Everyone talks about the importance of social media marketing and how crucial it is to your overall marketing plan. And, I would agree. However, a lot of time, energy, and money can be spent generating Facebook likes and compiling a huge audience base that doesn’t automatically mean higher revenue. How can we translate those likes into actual sales?
Here are six ways to help ensure your fans are also customers.
1. Use fan exclusive coupons.
Facebook is a great place to promote deals and sales that are exclusive to that audience. It is easy to offer coupon codes for fans that you are only announcing via Facebook. Customers love to feel special, and this is another way to do that. If you offer discounts that aren’t open to the public, they are more coveted and valued by your consumers. This can both increase your fanbase and help turn those likers into actual buyers.
Along the same lines, some studies have shown that 40 percent of people will like a Facebook page if it means that they will receive a discount on their next order. This form of bribery is totally acceptable. Just like sending a coupon to new newsletter subscribers, it is encouraged to give your new fans a coupon as well. This can help sway those who may be on the fence or price shopping with your competitors.
The number one name of the game when it comes to Facebook marketing is engagement. The better engagement you have, the more invested your audience will be. They will trust you more and be more likely to share your posts, comment, etc. Your fans don’t necessarily want to see your self-promotion. They would rather see examples of real people doing neat things. So, consider posting videos, links, images, that relate to your audience and your products. Once you start building up that engagement, you’ll see your fan numbers, as well as your sales numbers, grow.
4. Don’t sell.
We all know the ultimate goal is to sell, but you don’t want to do it blatantly. Sell your products through testimonials, customer photos and other stories of real people benefiting from your products. There are a number of ways you can do this, but simple posts with a product photo and price aren’t going to get the job done. Instead, post a picture of your product being used or a link to an article about an issue that your business can help resolve. Facebook challenges small business owners to be creative and think outside the box when it comes to their posts and strategies.
5. Be active!
One of the most important pieces of the social media puzzle is to post regularly and relevantly. It’s great to pay attention to the news and current events and to post information about those things or happenings in your local area. A few tools can help you schedule posts (like Hootsuite and PostPlanner) so you can maintain a consistent presence. Leaving your page bare for days or weeks at a time can signal to others that you aren’t fully committed to the business. By posting periodic updates, you can keep your name in front of potential buyers and more readily available to those looking to make a purchase.
6. Customer service.
Online or not, customer service reigns supreme. It is critical that you are responsive to questions and comments whether they are posted publicly or via private message. Customers appreciate quick and honest responses; so try to make sure you are available to your fans. Facebook now shows visitors how quickly a page is likely to respond to a message. A long wait time can hurt your image even before that potential customer submits a question. It is critical to always do your best when it comes to customer service. One bad interaction can have lasting adverse effects.
Social media and Facebook marketing can be time-consuming, but they can also be rewarding. Efforts on Facebook tend to snowball and new, engaged customers lead to more likers that you can turn into paying customers. Trends and capabilities change quickly, so it is best to stay aware of the ever-changing Facebook landscape. If it is in your budget, hiring a social media assistant can be a great investment. Having a dedicated person solely focused on Facebook can turn those clicks into sales even more quickly!
Dawn Berryman is the founder of MarketMommy.com and Market Mommy:: The Blog, online marketing resources for mom entrepreneurs. Market Mommy shows moms how and where to market their businesses. She holds a B.A. from Indiana University and has worked in the marketing/communications field for more than 11 years. She resides in rural Ohio with her husband and three children. For more information, please see: Market Mommy.
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