Whether it’s Wendy’s smart-mouthed, super-sassy Twitter throwdowns or BBC’s sharp-but-not-showy Instagram stories, brands are going all out to make themselves heard and seen across the interwebs. And why wouldn’t they? In Wendy’s case alone, brash, in-your-face tweets and replies have boosted their following from 815K to 2.49M on Twitter, 7.7M to 8M on Facebook, and 139K to 730K on Instagram — in just 3 years!
But, what’s the point of all the talk without any walk? A large social media base that doesn’t equate to more sales or subscriptions adds very little value to your business.
Which is why having an eye on your social media conversion rate comes in handy. Simply put, social media conversion rate is the percentage of visitors from social media channels, on your website, who complete a desired action. This could be anything from buying a book to taking a loan. This seemingly small metric is great for gauging the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns and discovering the right tone to talk to your target audience.
What is a good social media conversion rate?
On an average, 2-5 percent is considered to be a fairly successful conversion rate by most companies. However, this need not be the case.
A great example of this is what Atlas Communications, a Toronto-based digital marketing agency, did for one of their clients — a local property management firm looking to attract residents for their rented apartments. Over a year, Atlas used effective social media campaigns to boost their client’s web traffic to an annual average of 72 percent. During the same period, their client also got 3,156 leads from channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, averaging to more than 250 leads a month!
As the above stats show, when it comes to social media conversions, the sky’s the limit! All you need to do is include a few strategies in your digital campaign that are sure to turn likes into buys.
Create original content
Nothing harms conversions more than following a one-size-fits-all approach to content, especially when you’re dealing with engagement through social media. Instead, build a clear content strategy that plays to your strengths and has a voice that your target audience can relate to. A great example of this is the American diner brand — Denny’s — which uses relevant memes such as ‘What Are Those?’ as part of their marketing strategy. Since 2013, this has helped the fast food chain’s sales go up from $1.43M to $1.59M in company-owned stores, and $2.01M to $2.28M in franchisee stores.
Make mobile-friendly landing pages
Over 80 percent of social media interaction happens on mobile phones these days, making it crucial for your landing page designs to be mobile friendly. This could mean anything from simply using screen-size appropriate images to calibrating the landing page for both portrait and landscape modes. The Moto 360 mobile landing page is a great example of how to do this right — it has crisp to-the-point copy, clean high-resolution images, and a minimal yet effective call-to-action..
Keep posts and tweets short
Long-drawn videos and blog posts are a huge turn off on social media. In order to grab your audience’s attention, make sure your content is crisp, clear, and consistent. With this regard, it’s always best to have a bold and direct headline that attracts your TG and holds their attention. A brand that has been doing this very well is Ikea India, whose Facebook and Instagram posts are concise but still engaging. This is probably why the international furniture giant, which is yet to open a brick-and-mortar store in India, already boasts 14K followers on Instagram, and over 26M on FB.
Split test social media posts
Finding the tone that speaks straight to your targeted audience can sometimes feel like learning a new language. To make this simpler, you should split test (or A/B test) your social media posts on parameters such as their design style, content tone, posting schedules, and targeting criteria. And while it isn’t possible to test every post indefinitely, you should ideally run it for your initial posts or campaigns till you crack what your audience likes.
Use trending hashtags
With Instagram shifting to an interest-networking model, it only makes sense to embed relevant and trending hashtags within your content. This will make your brand visible to people who aren’t following your product page, netting you a larger audience in the long run. Depending on your business, you can use hashtags that are relevant to the industry, such as #boots if you’re a footwear retailer and #ootd (Outfit Of The Day) for your clothing brand. Popular kitsch brand ‘Chumbak’ does this really well — putting out posts that have a single line of content and n-number of hashtags for their 18.9K followers on Instagram.
Ask for engagement
Regardless of the industry, you can always create content that engages with your followers and pushes them to interact with you online. A great way to do this is by welcoming their comments or screenshots on your posts, or retweets on your tweets. Here, you can take a leaf out of TV host Jimmy Fallon’s book. Every week following the telecast of his show, a new hashtag challenge — such as ‘#MyWeirdNeighbor’ and ‘#DadQuotes’ — is put up across his social media platforms. These challenges are a fun way to get your audience to engage with you, and in due course, push them to visit your website.
Leverage social proof
Just like other animals, we humans too have a herd mentality. You can make this mindset work in your brand’s favor by using the power of ‘social proof’ to increase conversions. Some of the types of social proof you can use online are expert opinions, endorsements from trusted celebs, or user testimonials. A brand that has really been using this to its advantage is Beats by Dr Dre, which routinely features celebrities to keep their 8.8M Facebook followers hooked.
Include Facebook Pixel
Facebook Pixel is a major boon to web developers and business owners. It’s a simple line of code that can be added to your existing script in a jiffy — giving you access to an amazing dashboard that keeps track of your Facebook visitors. By adding Pixel to your website, you can also get quality insights on your website’s traffic, measure cross-device conversion, and focus on people who are most likely to take action. You can also use this product on Instagram and Facebook Messenger. M&M India’s outreach strategy is a wonderful example of Pixel in action. During the course of the campaign, M&M’s team used Pixel to reduce ad repetition among followers, increasing recall by 10 points in 1.5 months!
Build brand databases to build relationships
In-store databases can be the foundation to your online follower base. Reaching out to such customers on social media, either through personal messages or full-fledged posts, goes a long way in building trust among prospective buyers. For instance, automobile dealerships could make posts featuring their latest customers, thanking them after a deal is closed. This reflects well on the seller, while giving the buyer bragging rights among their family.
Employ Messenger Bots
Often, impersonal social media posts and tweets leave your prospective customers asking for more. While these creatives are great for spreading information, they leave several queries and doubts hanging. This is where messenger bots play a key role. By having a bot ready to handle basic queries on your social media channels, you can address any doubts of prospective customers and convert them to paying clients. Disney has done a great job of using messenger bots to drive more engagement on their pages by customizing them to match the tone and style of their popular characters. Some of them, such as Ms Piggy from the ‘Muppets’ and Doc Brown from ‘Back to the Future’, give visitors the opportunity to chat with their favorite personas and see another side of them, first hand.
Social media gives you and your brand an unparalleled opportunity to attract audiences and convert them into actual sales. However, if you are uncertain about how to implement these strategies, there’s no need to fret. With several successful social media campaigns under our belt, we are geared up with an arsenal of time-tested strategies that are sure to convert your followers into customers!