition, you can ask your strongest advocates to promote you and/or write a guest blog post. One of the best ways to attract more customers is to engage with them in a meaningful way.
In general, customers who feel valued are more loyal and attract others. Even if there was a dispute of some sort, if that customer’s issue was thoughtfully addressed, he or she is more likely to return. Keep in mind that these engagements will either create new customers or push away potential customers. Take the valuable feedback from your followers, and turn them into customers. Eventually, your loyal shoppers will become brand advocates.