Social Media Series - Part 6 of 6
A million followers isn't necessarily a million customers. People could follow you because they like your content, saw a post on a friend's profile, checked out an advertisement, took an influencer's recommendation, or saw your account in their "recommended" feed. This doesn't immediately translate to sales. While a follower is a potential customer, they won't buy your products just because you appear in their feed.
Engaging content makes followers part of your community and converts them into buyers. They won't just follow you out of habit--they'll actively engage with your posts, watch your videos and shop your products because they trust you over your competitors. Learn how to turn social media followers into customers, and make the most out of your social media presence.
Provide Customer Service
Whenever a business like McDonald's or Panera Bread posts on Facebook, followers immediately bombard the comments section with questions and complaints. This might not seem like the right venue, but people use social media as a corporate hotline anyway. Instead of avoiding comments, encourage them by responding to followers whenever they share comments, questions, and complaints on your posts.
Responding publicly shows other followers that you value your customers, encouraging them to visit your store. You'll demonstrate your prompt and professional customer service and respond to people who wouldn't contact you otherwise. With high levels of customer satisfaction, you'll gain more customers just by being polite.
Engage your followers by asking questions with your posts. A simple "What's everyone working on today?" or "What's your morning routine like?" gets people to interact with your brand. When you post about a product, ask a relevant question like "How do you motivate yourself to start writing?" This turns your post into a conversation instead of another advertisement.
As your followers respond, reply to their comments and engage them in real dialogue. They'll feel good when you show a personal interest in their lives and shop from your business to return the favor. Just avoid controversial topics--you don't want to become the center of an internet firestorm.
Everyone loves getting free stuff. When you host a giveaway, people will enter even if they weren't thinking about buying your product. You'll earn followers and gain notoriety in your community, which leads to more sales and web traffic. Hosting giveaways also show that you care about the community and want to brighten someone's day.
Once you send the winner their prize, you automatically earn a new customer. They'll use your product at home and see how much they like it. If they're impressed, they'll order more products from your store. They'll also recommend your business to others, expanding your customer base. You could double or triple the money you "lost" on the free prize.
Create a Personal Connection
A cold, impersonal social media account won't turn followers into buyers. If you show up once every few days, promote your product and leave, followers see you as a faceless corporation. At most, they might follow you because your products intrigued them, then follow you when another one of your advertisements appears in their feeds and they can't remember why they followed you in the first place.
Share credible pictures, news and updates, and behind-the-scenes footage to make followers part of your community. Host live chats with your followers to involve them directly. Instead of scrolling through promotions, they'll track a start-up company's progress and become part of their story--which makes them choose your business over a competitor.
Work with Influencers
Influencers do exactly what they say they do: influence people to travel, buy products and follow the latest trends. People admire influencers and trust their advice. When you collaborate with influencers, you legitimize yourself in the community and receive an endorsement that results in sales, more followers, and social media buzz.
Even if you're a new start-up, don't be afraid to reach out to influencers--the worst they can do is decline. Tell them about your business, and discuss how collaboration benefits both of you. A collaboration could be a post, video, fashion look, live video, in-person meetup, or anything else that fits your situation.
Celebrate Your Customers
When you make customers feel appreciated, they'll choose you over a competitor that just takes their money and leaves. Encourage customers to share pictures of themselves using your product on social media with your company's hashtag. Share your favorites on your company's social media profile to recognize their dedication and give them their own follower boost.
Likewise, invite customers to share stories and testimonials for a chance at a feature. For example, if you sell environmentally friendly candles, you could invite followers--even if they haven't bought anything--to discuss the eco-friendly choices they make in their lives. This starts a conversation and shows followers that you're listening.
Join the Community
Don't just wait for people to follow you--actively participate in your community. Like, share, and comment on other people's posts, follow like-minded people, join games and challenges, ask questions and watch live videos to become a community member instead of a business that just wants to push your products.
When you're an active member of your community, followers see you as a small business owner that shares their goals, beliefs, and aspirations. They'll choose you over a major corporation so they can support a friend. You'll also gain recognition that leads to more followers--and eventually, more sales.
Now that you know how to turn social media followers into customers, you should invest in social media management software that will help you grow followers, and engage with your audience.