The pitfall that many social media marketers fall into is in treating their social media follower count like it’s the bottom line. While having thousands of followers can help increase engagement, the end goal should always be in turning those followers into paying customers.
As many marketers are doubtlessly aware, a huge following doesn’t always result in a profitable business. You could have thousands—or even millions—of followers, but if they don’t buy your products, then all the resources and effort spent on social media marketing are wasted.
Why is social media following not the sole indicator of success?
Social media following is not always a gesture of intent to buy your products or services. Some followers may just be drawn in by your content, or they may feel like they have a particular affinity to your products, but just aren’t in the market to purchase just yet.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t convert them, nor that you should just give up on your social media marketing campaign. In fact, you need to double down and take an in-depth look at what you can do to improve your efforts.
Here are five known ways to convert your followers into paying customers.
Know your customers
We’ve said it before, and we’ll repeat it: your target audience should always be on top of your mind. If you already have a ton of followers on your social media pages, this part is more comfortable.
Most social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, have built-in analytics tools that you can use to analyze your followers. Mileage will vary between networks, but you should expect to see your followers grouped in categories.
For example, Facebook gives you information about self-reported demographical data—such as age, locations, gender, and educational attainment—and groups your followers into these categories. It’s also easy to see how many of your followers are male between the ages of 18 to 29, and whether or not they form the majority of your followers.
Facebook offers a deep dive into interests and allows you to see how many of your followers also expressed interest in a different but related industry, allowing you to make possible connections and use that to create more engaging content.
Some businesses need to account for the geographical location more than others. For example, if you’re a real estate business with local listings, you’ll naturally want to prioritize targeting for your local customers who are likely to show up at open houses.
As such, take some time and play around the different categories and see which ones you can use for targeting. The best way to take advantage of this information is to use it to create customer profiles—hypothetical but data-driven representations of your most likely customers.
Once you have your customer profiles drawn, you can use them as a basis for your ads and other content. The more closely you can hit what makes your customers tick, the more likely you’ll engage them and eventually convert them into paying customers.
Expand to other platforms
It’s never wise to spread yourself too thin. But if you’re not achieving your desired results on one platform, then it’s a good idea to see if you can engage your customers on another platform.
Most digital marketers start with Facebook because of several reasons. For one, Facebook is still the undisputed king of social media platforms, with Statista reporting that Facebook has 2.7 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2020.
Secondly, it offers one of the most robust targeting options available for marketers and appears to favor local businesses. The network even released its e-commerce platform called Facebook Marketplace, which connects local businesses with their customers natively.
That being said, the key thing to remember is that most people have accounts on several platforms, each serving a different purpose from the next. A person with an active profile on Twitter could be using that platform differently than they would on their Facebook page—so take notes and plan out your social media ads wisely!
When we talk about consistency, we’re not just referring to posting schedules and frequency but also about quality.
Every social media platform has its way of serving content. More commonly known as algorithms, this secret recipe that decides whether your followers will see your posts can vary wildly from one platform to another.
You could have thousands of followers and still fail to convert because most of the time, your posts aren’t even getting seen! While mileage may vary among platforms, most of them favor consistency in both frequency and quality of posts.
Replying to inquiries and comments will help as well. On Facebook, ensuring that your customers get a speedy reply earns you a blue badge that tells consumers that you reply instantly or if it takes you at least an hour to do so.
Replying to your customers keeps them engaged, which causes your posts to shoot up people’s feeds—particularly with Facebook, at least.
Offer promotions and contests
On social media, growing your follower count is not the most challenging part; the trickiest part is to keep them engaged! One of the easiest ways to do so is to run promotions and contests.
Many brands have found success in holding giveaways on Facebook, where followers get the chance to win a prize in exchange for liking their page and spreading the word of the contest to their friends. This has the effect of more people hearing about the competition and sharing it with people on their network, which grows both engagement and follower count exponentially.
Work with social influencers
While the term “social influencer” is a relatively new term used to describe people who monetize their following on social media platforms, the way it works is hardly original. Certain prominent people hold influence over their audience, which they lend to companies for advertising.
The concept is similar to getting endorsed by a celebrity. The only real difference is that influencers don’t always have to be movie stars, supermodels, or famous athletes—many of them are individuals who have passionate followers that they earned organically because of their expertise on a particular topic.
Influencers may not exactly be household names in the level of Hollywood celebrities, but their endorsements can hold sway nevertheless because of their perceived authenticity. Their followers are also typically very engaged, which makes partnering with them an excellent way to generate even more followers and convert tons of leads!
To date, there is no real foolproof way to succeed in social media marketing. The only real way to successfully convert your followers into paying customers is to look for ways to engage them and introduce value continually.
If your followers see that your products or services can solve their problems or make their lives better, they will naturally become paying customers—all it takes is a gentle nudge! If that sounds like a daunting prospect, don’t worry; the five ways described in this article should help you achieve that goal.
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