Social Media as we know it today has morphed into a vibrant ecosystem which can be used by online marketers to build the audience and connect with them. It creates a level playing field as even small businesses can get their voice heard and compete against far bigger players. So it should not come as a surprise that most businesses leave no stone unturned to increase their likes, followers and remain significant in the social media sphere. The more talked about a business is the better it does… Right? Well, not really.
User engagement, although important, is in itself not a reliable sign to predict online sales. Most businesses lose out on this very crucial detail of converting engagement around a social media post into tangible sales. With these simple steps, you can master the gentle art of getting a customer who clicked the “like” button to then click the “confirm order” button.
- Engagement – The right kind
Engagement refers to how your online audience is interacting with your business, be it liking your pictures, sharing your posts or buying your products online. Engaging well is, therefore, a nuanced art of understanding your typical customer and increasing your chances of them buying from you.
The posts they like, the social media platform they use and questions they ask before making purchase decisions can reveal a lot about your target audience. Understanding them well can help further identify potential customers (http://www.tenovia.com/blog/how-to-find-and-target-new-customer-segments-on-facebook/) and post eye-catching content. You’ve got to go deeper into analytics and understand the audience type that engages with each post. This will allow you to understand your engagement better and at the same time predict the results of the posts. Make every post count.
- No to Selling – Be a storyteller, not a salesman
Audiences do not appreciate being constantly being “sold to” while they are on social media. Any customer would get annoyed if his newsfeed was flooded with ads instead of entertaining content. It is, therefore, very important to give the impression that you are not advertising.
Rather than merely showcasing your products, try to include posts about real people benefitting from your product. Feature the utility of the product in fun and humorous ways. Posting light-hearted content (memes that relate to your business) is also a good move but often these posts don’t generate traffic for your site. A great strategy to adopt is the 80/20 rule where only 20% of your content is focused on your products while over 80% of it relates to general information that may interest your audiences.
A lot of high-end brands such as Hackett London (https://www.hackett.com/) employs this tool wherein their Instagram page with over a 100 thousand followers focus on its products but also on men’s fashion tips, sports cars and the game of polo, which their target audience is interested in seeing and reading about.
Like the Guru of Social Media, Gary Vaynerchuk, says: “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”. https://www.youtube.com/user/GaryVaynerchuk
- Fan Coupons – To love your fans back
Many businesses tend to underestimate the importance of their loyal fans and customers and strive to expand their customer base. While this is not a wrong strategy, the benefit of having the loyalty of your existing customers (http://www.tenovia.com/blog/how-to-keep-your-customers/) and positive word of mouth can be very effective in the long term vitality of a business. Make your fans feel special by offering special discounts that aren’t open to the public. Facebook is a useful tool to announce coupon codes (http://www.tenovia.com/blog/7-different-types-of-coupons-used-in-the-ecommerce-industry/) for a select audience. Such campaigns would translate into more sales and more brand loyalty.
- Customer service – Umm who do I call for this?
In an age where more transactions happen online and a “verified seller” is no longer a trusted brick and mortar store, customers often rely on social media to for their queries and complaints. Hence, it is imperative that businesses use social media to also handle customer service responsibilities to assure the audiences of their competence. Businesses have to be responsive to questions or complaints both publicly and privately. A long delay in response and failure to address queries will hurt your brand image. The internet may forgive, but it never forgets. So make sure your brand is responsive.
Get a Facebook Chatbot. Make sure you assign a team member to look at messages on social. If you’re the brand owner, maybe you respond during after hours.
While it helps to have the likes coming, businesses must always keep their eye on the ball, which is to increase their sales. User engagement is essentially only a means to an end. By keeping these tips in mind, you can generate the buzz you want to while optimizing your sales as well.