Facebook and Twitter have been here for some time and the social media platforms are well established in our daily lives. In fact, the social sites have changed the way we socialize, making talking to strangers more socially acceptable and giving businesses the opportunity to promote themselves in new and exciting ways. If you're on the fence whether socializing on social media is right for you and your business, know social media reach is tremendous and the intensity of which it reaches people is remarkable. Can you think of any medium in recent time that is as cheap and effective as social media?
The reasons why businesses should be on social media is a popular topic and your business needs a social media presence to connect with your target audience(s), spread brand awareness and carve out your niche. By developing your company's social media profile, you can convert social fans into loyal customers and increase your business profits. The infograph below provides information about the profile of the average social consumer:
Source: We First Branding
The following are pointers to keep in mind while using social media for customer conversion:
1. Strategize Your Marketing around the People You Want To Convert
Whether you are new to the social media or an established brand, you have to constantly deal with your audience. Slow and steady wins the race is true for business promotion on social media.
Create an amazing photo contest or review to surprise fans. You can rope them in with fabulous deals, offers, discounts or giveaways. The rewards give them a reason to regularly engage with your brand and offer positive feedback. To get the most out of social media, strategize your marketing in a way which connects people via email, phone or application downloads. Here is how The Business Printers give offer to engage audience on Facebook.
2. Audience is always Intelligent
This thumb-rule of conventional business is typical even in the virtual world. If you think you can fool the audience by some marketing gimmick and give them nothing in return, expect a backlash. For e.g. you posted a testimonial of a person who used your product or services but has exaggerated the product or services. In no time it will reach many people who would take it at the face value and increase their expectation. Your company could lose credibility and profit when people exaggerate the benefits of using your products and services. Instead, respect their intelligence and emotional quotient, and you will not only convert them to long time customers, but gain referrals from them.
3. Have Humor at the Tip of Fingers & Be Interactive
What many companies miss in social media marketing is not having enough interaction with their target audiences. The social media USP is interactive with a human touch, not a one-way route of publishing notices or announcements. Even in odd time or a company set-back, confident communication with target audiences bridges the gap of trust. A general rhetoric formal statement will not cut much ice, but a humor-induced confident assurance backed by facts and honest commitment, will be heard and supported with respect.Companies who keep their audience engaged with humor and interesting photos/videos are the ones who boast of sale increases. As the saying goes, ' people who laugh together stay together’. Be user-centric and produce content that has a positive impact on the people.
4. Be Honest In Your Approach
Being exclusive and away from the herd is in fashion; every customer looks for that exclusive privilege and attention. One common message to all generally does not have mass reach and is less effective than addressing and engaging with fans in ways which increase the reliability quotient. Transparent disclosure and commercial discussion helps in the successful transition from attentive audience to a loyal customer. Be super-active on social media to let audiences know you are here to answer their questions, saying out loud: 'Hey! We are here for you.’ This personal touch will have a positive psychological effect on your target audience.
5. Be Attentive & Listen To Them
Focus is a very important trait, which ensures a largely attentive and credible audience. You need to focus on the negative part & put extra efforts to offer them a 'cure', not a mediocre and wicked but honest and efficacious one. The focus should be valid, direct and not snubbing. Surprising them with a personalized email or a heart-to-heart conversation can help. Remember no review/feedback is meaningless, especially on social media where people get are easily influenced. Focus, follow-up and face the situation instead of lingering on it. Be prompt.
6. Don't Oversell; Promise Only What You Can Deliver
Repeating and overdoing of any action or statement will backfire even if it is factually correct. Leaving the opinion or decision at the hand of the audience is a successful tool of engaging them, not only commercially but for any activity, where the interests of audience and host synergies. It's natural that boredom develops in no time and subsides very slowly. To put it short, don't ever repeat the same thing and give them a chance to withdraw their interest. When you become adamant of selling your products to them, they start developing distrust for you. Get to the psyche of the customers, bring newness and make sure you deliver what you have promised. If you cannot, don't say it at all on social media. People love to take the screen-shots and there is nothing more disheartening for a company than being shown in poor light.
7. Be A Story Teller and Connect It with Your Brand
A story will not only keep kids glued but every human, cutting across gender and nationality. As with story, there is always a connecting feel that brings in a necessary human connection. The point of being honest is better than hoodwinking and damaging your credibility through exaggerations. Storytelling is an art and this 'tried-and-tested-never-failed-method' will connect you deeply with your target market for the long-haul. Relate your brand with the story in an amazing way to best sell your products and services.
The above discussion points are effective and elaborate hints to have a faster and optimum transition from audience to customer and the social media itself is in nascent stage ,evolving every other passing second, even the methods will re-evolve and innovate. The above points will also be edited / added or subtracted; however the core base will remain intact without much difference.
The crux is- Be honest and deliver in style.
Sawaram Suthar is head of marketing at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media, a digital marketing agency. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on @sawarams.