And why shouldn’t we? With social media, it’s so convenient for us to connect with friends, idols, and brands.
And for brands, it’s easy to analyze what our customers want!
It’s become a highway of information with two-way streets for communication.
As an ecommerce store owner, you may have spent hours on creating profiles to capture the attention of social media scrollers, i.e. potential customers. Depending on how much you’ve done, you may have a healthy number of followers by now, whether it’s on your Facebook page, Instagram profile, or even your Pinterest board.
Unfortunately, social media’s benefits don’t stop at “likes” and “follows”.
A social media profile can be just as profitable as your ecommerce website. It was found that users seek out a brand’s content on social media just as much as they get their information from a brand’s website.
But in order to reap the right benefits, you need to move beyond using social media as a promotional platform only.
It’s time to turn your fans and followers into actual buyers.
Naturally, making that transition and adopting new strategies will take a lot of planning, execution and adjustments.
Here are some ways you can start.
But First … Do You Know Who Your Audience Is?
Hold your excitement.
Before embarking on ways to increase conversions and generate sales, you need to first identify who your target market is.
Are your customers mostly millennials? Or maybe your products are catered for kids?
Drill down to the details.
If your ecommerce website sells baby products, clearly the people buying from your site aren’t babies. You need to target the parents.
What age range do these parents fall in?
And are the decision makers mostly the mothers or fathers?
In another scenario, you may argue that since you sell potato chips, your product is for the masses. Unfortunately, “everyone” is no longer a target audience. Good marketing requires more specifics.
You need to develop customer personas.
For example, a potential customer of your potato chip packets could be a mother looking to satiate the munchies of her teenage children at home. Or it could be a recently-graduated bachelor looking to get snacks for the upcoming football match get-together.
Knowing your audience will help create specific strategies so your messages are catered to the people receiving them.
Take Doritos. While the company could’ve gone to the “masses” with their potato chips – they didn’t. It’s evident from their website that their target audience are youngsters, which is why they often feature celebrities and influencers who are relatable to this group of people.
And this branding is reflected on their social media platform. They use bold colors and fun images to cater to young adults who are both decision-makers and end-consumers of their products.
And Does Your Social Media Platform Align with Your Target?
Once you know who your target audience is, check if the existing platforms you’re on match your customer profile.
For instance, different age groups prefer different social mediums.
Know which platforms your customers are on. Focus on the top 2-3 social media platforms that appeals to them.
Learn the ropes of how to effectively manage different platforms. As you go along, test run different options with post timings, post frequencies and even how boosting posts work. It might take some time for you to get the right social media strategy that works for your brand, but knowing this information is worth the effort.
Now that you’ve got your audience and relevant social media profiles locked down, you can start churning out content that meets your objective of getting sales.
Ways to Turn Your Social Media Followers into Paying Customers
From creating awareness about your brand and engaging with customers, to creating social commerce strategies to sell socially – social media covers your ecommerce ecosystem through and through.
Which means if you’re getting followers but aren’t converting these engagements into sales, your efforts are being wasted.
So how do you turn these “likes” and “follows” to dollars and cents?
New marketers often ask what’s the secret to gaining traction on social media.
It’s no big secret but it is a lot of hard work.
You just have to stay consistent.
- Post regular content – if you’re posting once a month, that’s not going to get you enough engagement let alone drive sales.
- Keep the nature of content, your images, your branding colors in check – don’t go overboard with lengthy text when you can keep your call-to-action straightforward. Make the colors of your images match your branding.
- Use hashtags consistently. If your audience is prominent on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, hashtags are the way to go. Although on Instagram, you’re allowed up to 30 hashtags per post, don’t go crazy with it. Keep a set of regular hashtags for all your posts, and only add more to the basket when there’s a special event.
How does staying consistent help you get followers to buy from your ecommerce site?
The rationale here is simple – if people don’t know what’s going on with your brand, how will they build confidence and trust to buy from you? And if you’re nowhere to be found because of your lack of consistency, their interest in your will not be top-of-mind.
Or worse, they might build an impression that your brand isn’t transparent, communicative, or doing well.
