Once businesses move beyond the blind quest to accumulate as many followers as humanly possible, they find that engagement, interaction and ingenuity on social media can lead to higher sales and more repeat business. Instead of chasing vanity numbers, it’s important for brands to shift the focus towards actual conversions and sales.
In this article, we’ll discuss four elements of a revenue-boosting social strategy:
- Include an Online Store
Traditionally, social media acted as the middleman between research and purchase. Potential buyers would browse social media, encounter a promising product or service and then click a link that would whisk them away to an outside landing page, where they could then complete the conversion.
Publications like Entrepreneur, however, suggest cutting out the middleman altogether by embedding shopping carts directly into social pages. Facebook, for example, supports ecommerce apps that enable users to open stores, which allows customers make purchases without ever leaving Facebook.
The fewer touchpoints customers encounter on their buying journeys, the fewer chances they have to exit the process altogether. Businesses can boost revenue by consolidating their purchase order template, shopping cart and checkout function all in their social media platform of choice.
- Rethink Customer Service
It’s no secret that customers turn to social media to vent, to complain, to report problems, to seek help and — occasionally — to shower businesses with praise. Research shows that 42 percent of customers who turn to social media to express a concern expect a response within 60 minutes.
Solving problems through social media provides multiple benefits. Research shows that customers spend between 20 percent and 40 percent more with companies who quickly address their concerns on social media.
Equally important is the public setting in which social customer service takes place. When a business addresses and resolves a customer’s issue on Facebook, Twitter or any other platform, everyone in that customer’s network sees that the business in question is diligent and responsive.
- Focus on Engagement, Not Raw Numbers
Marketers historically have focused on the number of fans and followers their social accounts attracted. It is becoming more and more evident, however, that quantity of followers has far less impact on revenue than the level of engagement per follower.
By asking questions, responding to inquiries and focusing on interaction, businesses can boost the number of shares, reblogs, retweets, likes and comments per post — all of which are more important than sheer volume of followers. Research shows that engaged customers spend nearly twice as much money as non-engageds social customers.
- Develop Social-Specific Landing Pages
Visitors who enter your website through social media are generally coming from the top of the sales funnel. Unlike say, PPC visitors who are nearing the end of their purchasing journey at the bottom of the funnel, social visitors are probably just discovering your brand, service or product.
It is likely those social visitors haven’t conducted more than preliminary research, and that they are unfamiliar with who you are and what you do. It is critical to create separate landing pages specifically for visitors from social media and on mobile devices. These landing pages should be more introductory and explanatory than bottom-funnel pages.
Social visitors require their own landing pages if they are ever going to convert. But an alternative solution is to avoid website landing pages altogether by embedding shopping carts and checkout capabilities directly into social pages. Businesses should remember that social media is the most direct, most personal and most cost-effective customer service platform that exists — and remember, social engagement is more powerful than big lists of followers.