Regardless of the industry you’re in, a proactive social media presence is an obligation. It’s pretty straightforward – when they’re not working, in most cases, your customers scroll through their social media feeds. The better your strategy to reach them there and tap into the conversation, the more chances you’ll have to increase your sales via social.
Of course, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn are excellent for increasing brand awareness. But, the most successful companies know how to turn their following and engagements into more customers. They know how to spark conversations, and turn them into a financial gain.
To achieve this, you need to know exactly what to do to increase click-through rates, engagement, and sales on every platform. The following are some of the proven tactics that can help you maximize conversions on social media.
Develop Your Strategy
The first step to convert your social media audience into customers is to determine your target audience. To gauge your target audience across channels, you need to be aware of the demographics of each of the principal social networks today.
- Facebook: Facebook is still the most frequently used social media platform, with 2.4 billion people active on the platform every month. Facebook users are 43% female and 57%, male. Up to 88% of the users are aged 18-29.
- Twitter: According to the Washington Post, 321 million people actively use Twitter every month. 34% of Twitter users are females and 66% are male. 80% of Twitter users are millennials.
- Instagram: Instagram already has over 1 billion monthly active users. 53% of Instagram users are females and 42% are male. Up to 72% of teens use Instagram. With the increased presence of millennials, if you have a younger target audience (under 35 years old), it is logical to gauge your target audience on Instagram.
If you want to increase your social media conversion rate, you need to set your social media goals first.
One of the best ways to set goals for any given campaign is through the S-M-A-R-T methodology:
- Specific: Clearly defined goals.
- Measurable: Goals that can be monitored and analyzed.
- Achievable: Can you achieve your goals with the resources at hand?
- Realistic: With your schedule, team, and resources are those goals realistic?
- Time-sensitive: You’ll need an exact timeframe for your goals.
Start with broader goals for your social media strategy, such as:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Improving ROI
- Developing loyal audiences
- Improve sales
Now, let’s take ‘Increasing Brand Awareness” as an example. Your S-M-A-R-T goals could be: :
- Specific: Increasing brand awareness for your social media accounts.
- Measurable: Brand awareness increase by a minimum of 10% per month. Post reach should attain 1500 impressions.
- Achievable: Yes, it is obtainable.
- Realistic: Yes. By boosting your posts and utilize efficient content sharing tactics, it is realistic.
- Time-sensitive: In 12 months, 200% brand awareness increase.
Develop a Comprehensive Content Plan
If you can’t create the content that your target users want to see, it will be difficult to turn them into customers.
For that reason, you must develop a strong content plan. This will make your social media sales strategy more effective because you’ll know exactly what to offer and where to publish it.
1. Examine Each Social Network First
Each social media network has its own “ethos”:
- Facebook: Is aimed towards those who want news and entertainment with a strong focus on video content.
- Instagram: Is a visual network with images and short videos. It’s not the best social network for driving web traffic, but it is most effective for a strong visual presence.
- Twitter: Focuses on worldwide news and social engagement. The retweet is highly encouraged and it is excellent for promoting blog posts and web content.
- LinkedIn: A business-focused network appropriate for professional content. It is mainly used to recruit employees, form business relationships and share industry-related content.
- Pinterest: A visual platform for those who collect beautiful images and designs.
When you analyze each platform, ask yourself if you have the content necessary to convince people to become your customers.
2. Conduct a Competitive Analysis
If you want to stand out on social media and sell, you need to invest a lot of resources in competitive analysis. You need to review your competitors’ strategies and tactics. After that, you need to come up with a strategy that will beat them.
Start by searching related niche keywords on Facebook:
You can repeat the process on the other social networks and make a list of your biggest rivals.
You may as well set up Google Alerts for your industry-related keywords:
When analyzing the social media strategies of your biggest competitors, focus on:
- Content: What type of content do they use on each network?
- Engagement: The number of likes, comments, shares.
- Post Frequency: How many times a day/week do they post content on each platform?
- Where they are successful/unsuccessful?: Figure out which platform works in their favor, and which not.
You can always share content that is more relevant than your competition, and you can always modify your post frequency/consistency.
