Advertisers frequently reference the magic of social media as a way to boost conversions and engagement in consumers. And, in fact, social media has evolved into the go-to solution for helping users locate niche products and be persuaded to take the plunge (convert).
Some of the biggest platforms -- Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit -- are associated with some of the biggest and most consistent of these conversions.
One big reason for social media's success in this regard is its similarity, in today's digital age, to the marketing and sales procedures that ruled the traditional pre-internet era: In those years, the best salespeople commonly focused on building a relationship and trust with customers first before they began dropping hints about their product in the context of an "advisory" role.
In short, these salespeople didn't suddenly jump from making a contact to selling the product outright. So, the argument could be made that social media continues this tradition. It too builds a relationship and trust in an audience or clientele as a way to prime them for conversion.
Studies support this notion: According to Instagram's own reports, 80 percent of people who use the platform already follow a business. Also, those that already follow a brand or business are more inclined to be engaged with, and increase awareness about, that business. What's going on here is people's trust in "social proof": It's something customers look for in order to make decisions.
How can your business make use of this psychology? Here are some of the easiest ways to capitalize on it and get more conversions via social media:
1. Create unique content for each specific platform you target.
Much the way applicants submit supplementary essays when applying to multiple colleges, you should create content for, and gear it to, the specific audience expectations of the media platform you're targeting. Writing content that is native to a platform greatly increases the chances that its audience will accept it.
2. Use more than just links to promote your content.
When you post on platforms like Facebook or Instagram, you cannot rely only on a stream of links to boost your conversion rates. As noted before, hard-selling customers quickly turns them off to a business. To avoid giving your audience this negative impression on social media, you should promote your business by providing meaningful, interesting content users think is fun and genuine.
3. Keep track of your traffic.
As a basic rule of thumb, know which links and outlets are attracting the greatest amounts of traffic to your business's commercial pages. There are a ton of resources that can help you simplify this monitoring process, like Google's URL builder, which helps you capture important data about a specific link in the name of the link itself.
4. Know whom to target.
There are a number of ways to do this. Keep in mind that these methods should be designed to fit one platform, to produce the best results. Look at the sample platform, Instagram. In order to track the prime influencers in your niche, you might use a service like Ninja Outreach. Ninja Outreach specializes in finding influencers based on data associating certain keywords and their relevance and popularity on the platform of certain influencers.
5. Leverage existing professional relationships with marketers and influencers.
If you have a good working relationship with a number of marketers and influencers already, you can easily ask them to throw you a bone every now and then through a Twitter post or Facebook tag. First, think of relatively inexpensive things that marketers and influencers can do. Then, just reach out and ask them to mention your business in a tweet or tag back to your business in a relevant Facebook post.
While that may appear like a small gesture, it actually makes a huge difference in helping promote lead generations for your business.
6. Provide an easy, discreet log-in system.
So, users have begun clicking on your promotional link: Now, what? If you're thinking ahead a few steps, you should realize that making them feel welcome and providing a convenient medium for them to purchase through is key to increasing conversions. The easiest way to do this is to set up a social login system which lets users sign-up with a Facebook or Google+ account. Make it a point to not slam the login request in the face of a user with an involuntary pop-up or fade, as this may drive away inquisitive users with low commitment.
7. Make your checkout process simple.
If you make a checkout process too complex or long, you may find that users who'd intended to buy a product will change their mind halfway through. You want to keep their enthusiasm and interest for your product going strong as they fill in credit card details or a PayPal address. Having a payment system in place that can process a number of different mediums while being clean and efficient will greatly expedite the payment process. The less time that users spend in the waiting line, the less time they'll have to reconsider or second-guess a purchasing choice.
There are two main actions to consider when you're trying to get more conversions through social media: the first is tracking social analytics; and the second is ensuring that your website and landing pages have strong calls-to-action and smooth account systems in place to attract and retain new customers.
What can your site do to help you improve the conversion rates for your business?