As a marketer, if you are looking at social media purely from an engagement perspective, you’re missing out. If your only goal is building a strong social media presence, you are not aiming high enough. With nearly one third of the world’s population accessible on social media, it has become a real source for genuine traffic that you can convert.
Look at social from a purely engagement and presence perspective, wrong. Why?
Look at your blog’s statistics, social media is most likely in the top three sources of traffic.
As last recorded, over one million businesses advertise on Facebook.
Allrecipes, a digital food brand, earned 139 million impressions and 900% more clicks simply by adding a Pinterest share button on each of their recipes’ pages.
Social is clearly a serious source of traffic with potential for conversions. If you aren’t seeing them, one of many things could be wrong –
1. You’re on the wrong platform
If you are on the wrong social platform, your marketing will be ineffective and you won’t be able to drum-up any business.
Say you represent a financial investment company and want to reach out potential investors. Your target audience would include people above the age of 35, with spare money to invest. The best platform for you to focus on, in this scenario, would be LinkedIn, which not only has the most users in that age bracket, but also the right ambience for you to share a message about investment. While Snapchat, which is dominated by the younger crowd, is obviously the wrong choice.
What makes for the right platform?
1) The right demographic
2) The right tone of voice
Every social media platform has its unique demographics and a tone of voice. Choose the one that has most of your target audience, and has the right tone for the message that you want to share.
2. Your social pages are fine, but your website is all wrong
You could be driving thousands of visits from your social pages to your website, but only to lose them on your website. This happens when you have invested all of your time and money in marketing, and blind-sighted customer experience and feel. Sites that offer a mediocre customer experience or appear uninteresting are bound to lose out on conversions.
In today’s market scenario companies have go to be customer-centric. Your customer should find every step of his/her journey with you interesting and easy. If either of those qualities are compromised, your likelihood of converting will decrease. That is why website speed, appeal and engagement matter.
How do you fix the website problem?
1) To clear technical issues, check Google’s Page Insights. The tool analyzes your web presence, identifies technical pinch-points and suggests fixes that you can hand over to your technical team.
2) For design optimization follow the basics – pleasant colors, nothing that clashes with your logo and consistent fonts. For more on design, you could refer to this guide.
3) You also need compelling content on your landing page to aid conversions.
You could go simple, clear and compelling like Sam Hurley on his company’s website.
3. Your social presence lacks credibility
Credibility affects a consumer’s purchase decisions. A strongly positive brand image can be instrumental in increasing your conversions. Building a brand image is particularly necessary on social media, where there is no direct contact between users, and no means to judge how reliable a piece of information is. With a powerful brand image, you can turn your social pages into well oiled conversion machines.
How do you establish credibility on social media?
1) Optimize your social media pages. Make them accurate, neat and consistent
2) Provide proper contact details and links back to relevant pages on your website
3) Tell your audience only what they need to know about you (how you can help them), and make them feel cared for and at home
Fresh Brothers does a good job of it with their fun visual and mouth-watering description of their pizza.
4) Establish yourself as an expert in your niche by sharing relevant industry information (do both – create and curate content)
For efficient content and social media management, you could use DrumUp.
4. The people on your page aren’t potential customers
Several social media pages have thousands of followers who add absolutely no value to the page, brand or company. Sometimes, these followers are acquired so the company can say that they have that many followers, but in my opinion, this tactic is more damaging than it is beneficial. Once you have diluted your follower base, there is no going back. You could receive irrelevant or damaging comments that affect your brand image. Remember that your brand image is what your audience says it is, and their opinions can be affected by any number of factors, consciously or even otherwise – like a misplaced share (in a spam filled group) or a comment out of place.
How do you build a highly targeted social media following?
1) Target only the people who are interested in your product and are likely to become customers themselves at some point
2) Participate in the right communities (ones that have high authority and your high-potential target audience)
3) Guest post on relevant niche blogs
4) Don’t compromise on the quality of content that you share – created or curated
5) Invite influencers in your niche to try your products (they can give you access to an already targeted following)
5. Your social media content strategy is wrong
What you attract depends on your bait. The quality and relevance of your content will decide how much traffic you drive from your social media pages and how many quality leads you generate. You can’t attract mathletes by discussing what is hot in the music industry.
The subtler details of your content will also matter. For instance, if you are selling a scooter, you can’t talk about every mode of transport, or transport in general, you will have to focus on scooters on some level. You also need to consciously target specific levels of your sales funnel (different stages of a customer’s purchase journey). If you have followers who are looking to buy a scooter (middle level/fence sitting audience), and you are sharing content about five amazing facts about scooters, they are not likely to buy it, are they? Instead, if you shared a post about what to consider when buying a scooter, and then linked out to a page that describes the features of yours, you will drive conversions. Know your audience. Test your content and analyze the response to understand what content works and who your audience is.
You also need to engage with your audience being warm, responsive and helpful.
How do you build a solid social media content strategy?
