Over 3.61 Billion people are using Social Media, which is almost half the total human population, with an average person spending around 2-3 hours on social media every single day. So naturally, social media, especially platforms like Facebook and Instagram, have become the main place brands try to build up their customer base and grow but brands are still facing ample challenges while converting social media followers into sales.
Customers now use social media to track and stay on top of new releases and to ask about products and their prices. This is a recent development, as on most e-commerce sites, customers do not have the opportunity to communicate with sales associates and get queries resolved before purchasing a product, but now social media has resolved that issue to a certain extent. Some brands take the initiative to forward promotions to customers who have messaged them before with queries about their products.
Despite having a large number of followers, why does it not equate to a significant increase in sales?
It can be tricky to figure out why your social followers are not converting to sales, understand a few common mistakes businesses make that could be keeping you from getting clients and making money.
1. Businesses have still not invested in Social Selling.
If your business is on any social media platform you must have come across the term Social Selling, it is a lead generation process of sales associates reaching out to customers via social media. 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media.
For a business the primary intention on social media is to spread awareness to sell its products. Social Selling is the new model for sales, it is a combination of social networking, engagement and product education. It is the art of connecting with your followers, understanding them and nurturing sales prospects. But one key thing to remember is that social selling does not mean spamming your followers with messages. If your brand already has a Facebook Page and Twitter account, you’re halfway there. By building a network through social media channels you can seek out introductions to new prospects through existing customers, which creates an immediate sense of trust.
In the new marketing era, people have become very skilled at social selling, and they run campaigns for upcoming sales and discount offers. People have begun to create sales posters, banners, and coming soon flyer for new products, as well as run campaigns, in order to generate more leads and sales.
Some brands use social media to promote their offers and discounts with customers who engage with their content and interact with the brand through social media. A business would focus on selling their products and services, not just their brand image or who they are. When you see a customer sharing your content, use that opportunity to build a connection with them.
The idea behind social selling is to make your brand the first that comes to the customers mind when they need something you sell. Don’t hesitate to sell and promote your products and services any opportunity you get.
2.Businesses are still not harnessing the power of Social Listening.
Social Listening is THE tool to help you understand your customer, develop a social media content strategy and help identify which platform to target. It helps businesses identify any gaps in the industry, that a new product or solution could solve. Businesses can track certain keywords and topics to gain insights on their specific industry, brands must stay on top of the conversations surrounding their brand and their products.
For example, a jewellery brand can identify audiences who are discussing jewelry pricing, comparison, gift giving, etc. on Social Media channels and find relevant conversations to engage & drop in with exclusive offers and sell directly.
It would also help you identify which platform your target customers frequently use. Using data is a guaranteed path to success on social media.
3. The Number of Followers is not an Essential Metric.
Although the number of followers you have is a form of social proof, showing your business is legitimate, it does not matter to a large extent. Follower count is a fickle metric to measure because the number of followers you have doesn’t make a difference if the quality of your followers is low. In other words, businesses need to make sure their product or service reaches the customer that would need or want it. There is no point in wasting resources on followers who are not your target customer base. When you aren’t dealing with your target customers, you can’t convert them into sales or even leads.
Social media algorithms display your content to a small group of people and based on their interactions, to either engage with the content or not, the algorithm is influenced. If they don’t interact with your content, the social media platform you used will make the assumption that your followers don’t like this content, and it’s going to get buried.
If your audience engages with your content, even if it’s a small number of people, and they like it, share it and comment on it, the algorithm will pick that up and assume your audience likes whatever you’re posting. This would then ensure your post is seen by more of your followers.
4. Social Media is meant for fun not just sales.
Social Media is an opportunity for brands to be more exciting and show a holistic view rather than just a billboard. If you treat social media the way you would a billboard or a newspaper advertisement, it’s just not interesting and captivating. It won’t build any sort of relationship or connection with your followers online. It’s simple logic, if you don’t provide any value, you probably won’t get valuable followers, which means it won’t convert into sales. This is not to say that all your posts have to be overtly driven by the intention to sell but rather to find a way to place their product into the post in a subtle manner.
There is a simple route to planning your social media content, follow the 70:30 content ratio. Try to aim for 70% of your posts to be educational and entertaining, in other words customer-centric content, while the remaining 30% of posts are directly promoting your business and your products. The intention behind social media is to help people connect and to be a fun online space, this strategy will ensure that your followers are entertained by your posts rather than feeling like they are constantly targeted by your ads.
5. The number of likes you receive is not something you should be concerned about.
It is a common practice to judge the success of a post by the number of likes and comments it receives. While likes and comments are important, they aren’t as impactful as shares. If your posts are shared, your audience grows, which means your customer reach also grows. You can monitor the engagement rate on posts to understand your customers preferences, to implement these insights into future posts.
How does one get more shares?
You can create more shareable content or more trendy content, but the purpose behind wanting to gain more shares is to increase sales, not just to gain recognition. Targeting the right audience is more important than getting a big audience.
Businesses need to find the balance between aiming to convert social followers into sales and being unique and exciting to let your customers know who your brand is.
Social Selling can actually change the way businesses nurture their audience on Social Media and can add substantial revenue to the business. To gain actionable insights prioritize metrics that matter, rather than vanity metrics like number of likes or followers.