Social media today is like a customer hotline to your brand and business. The trick is to generate leads from your social media channels and to funnel them through the sales process so that they ultimately purchase from you.
So how do you achieve this? Well, It requires a clever social media strategy plan.
Emotional appeal is key…
To be a successful seller, you need to understand how consumers’ minds work. Every decision a consumer makes relating to purchasing is based on emotion – both consciously and subconsciously.
Mental triggers drive action in all aspects of life, and purchasing is no different. Your marketing activities and social media tactics need to incorporate the emotional and psychological triggers that determine spending.
These emotional triggers include:
- A sense of belonging – Some might call it the “sheep mentality”, but human nature dictates that many, if not most, of us seek a sense of belonging to a wider clan, group, or network.
Many purchases reflect the desire of a consumer to feel that they belong, and it is a sign for many of their quest for acceptance. This is how high-end brands trigger purchasing of products that are only worth the asking price because of the brand label that is displayed on it – people seek to belong to a particular group and aspirational buying, they believe, places them in such a group.
The sense of belonging is not always conscious, but it impacts all of us – even those who seek to buck the trend are seeking a sense of belonging – just to another group. Social media is a great example of people seeking a sense of belonging, and social media marketers who are clever will foster this in users by satisfying their core psychological needs.
- Fear of missing out – Nobody likes to miss out. This is a great thing for social media marketers to know and the right social media tactics will keep consumers loyal to a brand. Time sensitive advertising, for example, can trigger consumer action.
- Trust and loyalty – A brand that a consumer trusts will continue to reap the rewards of their loyalty. The hard work on the part of marketers is to first promote and cement that trust. To do this, a brand must be transparent, link to real reviews, personalise and show humanity, be honest, offer guarantees, and be specific.
- Guilt – Why do people spend more on organic produce? In part, because marketers make them feel guilty if they don’t. Why is charity advertising so effective? Guilt. Many consumers respond to passive aggressive guilt trips that are subtly presented by marketers – and this translates to sales.
- Values – How important is something to you? The judgement you make about this reflects your values. These differ between individuals; one person might believe their career is the priority, while another places more importance on time spent with loved ones.
One person might place high importance on having and displaying certain material things, while another might make experiences and the intangible a higher priority.
Every single person makes purchase decisions based on their own values – marketers need to identify their target consumer very well so that their marketing messages appeal to those most likely to buy from them. The personal benefit perceived by any consumer to be gained by purchasing must exceed the perceived cost to them of doing so.
- Gratification – We feel good when we purchase. This is why credit cards are so popular – we don’t want to wait! Instant gratification is now the norm. (I remember when I got my first Kindle e-reader – the joy of being able to read a book review and have the book there to read just minutes later was a beautiful thing!).
People as a general rule now expect gratification to be close to instant in many areas of life – order something online and if it’s not there pretty fast, something must be wrong.
Gratification works on the pleasure principle, a driving force that seeks the meeting of our needs; when these perceived needs are not met, we become anxious or depressed.
DID YOU KNOW: Marketers can use gratification to their benefit with time-sensitive marketing, SMS marketing, click and collect programs, and much more. Purchasing equals pleasure.
5 ways to drive customers to your website
The key to having a great social media strategy plan is to hook consumers or leads via social media, then compel them to click on links that take them directly to your website.
You need to connect with your prospects, and today more than ninety percent of consumers use social media to help them make purchase decisions. Facebook and Instagram are particularly useful for this purpose.
Additionally, the vast majority of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends, and many of these are distributed via social media.
You need to harness the power of social media and use it to direct high-value traffic to your website. Your strategic approach to achieve this will need to incorporate:
- Goal setting – what will success be for your social media marketing plan? Will you measure it by fan numbers, traffic amount, post engagement, visitor-conversion ratio, and audience growth versus sales growth? All of these should be a part of your overall goal setting plan.
- Target audience identification – who are your target audience members? How do they use social media? What do they want to see? What will make them want to learn more and buy from you?
- Data curation – where is your traffic coming from? What types of posts get most positive interaction? Which content that you provide is most popular? What is not working so well for you?
- Sharing as opposed to selling – social media is not the place for the hard sell. Social media marketing strategies place the emphasis on sharing content to build positive relationships as opposed to selling. No more than a maximum of twenty percent of social media posts should be of a sales nature – the majority content should be more about interacting, engaging, informing, and providing interest. Through this, the right consumers will eventually click through to your website to see more of what you can offer them.
- Progress analysis – as with any marketing strategy, tracking its progress frequently is of key importance. Change your approach to comply with changing trends and based on what does and does not work for you.
NOTE TO YOURSELF: Make sure you come back for Part 2 next week!
Next week, we will continue on this topic and look more in depth at ways you can Trigger Purchasing by consumers who have discovered you via social media.
Speaking of trigger purchasing … Have you heard about our LinkedIn course that’s about solute FREE?
Do you know about our 4-week LinkedIn Optimisation Course? Not only do we share a bunch of 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.
Meanwhile, why don’t you linger a little longer and learn some more about social media! Here are three top blogs you need to fix your eyes on.
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