3. Choose the Content That You Want to Create
What type of content boosts your sales on social media? To answer this question, you’ll need to know what the purpose of your content will be. Do you want to entertain, inform, or do you just want to promote your products/services?
Writing and Designing the Content
From a business perspective, a social media post needs to be so much more than a text and an image. It needs to attract the relevant audience.
The recommended text copy sizes for the main social media networks are:
- Facebook: Up to 40 characters
- Instagram: 3 Lines or less (captions)
- Twitter: Up to 100 characters
- LinkedIn: Not more than 600 characters
- Pinterest: Between 100 to 200 characters
According to HubSpot, these are adequate social media image sizes for the main networks:
Furthermore, there are several types of effective image posts that you can create for your social media accounts:
- Infographic: Your infographics should be optimized for your social media channels. This requires you to follow the correct sizes to make the infographic readable on each platform. If it is too large, you can always share it via a link from your website.
- Image Quotes: People seek inspirational quotes on social media all the time. That’s why we see such a substantial amount of them on every network. If you want to stand out, you must create unique designs with unique quotes for your business.
- Photography: People want to see images with people. But, not those cheesy stock photos. We’re talking about real employees, real smiles, events, and success stories. Create your own images by hiring with a quality DSLR camera or hiring a photographer that has one.
Developing Video Content
If you want to take a step further, video content is your best bet. Today, video is becoming more popular, especially across social media channels.
Each social network has its own guidelines and recommended best practices:
- Facebook: You can upload them natively or via YouTube/Vimeo. The ideal length for attention and engagement is no longer than 45 seconds.
- Instagram: Videos on Instagram have a limit of 1 minute but with the IGTV, Instagram now allows you to upload longer videos.
- Twitter: Just like on Facebook, you can upload videos natively on Twitter. Just make sure that your videos are less than 2 minutes and 20 seconds long, with a maximum size of 512 MB.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn used to not allow users to upload videos. Now, LinkedIn is the place where consultants upload their videos on different industry topics.
- Pinterest: You can share videos from YouTube and upload short videos.
Just like for your articles, infographics, case studies and other types of content, you must have video topics as well. The most viewed videos for businesses include:
- How-to videos
- Behind-the-scenes company videos
- Product videos
- Event coverage
- Recruiting videos to attract employees
- Videos that answer common customer service complaints
4. Have a Social Calendar and Posting Strategy
When you post your content on social media, you need to be organized. For this purpose, you’ll need a calendar spreadsheet where you can enter the different types of content that you want to post.
After your calendar is finished, you need to determine which is the best time to post your content on your social accounts. According to SproutSocial, these are the best times to post on the main social media platforms:
- The best times to post on Facebook are Wednesday at noon and 2 p.m. and Thursday at 1 and 2 p.m.
- Thursday is the best day to post during the week.
- The safest times to post include weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 pm.
- Saturday has the least amount of engagement during the week.
- Evenings and early mornings have the least amount of engagement during the day.
- The best time to post on Instagram is Wednesday at 3 p.m., Thursday at 5 a.m., 11 a.m., and 3 to 4 p.m. and Friday at 5 a.m.
- Thursday is the best day to post on Instagram.
- The safest times to post are Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Sunday is the least engaging day for Instagram.
- The best time to post on Twitter is Friday 9 to 10 a.m.
- Friday is the best day to post to Twitter.
- The safest times to Tweet are every day from 10 a.m. to noon.
- Sunday mornings receive the least amount of engagement.
- The best time to post on LinkedIn is Wednesday 3 to 5 p.m.
- Wednesday is the best day to post to LinkedIn.
- Engagement varies per day, but Tuesday through Thursday rank best.
- Friday through Monday receive the least amount of engagement.
Every platform has its built-in analytics:
- Facebook Insights
- LinkedIn Analytics for Company Pages
- Twitter Audience Insights
- Instagram Business Tools for Brands
- Pinterest Analytics
The metrics that you need to pay attention to regarding your social networks’ posting success are:
To track if your social media efforts are bringing traffic to your web content, you can use Google Analytics too. Log into your account. Click Acquisition. Then, click on Social.