1) Focus on content that’s relevant to your niche and useful to your audience
2) Test your content before you commit to a strategy
3) Leverage social media analytics tools to glean insights about your content
4) Factor in conversion when planning your content
6. Your pages are visually bare and unappealing
There are over 37 studies to convince you of the power of visuals. If you aren’t using them right on your social pages, you may well have forsaken a decent bit of your traffic and engagement. Besides, all you have to catch someone’s attention on the internet is about 8 seconds, and that is barely any time to dazzle them with your words. The right visual cues can do it quicker for you.
How do you leverage visuals to boost engagement on your social pages?
1) Arm every post with a relevant image that can command attention
2) Make the best use of multiple visual formats – infographics, GIFs, videos and even plain static content when used in context can be very engaging.
For instance, the visual on this post is being used to express the fear factor in the title.
3) Stock up on visual apps and resources to create and curate visual content with ease
7. You aren’t using high-conversion keywords
On all social media platforms, some words work better than others – they attract more attention, earn more shares and clicks. By using them you can drive more traffic from your social pages to your website, and increase your overall engagement levels. How and where you use them on your posts is only limited by your tactics and creativity. Let’s call them high-conversion words. You can read more about them here.
High-conversion keywords to use on your social media pages
1) On Facebook – Where, When, Take, Inspire, Should, Submit, Deals, Discount, Warns, Amuses
2) On LinkedIn – Improved, Increased, Created, Developed, Researched
3) On Twitter – ReTweet, Follow, Free, You, New Blog Post, Check Out, Help, Top
8. You aren’t tapping into social media amplifiers and influencer networks
Social media amplifiers are basically features that help you increase reach, and influencers are people who can help you gain access to a large social media following. The features include hashtags, @mentions and profile tags. The networks you could work with are that of influencers and micro-influencers – your partners, associates, employees and ambassadors. By working with social media amplifiers and influencer networks you can increase your social media traffic and conversions.
Hashtags can put you in front of a larger audience than your immediate following, and can help you initiate and be a part of massive conversations. When people search on social, they can stumble through hashtags and discover your content. @mentions and tags help you pull people into conversations. They also directly increase your visibility, because the followers of the people you have @mentioned will be able to view your content.
Employees maybe the easiest micro-infleuncers to work with, because you already work with them. With a reliable employee advocacy platform and employee advocacy guide you can run a powerful advocacy program to increase your social media reach and conversions.
How do you outline a solid social media amplification strategy?
1) Use 1-2 relevant hashtags on your social media posts
2) @mention and tag people where it makes sense (to attribute, feature and bring some content to their notice)
3) Partner with influencers and micro-influencers to ramp-up your social media reach
9. You aren’t channeling your traffic to the right places
Today’s social media users are plagued with a multitude of options and the power to switch between brands in seconds. They generally don’t have the patience to travel through more than three clicks to reach their destination or complete a process. When they are directed to a website they expect to see the information that they are seeking instantly. The magic formula involves instant gratification and quick fixes.
So if you are sending tons of visitors from your social pages to your website pages without seeing conversions, you have to stop and ask yourself if you are sending them to the best possible pages.
Suppose you are a digital marketing company selling your SEO services on Twitter, you might want to direct people directly to your SEO page from that Tweet, instead of sending them to your home page and expecting them to find it themselves. There are chances that they won’t.
How best to channel your social media traffic
1) Keep the journey between your social media post and purchase form/final step under three clicks
2) Clearly convey what your audience should expect at the end of every click
10. You aren’t playing the long game
When people like a brand page, it may not be because they intend to buy from the brand. It could be one of many reasons that are difficult to discern. That doesn’t mean that you discount those people for business. They clearly want to engage with you, and are open to receiving content from you.
From a business perspective, these followers could turn into customers at some point, if they have the right information about products and offers nudging them, just right. That is the long game. You need a system in place to nurture and capture these leads. For instance, some of your social media posts could lead to your blog, and you could have an email capture mechanism on your blog to collect leads and keep them warm until they’re ready to buy. Look at your social pages and email newsletters as incubators that nurture potential customers and turn them into real ones.
You could also create fun contests and run interesting campaigns on social media to drive more traffic from your pages to your website.
How to create a system to nurture social media leads
1) Place email capture prompts (compelling ones) on every page that you drive traffic from social media to
2) Create a sound email content strategy to keep your social media leads engaged
3) Plan fun contests or campaigns at regular intervals to keep followers on social media engaged
11. They are – but you can’t see it
What if your social media pages aren’t the problem? What if they are converting customers, and in large numbers, but you are simply unable to track it?
Using Google Analytics you can track the number of people who visit your website from social media, and if your goals are correctly defined, you can even track how many of them convert to customers. What you can’t track is the people who leave your social media page, and then type your domain name on Google and show up as organic searches instead of being seen as social media referrals. What about those who engage with your social pages regularly and purchase your product on a random day via search? These conversions can leave you uncertain about the effectiveness of your social media pages. There are apps that can map journeys of such customers as well, Hubspot being one of the best among them.
Social clearly deserves to be taken seriously as a traffic source and as a conversion enabler. If you aren’t considering it for both those purposes, you are operating with compromised force. Verify your social traffic conversion factors (listed on this post), and start converting a substantial amount of leads today.