Businesses that rely a lot on SEO and Google Adwords (or Google Ads as it is known now) for paying customers face a pretty daunting problem – the cost and time to acquire customers can be high. But these are tried and true lucrative channels if done right. On the flip side, monetizing Social Media has always been a struggle for many.
And it’s true, visitors from social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn may not always have the same purchasing intent as search visitors. So while they are good for building traction and followers, converting these visitors may seem like a tough call. But companies are doing it. One study found that the average conversion rate is 9.21% with Facebook Ads. This is way higher than the average landing page conversion rate of 2.35% across all industries.
If your social media campaigns have not been yielding such results yet, here are a few tips to improve your customer targeting and increasing conversion rate of your social media visitors.
Social media marketing requires a great deal of patience and investment. You need to focus on the key platforms that make sense for your business and your target market. If your market is Gen Z, Instagram, which is most popular among 18-24 year olds, might be a great fit. The type of company you are makes a difference too. Linkedin is popular with B2B (business to business) companies and service providers.
Also evaluate how effectively your overall marketing strategy and messaging can be translated through the medium in question. Let us take a brand like Adidas – the company does not bank on short term conversions but instead relies on branding to make sure that when a prospect thinks shoes, they think of Adidas. As a visual medium, Instagram provides Adidas with the right platform to reinforce their brand to the target audience.
On the other hand, a relatively smaller brand like Ames Walker needs instant conversions as much as branding. With the right compelling offer, Facebook is a better medium to attract both clicks and conversions.
A primary reason for low conversion rates is the friction that lies between your marketing message and customer conversion. Let us go back to the Adidas campaign for their PureBOOST shoes. This is a branding campaign and not surprisingly, there is no call to action in the message.
But consider the friction that exists in this campaign for a follower interested in checking more about these shoes. Since Instagram does not offer clickable links on their submissions, a prospective buyer may hence have to copy the URL and open a browser app to check the product. That is a high friction experience that brings conversion rate down.
To eliminate friction see what this brand does on their Facebook page, note the prominent Shop Now button that takes the visitor directly to the shopping page on the Adidas website.
If your business is primarily online, it makes sense for you to create a Facebook Shop that lets customers buy directly from the app. ECommerce platforms like Shopify let users synchronize their inventory with the Facebook Shop to allow seamless integration. With your products on Facebook, it becomes easy to direct your followers from your Facebook posts to the product minimizing friction.
Facebook also lets you create ‘Collections’ that allow businesses to categorize their Facebook Shop products into various categories for better user experience. Brands may also advertise collections as a whole that enables users to browse the collection without having to leave their timeline.
Visitor engagement has a direct impact on conversion rates. One study found that companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retained an average of 89% of their customers, in comparison to businesses with weak strategies who only clocked 33%.
Luckily, social media platforms offer a number of different ways to engage with customers and prospective buyers. Comments are without doubt the most omnipresent tools among all the various social media platforms including YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. When it comes to conversion rate however, live chat tools offer the best conversion rates.
Chat and messaging tools allow prospective buyers to post questions about products and get them answered in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. This brings down friction dramatically and contributes to a sale.
Take this example from the movie booking site Fandango.
Their Facebook platform is integrated with a chatbot that responds to follower messages instantly. Not only that, users can also interact with the bot and buy tickets through the chat messenger. Such features are especially useful for bootstrapped small businesses that operate internationally – such businesses may do away with a 24 hour customer support and could instead use bots to engage and convert customers.
The tips provided in this article are primarily geared towards consumer-focused businesses. However, the strategies are not too different for B2B either. With platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram each owning over a billion users each, these platforms work well for all kinds of businesses and users. Understanding your target user’s social media behavior and preferences will help you chart a strategy that not only interests them, but also helps convert these followers into paying customers.
Kathy Alice Brown is a SEO expert specializing in Technical SEO and Content. In her spare time she loves to get outside.