Ensure That Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly
Your ability to win over buyers via social media comes down to how stable the experience is after users click on one of your posts. Your web pages should follow the same principles as social media platforms on mobile – easy to navigate with minimum obstructions.
Upon clicking, the page should be optimized with social media conversion rate in mind.
Whether you’re promoting something on Instagram, Facebook or another network, a mobile-friendly landing page is a must. Not only will you appeal to mobile users, but you’ll also provide them with better access to your products.
Gain More Impressions with Video
Videos go hand in hand with increased social media conversion rate. There’s a reason why video-centric posts are effective for brands. They can show products in action and catch the attention of followers.
The same for platforms such as Instagram and the Stories feature.
Your videos don’t have to be a big-budget production. All you need is a decent smartphone and a bit of creativity.
Videos That Engage Your Customers
To spark interaction on social media, your videos must be interactive, innovative and thematic. The following are some of the best examples of social media videos that have inspired engagement:
- Behind-the-scenes video: A behind-the-scenes walkthrough of your company provides your customers with an inside look at the quality control for your products, and the employees that make it happen.
- Show Your Dedication: If your customers associate your brand with some of their passions and interests, they will be more attracted to your social media posts.
- Live Video: Perhaps the most effective video content on social media today is live video. It allows viewers to participate and follow an event in real-time. They can comment and react, expressing their voice during the event.
- Pop-Culture Videos: Engaging customers often involves staying informed and figuring out how to incorporate the latest trends into your brand strategy.
- Office Environment: What better way to be more transparent than offering customers an inside look at your team’s work environment.
Engage with Users
One of the best ways to build a big social media presence and sell to your future customers is to engage with your followers. The more you engage, the more social media algorithms will promote your content on feeds.
How to Create an Engaging Social Media Post?
The recipe for an engaging social media post is simple: quality content, relevant visuals, and an enticing message that encourages users to comment, like, or share your content. To be certain that you have an interactive social media post, ask yourself the following:
- Do I spark curiosity? – Interactive social media posts push users to learn more. For example, on Twitter, with the 240 characters limit, you can’t completely illustrate the linked page in your post. That’s why you need to provoke interest with an image, video, or a call-to-action.
- Is my content exceptional? – Do you post content that catches the users’ eyes? Or do you post what everyone else does? Bear in mind that people prefer to engage with sincere, appealing, and exceptional content above anything else.
If you’re posting content that is boring and similar to everyone else’s in your niche, it’s time to step up your game. The following tips will help you develop content that yields engagement from your audience.
Ask Your Followers
The best way to engage with a follower is to ask questions. A simple “What do you think?” can go a long way. The following are some quick strategies to help you spark interactions:
- Post a question that invites people to share their opinion. Ask your followers relevant, intriguing, and timely questions that spark immediate answers.
- Use polls. It’s easy to create them on Twitter or Facebook. They engage your followers, and you’ll learn more about them in the process as well.
Here are a few ways you can invite your social media audience to create content for you:
- Promote hashtags: The hashtag became social media currency. Before you post something from your campaign, try to come up with a unique hashtag that reflects your brand or your campaign. After that, invite your followers to jump in and post with the same hashtag.
- Conduct Contests: People love Instagram and Facebook contests, particularly the ones that include posting original photos and videos.
- Showcase Your Customers: Create brand awareness programs, encourage your customers to mobilize your community, increase brand voice, and engage new customers.
You can also engage customers and prospects with a simple offer, such as:
- Instant coupons and discounts
- Membership club
- Discount promotion
- Free product shipping
Providing value always gains you more engagement and customers. Post useful content, such as tools, blog posts, videos, infographics, guides, mini-courses, email newsletter invitations, webinars, etc.
Having a social media conversion strategy is essential if you want to generate customers from these channels. Start by researching your target audience. Stay active regularly. Make sure you’re actively engaging with your followers. Use images, brand voice, and videos to increase click-through rates.
If you follow the advice provided above, you’ll have more than just social media followers. You’ll end up with loyal customers that will help you grow your revenue and your business.