Social media offers unparalleled reach, but this rarely translates into sales. Here are our top tips to convince your customers through social media and boost your conversions.
Where does social media fit into your overall marketing strategy?
Do you view Facebook and Twitter as nothing but traffic referrers? Are they there simply to get more eyes on your message and increase the familiarity with your brand? Or have you identified the true potential of social media and made it a pillar of your wider marketing strategy?
When it comes to B2C no other marketing channel can compete with the reach social media offers. There are currently around 1.9 billion users of social media, a number predicted to increase to 2.4 billion by 2018.
However, this vast reach doesn’t automatically equate to an increase in sales. You can’t just send a few tweets or post to Facebook regularly and expect to see an increase in conversions.
The nature of social media makes it very difficult to stand out from all of the background noise. Facebook posts and new tweets can be quickly lost as a user’s feed is updated. That killer tweet you’ve spent hours devising can get next to no favourites or retweets because it’s buried beneath a slew of your competitor’s tweets.
Social media may well have great reach and find it’s primary use in our personal lives, but that doesn’t mean you can take a laissez-faire approach to your strategy. If you want to see meaningful results, you need to devise a solid strategy specific to your audience.
Here are a few tips to get you started on the right path.
Hypothesis and Goal
Whether you’re optimising your email open rates, sales conversions or social media click-through rates you need to establish your hypothesis and goal at the outset.
Your goal helps identify your progress and how far you are from success, whilst your hypothesis highlights the actions that help you reach that goal.
What you’ll often find is that marketers use very vague goals without a hypothesis. They set themselves targets such as “increase SM engagement within six months”. A goal which is useless as it leaves you with more questions than answers. What constitutes “engagement”? Is a 5% increase in comments enough? How are you going to achieve this increase?
Instead of taking the generic approach to setting goals, drill down to specifics. A common eCommerce social media goal is to see an increase in conversions from traffic referred by social media platforms. A good hypothesis/goal for this aim may look something like the below:
“With daily social media account updates, we expect to see a 5% increase in conversions from users referred by SM networks within six months.”
This hypothesis goal has everything you need. A timeline to evaluate your progress, a specific value to achieve and measure progress against and an action that will get you there. If you hit your goal you know the action that helped get you there. If you see a reduction in conversions you know that daily updates don’t resonate well with your audience.
Having a specific goal and hypothesis is key to properly mapping the changes you make and the progress they bring. Without this fundamental step, you risk seeing changes without knowing what caused them.
Figure Out Your Funnels
Don’t make the cardinal sin of having generic sales funnel that you direct all traffic sources through. Every source of traffic is going to react to your messaging and website differently.
Those who find you through Google searches won’t know you from Adam. To get them invested in your brand you’ll need to optimise copy and images to really hook attention and prevent them from bouncing. Referral traffic likely knows a little about you so would resonate better with copy that builds desire and anticipation for specific products.
Social media referral traffic is completely different, so much so that you need to completely re-think your funnel for them. They’re entering your site at a different stage in your funnel. They know who you are and are likely already sold on you as a brand meaning you’ve got to build on their existing knowledge without reiterating information they already know.
After hooking attention on your social media account, don’t direct them to pages on your site that have the same aim. Repeating stages of your funnel unnecessarily only adds friction to their journey.
Understand where social media users are in your funnel and when they make the jump from social media account to your website. Knowing this is key to creating a logical, frictionless journey from attraction all the way through to purchase.
Smart use of images and videos
Social media feeds are updated with lightning speed. In just a few seconds all of the information in your feed can be completely replaced with more recent updates. This makes it incredibly easy for that Tweet you’re pinning your hopes on to go completely unnoticed.
You need to stand out from the cacophony of other voices online. One of the best ways to stand out from the huge number of updates on SM is to use relevant images. Take a look at the below screen cap. Which tweet is likely to catch your attention when scrolling through your feed?
The one with the image, right?
The great thing about images is that they don’t just capture attention, they’re also great at increasing overall conversions. Prospects want to see what your products or services are like.
There are numerous studies which show that a well-chosen image or infographic help to drastically increase overall conversion rates. One of the many examples is how Duematernity.com saw a 27% increase after implementing 360º images on their site. Images aren’t just good for standing out and attracting attention, but when chosen well can actually increase your overall conversion rate.
Don’t Link to Only Your Content or Products
No one likes the person who constantly speaks about themselves. They might have incredible anecdotes but by incessantly bragging about themselves they present a negative image.
There are many companies out there who suffer from the same problem with social media. Social media isn’t a soapbox for you to scream about how great your products are. It’s different from other marketing methods in that you’re not duty bound to push your own products and services at every opportunity.
The clue to effective social media marketing is in the name. Social media. If you check the habits of the biggest social media accounts you’ll find that they all engage with their audience.
It’s not a never-ending feed of “buy this”, “check out our new piece on…” etc. The successful accounts are enjoyable to read. They engage in conversations, offer useful information, open dialogues with other industry influencers and post questions (which you can also use to survey and better understand your audience!).
Most social media networks weren’t devised as business tools, they were designed to be fun. It’s the entertainment element that draws most people to them so take advantage and engage in activities other than pushing the products that increase your profits.
Social media isn’t the same as other marketing methods. You can use the same methods to understand and plan your approach, but you need to understand that the final approach should be different.
It’s a completely different world to the email marketing, SEO and PPC most are used to. However, if you take the time to properly set up your funnels and learn how to engage with your audience you should start seeing meaningful gains in no time at all.