On top of that, consistency helps to keep your brand in your customer’s feeds. With algorithms changing all the time, the more engaging your profiles are, the better it’ll work for you. It’ll give you a foot in the door!
Leverage on user-generated content and influencers
Marketers often lament that they don’t have time to keep up with all the strategies.
Some ecommerce sites only have one marketing person who does it all. And this one person will not have the time to manage everything, let alone come up with constant ideas and create regular posts.
Thankfully, there’s a workaround.
User-generated content (UGC) is not only a marketers’ dream but is also great to convince people that your products are worth their money.
UGC is essentially the modern day “word-of-mouth marketing”.
Plus, if an influencer comes across your products and uploads an image of him or her using your product with a relevant hashtag, more points for you!
Great, you think. This solves the problem of not having enough time. But how does this convert into sales?
As you see above, UGC is clearly one of the ways customers believe in your brand. People trust images of other consumers on social media 7 times more than they believe in advertising.
It’s social proof that your product works.
People also claim to look out for UGC before they purchase a product. With more social evidence that people are into your products, your chances of turning followers into actual customers increase.
Take a page from brands that do it really well. It’s helped them create massive amounts of engagement. Like how Netflix gets users to experience new shows and shares these images on social media to get the word out faster.
Offer exclusive content
We all like to indulge in some special treatment from time to time.
Just like that, you need to make your customers feel special as a thank you for following you.
Doing this is simple – you can entice them with discounts. You can do so by broadcasting messages to subscribers or past customers via Messenger or email. With tools like Jumper you can even reach out to people who have visited your website but have abandoned their carts before buying (we have a special cart recovery feature for this!).
Another way you can directly increase sales is by running contests. For example, you can encourage followers to purchase from your ecommerce store. And for every purchase, they are entitled to join a lucky draw to win great prizes.
Exclusive content doesn’t have to be so direct at times. If you enjoy a little subtle marketing, offer freemiums for your followers, and then upsell later on when you’ve captured their interest and gained their trust.
You can even offer followers to join exclusive loyalty programs once they purchase from your ecommerce store. This can entice them to make repeat purchases, thus driving your sales number up.
Focus on customer service
Social media is all about the conversations.
We pointed out how social media is a highway with many streets that can lead you to creating engagement and eventually results. On this highway, one of the streets is named customer service, and this has to be a two-way street.
Because in a world where everything is instant, communication has to be instant too.
Followers who could be potential customers may reach out to you with their questions before purchasing. If you fail to answer their questions, or get back to them on time, they may lose interest in your brand altogether. Some experts say that you need to respond to messages on social media within 4 hours or you lose a potential customer.
Pro tip: Try Jumper – a convenient tool for you to manage messages with customers, orders via social media, as well as other features such as cart recovery and reward programs.
Make it easy for them to buy
Always keep your goal in mind – you need to get followers to buy from you.
To do that, you need to make it easy for customers to add things to a cart and checkout.
It’s all about convenience.
If you have a great social media page but there’s no convenience for people to get to your ecommerce store, you’re bound to lose their interest. Thankfully, with social commerce tools and integrations, this has become so much easier to address.
One of these tools is Jumper, with which you can plug in automated checkouts that makes it super easy for customers to buy from you.
When writing out social media posts to lead customers to buy, write clear call to action buttons. Through copy and images, lead customers to purchase via Messenger or redirect them to your ecommerce site. Make your links visible.
You can also use shoppable posts so customers can immediately purchase from platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Keep Them Coming Back for More
It’s a never-ending cycle of getting followers and converting them into buyers.
And then once you have the attention of your followers, and have successfully converted them into buying customers, you need the cycle to continue. You want these customers come back. It’s cheaper to do so as you’ve already build their trust and you don’t have to start the engagement process from scratch.
Retention strategies like loyalty programs, social proof, and even retargeting using conversational commerce will help keep your momentum going.
From spending ad dollars on Facebook and Instagram to get followers, to engaging with followers to turn them into buyers, and then making these new customers come back to purchase again – social media, with automation from tools like Jumper allows you to do all of these with ease.