Social media has become an essential buzz word in marketing and a very important tool for brand awareness but how do you convert Twitter followers and Facebook fans into paying customers? It really depends on your brand and finding the right marketing mix for your brand and company are imperative if you wish to be successful in this area. Each brand will have different challenges which means that your strategy has to make sense for your brand.
Often times, people ask me what I charge for social media networking on behalf of a small business and every time, I have to say, “That depends”. This isn’t because I don’t know what my own rates are and there isn’t a value attached to what I do but rather because each brand is different and while one brand may get great engagement from 2 posts a week and basic management and monitoring, another brand may benefit more from more hands-on interaction with daily or even multiple daily posts on their social networking sites.
That said, there are some generic tips that can be used to increase your engagement and as a result turn fans and followers into brand ambassadors who will not only endorse your brand but will also be a paying customer.
1. Use Search to your advantage
With so many social media network messages sent out into cyberspace every day, there is plenty chance that your company or brand may being talked about without anyone using your handle or hashtag. It is important to be proactive when managing your company’s social media profile. If there are conversations going on, you can always join in, offer advice, answer questions and improve overall brand interaction with your potential customers.
You can also search according to your industry so you can be aware of what people are saying, what they do like and don’t like, which can help you with your marketing techniques for new product/service launches in the future.
Another way of searching is to search for your competitors, monitor who is interacting with them and communicate with those potential customers as well. Make your searches relevant to your business and services and approach potential customers with real human interactions and not just sales speak and you are bound to convert a couple of those users into real customers.
2. A Picture is worth 1000 words
Photos drive double the engagement that text posts do on Facebook so take some pics and connect with fans that way. You are marketing to your fans without annoying them because they are actively engaging with your post in a positive way. You can gain feedback, and the pics need not be product focussed. You could post literally anything and you will find that you will get more engagement as long as the picture can be identified with the brand in some way.
3. Give stuff away
Internet users LOVE to enter competitions, especially when there is a great prize to be won. It’s a great way to boost followers as well as engagement. Be careful about what you are offering so you can be sure you are attracting the right types of followers.
Build in actions that allow fans to share to their social networks, which will increase virality and stay true to your brand. Make sure the way in which you are running your contest fits with the platform you are using to run the contest on. So this will mean a change in the way you present the contest on each social media network. Make sure your prize attracts people from the same demographic of your target market and that your average customer will appreciate the prize.
4. Use Platforms Exclusively
Make sure your message is unique to each platform. You will gain more followers on each platform that way and you will be able to more easily promote your product to more people if you have a growing following of people.
If you have specific marketing messages or offers that you only offer on Facebook and nowhere else you are reinforcing your investment in the channel.
5. Get more Personal
If you speak to your customers in a personal way that builds the relationship and creates real brand loyalty, you have a higher chance of converting your fan into a paying customer. No one likes being the recipient of a mass message. It’s important to try to humanize your brand so people don’t feel like they are just a number.
Live chats are another great way to offer interaction and engagement with your fans. Also, ignoring negative comments is an absolute no-no. Rather address the complaint and you will be making use of an opportunity to convert an unhappy customer into a brand ambassador who has confidence that your company will take every opportunity to ensure quality service provision.
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