You’ve set up a Facebook page and Twitter account for your business. You’ve spent time growing your digital presence and building your fan base through sharing useful content and engaging your target audience. You now have a loyal online fan base that’s liking and sharing your content. Great! Now what? How do you make that social sale? Here are several tactics you can put to use immediately to convert your fans, followers and subscribers into paying customers.
First, you have to define your conversion. Different businesses have different types of conversion. What’s yours? Consider what makes the most sense for you and what you want to measure.
Once you have identified your conversion, you have to figure out how you can lead fans and followers to your website, which is where conversions take place most often. Once people are on your website, you have to consider ways improve your conversion rates and get people to move down the sales funnel.
When thinking about conversions, it’s important to keep in mind the idea of holistic web marketing, which is all about integrating your different online and digital marketing so that you have a consistent message that’s most effective. There are 4 components to doing this:
Attraction – How do we get people to our website in the first place?
- There are several effective ways of doing this which include using SEO, social media, and social content creation. You can also do this through traditional marketing, or advertising, or anything that attracts traditional customers to your website.
Retention – How do we keep the line of communication open?
- People go to your website in information gathering mode. They may not make a decision immediately, so how it’s important you find ways to stay in front of them. One tool for doing this is email marketing. Get people to opt in to email newsletters and send emails to stay in front of them. Another powerful way to stay in communication is through social media. Put social media widgets on your homepage, and get people to connect with you. Getting that connection is much more powerful than just getting another page view on your website.
Conversion – how do we get somebody to move down the sales funnel?
- See below
Measurement – Does it work?
- You want to be able to measure through Google analytics for website and other tools. We need to be looking at traffic reports and metrics to know what’s working.
There are several different types of conversion:
- Buy now button: Someone clicks on it and hopefully they move through sales process
- Contact or lead capture forms: Collect their information and get back to them
- Phone: difficult to measure from website standpoint
- Email signups can be very beneficial as well.
You may be asking, how are email signups a conversion? It’s a little yes, which leads to a big yes for most businesses. It’s all about lead capture, so by making people give the little yes you can use it to move forward to the big yes, or the sale.
When going for the little yes, it’s important to consider one of the many weapons of influence: consistency. For example, there was a transportation department in California that sent people to a nice, affluent neighborhood asking if they could stick a “Drive Safe” sign in their yards. Doing so would basically would ruin the landscape, the lawn, and the property value, so most people wouldn’t agree to let the department leave the sign in their front yard (only 17% allowed it). However, a few weeks later they went to another neighborhood with the same proposal, and this time 76% of people agreed to put the “Drive Safe” on their lawn. The difference is that, in the second neighborhood, they went weeks before asking residents to put a small, barely visible “Drive Safe” sticker in their windows first. Once they got that little yes, the people saw themselves as promoters for safe driving, so consequentially they were later okay with putting the big “Drive Safe” signs in their yards. Thus, the question becomes: What’s your window sticker? What little yes can you get from your visitors that makes them think it’s okay to take the next step?
Leading people from social media outposts to your website requires using the right bait. In the book “How To Win Friends and Influence People”, author Dale Carnegie talks about how he loves strawberries and cream, but for some reason fish love worms. So when he goes fishing, instead of baiting his hook with strawberries and cream he would bait it with worms. Therefore, don’t be focused on what you want, think about what’s in it for your audience. What’s the incentive? What will get your ideal customer excited? Are they looking for discounts? Free webinars? Local providers? Figure out the right incentive that gets someone to move down the sales funnel.
You want to bring people from social media websites to your own site. However, with Facebook it is different, in that studies have found that people don’t want to leave Facebook. Therefore, utilize the Facebook apps for closing sales. Include an enticing graphic on the app, or run ads that lead directly to the app and use those custom tabs to create conversions within Facebook.
Your Conversion Rate is what you consider a conversion divided by your website traffic. If your conversion rate isn’t where you think it should be there are several ways to improve it:
- The first is to improve the quality of inbound traffic. If you are getting traffic from social media you have already done that, because that traffic consists of people who already know your brand and trust it and have confidence built up with you.
- The second thing is that you have to create compelling offers for your audience. A few ways of doing this are by incorporating the following tactics: scarcity, limited time availability, and consequences. Use alarm-based marketing formula and your conversions will definitely go up.
So you have high quality traffic to your website and you are using the alarm-based formula, but people still aren’t converting the way you want them to. It’s because your visitors are still uncertain. There are several ways to reduce this uncertainty:
Make a good first impression:
- First impressions matter. You must make sure that your website has a similar design as your social media – this builds up trust. If your website looks nothing like your social media outposts you’re breaking up the trust. You want continuity across platforms. Presentation counts!
Use Social Proof:
- Another way to reduce uncertainty is through social proof. For example, video testimonials are extremely powerful. Also, using social buttons that show how many people have liked your content on Facebook or retweeted it on twitter is a form of social proof that further reduces uncertainty.
People are uncertain about the process, so make it as easy as possible.
- Don’t think that they know your website. Make navigating your site easy and don’t overwhelm them with choices.
Once you have ensured to reduce the uncertainty of your website visitors by taking the above steps, here are a few final methods you can use to further boost your conversion rates:
- Wrap it all up with a call to action. Every page on your website should have a call to action. Try putting your contact form at the bottom of every page and see how it improves your conversion rates.
- Getting people involved could also greatly improve your conversion rates. When you get people involved in the sale, they are more likely to convert. What does that mean? It could be clicking on a link, or filling out a survey, or using an online calculator.
- People are often worry that you may not have the right solution for them. So ease this uncertainty by offering them a money back guarantee. You can also prove you have the right solution by putting testimonials on your website.
Once you incorporate all of the above it is important that you use Google analytics or other insights to measure and determine what is and isn’t working. The digital sphere is constantly changing, which means your strategy and conversion approach will often need tweaking. However, the above steps are a great place to start.