Accumulating followers on Twitter or Likes on Facebook is one thing, but how do you turn those followers and fans into customers? Social media is all about building relationships so below we’ve come up with some simple steps to help you get more sales from your online presence.
Research, Learn and Identify
It’s important to learn about your followers. Who are they? What do they like? Is he/she someone who would benefit from your services? Knowing who your followers are is important in order to give them what they want. This information will also help you to formulate a picture of your ideal customer and how you can attract them. If you already have a clear image of your ideal customer in mind, you will know if you are attracting them just by doing some research into your followers. If you find you are not attracting them, then you can do something about it to generate a following of people who you know are potential customers.
Most of the time when someone gets a new follower they don’t initiate contact with them. This gives the impression that there is no appreciation. Your business can gain the edge by sending a personalised message to each new follower along with a simple, non-committal call-to-action. Make sure each message really is personal to that new follower; otherwise it will come across as spam. For example instead of saying: ‘Thanks for the follow. Make sure to check out our website.’ Say, ‘Hi [name], thanks for the follow. We noticed you’re thinking of setting up your own business. We have advice for new start-ups on our blog [link].’
Give Away Stuff
There’s no better marketing tool than a competition. It gets your followers engaged, excited and promotes your business in a positive way that’s likely to attract more business. Giving away products is quite easy but what if you don’t sell products? No matter what your business is, you can offer a prize. If you offer a service such as financial consulting, you can give away a free 30-minute meeting, phone consultation or even a downloadable advice pack or eBook that you might normally charge for. Be creative with your prizes but make sure they are something people actually want! This is where your research into your followers will come in handy.
When using Twitter, try incorporating a hashtag into your competition so that those who get involved can read what other people have said, making it more competitive. There’s a chance too, if you get enough interest and participants, that your hashtag could become a trending topic, which will help promote your business enormously, since trending topics are visible on every Twitter user’s Feed page.
Every business needs loyal customers – those who keep coming back. In order to turn your loyal fans and followers into loyal customers, you must show consistency in your posts. Your followers will come to expect certain types of posts regularly. If you usually post 2-3 times a day, your followers will not appreciate you suddenly posting 5-6 times a day or none at all. This erratic behaviour will show that you are not consistent and don’t appreciate what your followers want. Make your schedule and stick to it so that people know what to expect from you.
If you happen to be away for a week then make sure you tell your followers why you will not be available and ensure you tell them that you will make up for it and that you look forward to posting and reading comments again soon. This will show that you are concerned about your followers, that you value them and respect their time and effort when they engage with you.
Invite Your Followers
Another promotion tool is to invite your followers to something fun. For example, through Twitter you can invite your followers to a Q&A session using a hashtag. On Google+, you could invite your followers to a Google Hangout where you can answer questions. For Facebook Fans, you could invite them to discounts and deals on your services exclusive to them.
Make sure each set of followers for each social media platform feels special by doing something exclusive to them. Not only will this encourage people to follow you on all social media platforms, but it will make them feel valued and therefore more likely to engage your services or buy your products.
Promote Your Followers
Your social media channels are not just for you to promote your business, but about you promoting your followers too, sort of like a big thank you. This will show your followers (not just the ones you promote) that you understand social media (and business) is a two-way thing and you’re trying to give something back. Once your followers see you making this effort to appreciate them, they will be a lot more willing to part with their money for your services.
On Twitter, a great time to do this is every Friday using the hashtag #followfriday or more commonly, #ff to promote a handful of followers that you enjoy engaging with. Make sure each follower has their own #ff tweet and mention why other people should follow them.
Similarly on Facebook, you can add the ‘Fan of the Week’ App on your fan page and promote one of your fans each week. Be sure to leave a comment explaining why they are the fan of the week and why others might want to befriend them. This will encourage your other fans to engage more with your posts so that they can become the fan of the week. If you want to turn this fan into a customer quickly, why not offer the lucky winner a special discount?
Make sure you really listen to customer feedback because this will help you improve your services. Hopefully, your customers will always say positive things about your business so don’t be afraid to ask them if you can post their feedback on your social media channels. Do it sparingly so it does not look like you are self-promoting too much, but don’t ignore it. Testimonials remind your followers about what your business offers and shows that people are happy with your service. People often look to reviews before buying products so why shouldn’t there be reviews of businesses? Positive testimonials that potential customers can see might just be the reason people buy from you over one of your rivals.
If you have any other tips on how to turn followers and fans into customers or have tried and tested these methods then make sure to leave a comment below and subscribe to be told when we publish new posts like this.