The ultimate aim of any marketing strategy is to create consumer leads and convert these consumer leads into paying customers, right? One of the most effective ways to achieve both of these aims is to use social media for your brand and business marketing.
Social media lead generation is the first and easiest step. By building up a social following on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social platforms, you are effectively creating leads among your followers and online fans.
When these followers engage with your page, you are effectively positioning your brand in their psyche and they will potentially think of you when they have a need that you can fulfil.
But how do you then guide these consumer leads into the sales funnel and convert them into active, paying customers?
The age-old question!
Social media conversion is your ultimate goal with your social media marketing strategy, and knowing how to make it happen makes all the difference between business growth and simply plodding along at your current level.
So what is conversion?
It is simply the process by which a lead becomes a customer.
Do social media followers translate to business?
Social media is a very powerful branding tool and it’s one of the more effective ways to reach consumers and build brand awareness. Social media conversion is just as important as building brand awareness.
The question for social media marketers is whether (and how) a social media following can be monetised. In other words, if a social media following for a business page can’t lead directly to generation of revenue for said business, what is the point in having a social presence at all?
This requires a strategic approach in terms of social media content, its timing and distribution, and analysis of results.
Tips to convert your leads
- Differentiate between website and social media leads
Traditional online leads come from banner advertising, affiliate advertising, and paid searches. These leads engage with landing pages.
Social media leads come from social media channels and include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs. These leads engage with social content.
Each lead responds differently to marketing, with some responding to direct conversion points, others to indirect conversion points, and the remainder responding to engagement.
- Direct conversion points allude to those who respond to a specific advert for a product or service. Interest is clearly indicated from the outset and purchase occurs in a short time frame.
- Indirect conversion points reflect those who have subscribed to a blog or newsletter, or who have attended a webinar or similar. They have provided their information and a willingness to receive marketing materials via email, SMS, or another channel.
- Engagement conversion points refer to those who have become fans or followers on social media, who have liked a status update or a tweet, or who have in some way interacted on social media.
Each of these conversion points must be treated differently, as the sales cycle timeframe differs for each. A direct lead will complete the sales cycle much faster than an indirect lead, whereas an engagement lead may not actually convert for a very long time.
It’s important to not apply direct selling methods to engagement leads on social media – they are not yet in the mindset to respond favourably to a sales pitch.
- Provide opportunities for conversion
Most social leads are not yet ready to go ahead and purchase; they can however be converted into subscribers to blogs and email newsletters. These users are called soft leads.
Soft leads are willing to subscribe to marketing campaigns, via blogs, email, SMS and even direct-mail marketing. They are interested in your brand and product or service, but are not yet in a position to become a paying customer. They may be in future. In the meantime, they are primed for being converted and may also become lead generators for your brand by word of mouth.
- Optimise links to external content
Offer content that is high in value to your followers via your social posts. Share blog posts that link directly to your onsite blog. Share posts with internal links to your relevant landing pages. Direct your followers to sign up for newsletters via your posts.
- Optimise landing pages for mobile
The vast majority of social media viewing and interaction happens on a mobile device. As such, if you’re directing users from your social profile to your website, your landing pages will also be viewed via a mobile device.
It is critical that your landing pages be mobile optimised.
Pages must be more lightweight and streamlined, and must load quickly and correctly across a wide array of devices.
The most important elements of your landing pages need to be prioritised. If a landing page is not mobile optimised, viewers will quickly lose patience and move on.
- Be concise
Social media users are not there first and foremost to shop.
They are there to connect and be entertained in short bursts.
Keep information on landing pages to a minimum (yet compliant with SEO requirements). Your main aim in moving social leads to your website is to get them to sign up to newsletters or email campaigns; if they make a purchase out of the gate, that’s great, but creating other routes for marketing is the key goal at this point.
- Request engagement
Include a call to action in your posts. Ask followers to like, share, comment or retweet! Ask users to “tag a friend”.
Place buttons on your landing pages for social sharing. Post reach grows exponentially when a high quality post is shared with others. You can also invite followers to visit your website.
This is expressed very clearly on some Facebook business sites with the “SHOP NOW” button at the top of the profile.
- Create landing pages specific to networks
Personalise your content for users depending on their source. Market research (by Insightera) shows marketing based on social accounts elicits quadruple the amount of traffic to a website.
What do we mean by this? For example, integrate tweets to a landing page Twitter users are directed to. This streamlines the transition for a better user experience.
You should also promote your content in such a way that it is entertaining as well as native to its platform.
Each social platform has its own unique culture, tone, and style, and content that works on one will not necessarily perform as well on another.
For example, images do all the talking on Instagram. Short sharp snippets of text are the key to Twitter. Facebook is home to both great textual content and accompanying images – storytelling at its best.
NEXT STEP? Analyse your results
You need to actually track your conversion rate to assess results. This includes click conversions (percentage of people who click through from social posts to landing pages) and landing page conversions (percentage of people who convert after landing on your page).
These metrics can be tracked using tools such as Google Analytics and social media built-in tools.
Social media allows a brand to develop a trust relationship with consumers. Thought leadership by social media marketers will help consumers make purchase decisions.
Social media lead generation is important, but conversion is the ultimate sign of the success of a digital marketing campaign conducted on social media.
Having many thousands of followers is great on the surface, but it means little if a significant number of those followers don’t take action and spend money at your business.
Speaking on social media, have you completed our LinkedIn eCourse?
If you want to take your social media knowledge higher and dream bigger in what it can do for your business, why don’t you check out our free LinkedIn course.
MUST-DO FREE COURSE: 4 Week LinkedIn Optimisation Course: Not only do we share valuable, relative and useful info on our blogs, but we’ve got a free LinkedIn eCourse to help you get the most out of this platform especially for B2B enterprises. If LinkedIn is your preferred social media channel, take a look at this course to raise your profile, generate leads and boost your business – so LinkedIn can start working for you and you can start converting.
Want more on social media? Here are 3 of our top blogs!
- 7 hot tips to build valuable and genuine social conversations. Read the blog now!
- How to find your social audience. It’s on the blog
- How often should I be posting to social media for my brand? Check out what we had to say