It’s surprising that many business owners are still reluctant to use social media platforms to increase sales conversion rates. It’s estimated that 7 in 10 Americans use social media, mainly with the intent to connect, read the news, or entertain themselves.
What’s more compelling is the fact that Americans spend approximately three times as much time on social media as reading emails. These statistics make a good case for how social media can be leveraged to maximize conversion rates.
But is this approach pragmatic? If so, how do we best approach it?
Why Use Social Media to Increase Conversion Rates?
Adobe recently revealed that consumers spent $9 billion online on Black Friday in 2020. The holiday season grabs the most sales, and 2020 surpassed the previous year by 21.6%.
More than 50% of income across 14 major industries is generated via social media. This includes industries such as healthcare, logistics, advertising, and computer software.
It’s well established that 98% of B2B enterprises say social media has great potential to maximize conversion rates. However, only about 49% of businesses have created social selling programs.
Hopefully, this is all the proof you need to agree that maximizing your social media conversion rate needs to be optimized. Nevertheless, here are some additional thoughts as to what makes social media special.
Social Media Helps Your Business Build Real Relationships
Up until now, cold calling has been the only way to reach your prospects. However, 90% of top decision-makers say that they don’t respond to cold calls. The practice has become obsolete simply because it’s hard to build relationships with people on a few calls.
Instead, try joining social media groups and forums where people discuss their problems, pain points, and offer solutions. A consistent, helpful presence will build trust and rapport and ultimately improve your social media conversion rate.
Offering free value in the form of blogs and videos will increase your legitimacy. This helps you build long-term relationships with prospects, which pays off in the form of improved customer lifetime value.
Your Potential Customers Are Already Looking for You
Nowadays, 76% of buyers are looking to have conversations with potential service providers on social media. As your digital marketing professionals create research strategies to find prospects, those same prospects are searching for potential vendors.
Your customers are researching businesses online, looking for reviews and other evidence to help them decide which vendor is the best fit. This is all taking place before making the first contact with a sales professional.
If you aren’t social selling, then you aren’t popping up in the research being conducted by these potential clients. Your ongoing absence does nothing to improve your social media conversion rate.
Your Competitors Are Already Using Social Media to Increase Conversion Rates
Every customer that didn’t pay you paid someone else. This means you’re missing out on the potential of social selling on platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Some sales teams are using these venues, along with HubSpot, to maximize their social media conversion rate.
Today, 90% of top sales professionals use social selling tools. Millennials, the generation you’ll be hiring from now on, regards these tools as prerequisites for generating more sales. Without social selling, you’ll never make the most of your true potential. You might even have a hard time hiring marketing and sales professionals willing to take on social selling from the ground up.
So How Should You Use Social Media?
If you’re scaling your business on a budget, you already understand the value of reaching your potential clients on social media, but how do you approach it?
Pick Relevant Social Media Networks
It’s easy to get carried away when a new platform arrives and has increased potential for organic reach. However, you need to understand that your priority is to show up where your audience is. Your customers may or may not be using those new platforms.
Have a look at any social media platform and you’ll see that they all operate within a context. For example, you’ll see many people saying they use Facebook to find interesting facts or memes and join groups to connect with people with similar interests.
Similarly, Instagram is mainly used for consuming media such as pictures and videos that are informative and/or entertaining. But it has also been claimed that 54% of social media users browse Instagram to look for products. This represents a virtual lottery win for B2C sellers.
But what about B2B businesses? As a trend, sales reps have been using LinkedIn to generate B2B leads. Even though that may be effective, Twitter and Facebook are proving to be just as effective for B2B transactions. You’ll have to keep experimenting with your particular business. Look at the distribution of different social media platforms based on age group:
If you’re targeting Zoomers or GenZ — people born after 2003 or thereabouts — that may be because your products might appeal to them. In that case, you can go all-in on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
While you can find all age groups on YouTube and Facebook, Forrester Research has found that decision-makers are primarily using Twitter and LinkedIn. This makes LinkedIn most suitable for B2B targeting.
Experiment by promoting your content on different platforms. Charting results will help you sort and refine an already developed archetype of your preferred audience to be able to target them better.
Follow the Right Twitter Users
Twitter is more than just celebrities trying to stay relevant in the media. Twitter has around 326 million monthly active users, so it’s no surprise that businesses are constantly investing in this platform as part of their marketing strategy.
But the main reason to use Twitter is to build relationships with people. Relationship building is incredibly effective for building your brand. Twitter supports building a culture of sharing opinions and appreciating the ideas or opinions of others.
Since even the most influential people on this platform are doing the same thing, it represents an opportunity for your business to get attention. Follow influencers in your niche. Start sharing their posts, appreciating their ideas, and connecting with them. Doing so will open up the possibility of a great degree of exposure.
Apart from these benefits, Twitter is SEO-friendly. This means that your brand’s tweets are visible in Google’s search results. That fact alone allows you to boost the visibility of your business.
Make the Most of LinkedIn
Did you know there’s a simple way to get notified on LinkedIn for profiles you’re looking for?
Here’s what to do when searching for potential candidates:
- In the search bar at the top, look for an ideal profile you’d want to connect with. You can choose various parameters such as connections — 1st, 2nd, or 3rd level connections — or the location. You can even choose the company they’re currently working for.
- In search results, you’ll see a tab titled “create search alert” on the right side of the screen. This allows you to set weekly or monthly alerts whenever someone signs up and falls within those parameters.
Not only that, since LinkedIn has more than 722 million users, there are tons of opportunities for referrals and other interesting possibilities. One possibility is LinkedIn groups. There are 1.8 million groups on LinkedIn. You can join these to connect with other professionals and find potential customers.
Produce Original, Compelling Content
It seems as if everyone is advising businesses to produce more content, but what do you do with all of that? We’ve already seen how you can:
- find relevant social media platforms;
- develop target audience archetypes as you split-test your content once you begin posting; and
- use LinkedIn and Twitter to promote your business.
Now let’s focus on the type of content you can create to drive engagement. For that, you have to provide interactive content if you want to maximize your social media conversion rate. Here are a few thoughts on how to do that.
Create Mini Campaigns for Long-Form Content
Long-form content will drive traffic to your website. It’s as simple as that. These can include eBooks and original research that includes statistics and empirical data. Armed with that, you can create enticing posts that include a link to the long-form content on your website.
Use Polls to Increase Conversion Rates
From Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, to Instagram stories, you’re already starting to see more and more polls. Polls work because they’re interactive. Encouraging your audience to share their opinions gets them more engaged with your brand. It also helps you understand what kind of content they’re looking for.
Include Visual Assets with Every Post
Colorful pictures, GIFs, and interactive videos are far more eye-catching than plain text. Combining visuals with textual information grabs people’s attention and makes a great impression.
Hashtags Draw Filtered Interest
Hashtags gained popularity on Twitter but they’ve been widely adopted by end-users, especially on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. People now routinely search by using hashtags. Use them extensively — and accurately — to attract the right audiences.
Follow Up on Your Social Media Results
There are three metrics that can provide perspective as to whether your social media strategies are working:
- Engagement. Are people reacting to your posts, posting comments, and sharing them? The more engagement you have, the better you’re doing. You’re promoting your content properly and your audience is finding it worth reading/watching.
- Traffic. Analyzing where your traffic is coming from will help you understand which platforms have a certain kind of audience. You can then prioritize your time investment accordingly. Start trafficking your sources through Google Analytics if you aren’t already doing so.
- Lead Generation. Lastly, how many leads did you generate through social media? Tracking that will help you understand what phase of the conversion funnel they’re in, based on which you’ll target them with the right bait.