For marketers, social media offers platform variety, audiences of billions and ease of use. Studies have shown that 40% of digital consumers use social media to research brands or products and that both Millennials and Generation-Z consider social media the most relevant ad channel. With staggering statistics like these, it’s no wonder many businesses have gone all-in on creating robust social media marketing campaigns.
Still, even numbers like these don’t mean much unless social media marketing shows a return on investment—and that means social media campaigns have to lead to sales conversions. We asked 13 members ofForbes Agency Council to share some of their best strategies to help social media marketers boost conversion rates. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Use The 80/20 Rule
Younger generations don’t want to be constantly sold to. Overly promotional or “salesy” posts can be a turnoff. A best practice is to make 80% of your content educational and engaging while making only 20% of your posts conversion-driven. This will create a more organic relationship with your followers, who will be more likely to convert on their own terms after you’ve gained their trust. – Darian Kovacs, Jelly Digital Marketing & PR
2. Research And Target The Right Audience
Boost conversions by understanding everything about your audience. You should know what they love, read and watch—even the hobbies they enjoy. This will allow you to create audiences to directly target. You can increase conversion rates when your product is predominantly showing to the audience you already know is similar to other customers who have purchased. Just target the right people. – Katie Harris, Spot On Solutions
3. Give The Audience A Call To Action
Many brands share cool stuff about their products on social media without giving the audience a clear way to proceed with that information. Make it easier for the audience to adopt your stuff by telling them exactly what to do next in your messaging. That way, your content has a clear way to drive a sales conversion. For example, “Click this link for more info: example.com.” – Adam Guild, Placepull
4. Utilize Social Listening
Social listening can be an invaluable tool to increase overall conversion. It allows you to hone in on where your audience is, what they are talking about and how well an idea or content is received. Acting on that information gives you a distinct advantage over those not utilizing social platforms to their potential. – Michael Smith, iTribe Social Inc.
5. Partner With Influencers
Cooperate with influencers by asking them to not only showcase your product or service, but also promote a special offer for their subscribers who have discovered you through the influencer’s page. If you have the resources, you can also go the extra mile by initiating a full-fledged collaboration with the influencer (like developing a product line together). – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
6. Capture Now, Not Later
Make it easy! The fewer steps to purchase, the higher the conversion rate. Social media users are scrolling fast, so you want to capture and convert quickly without ever leaving their favorite social app. Utilize tools like “shoppable posts” on Instagram: Users who are on your page or see your ad can click “view products” and complete the entire transaction effortlessly from start to finish. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing + Partnerships
7. Run Contests
Something that social media does better than any other marketing medium is encouraging user-generated content. Use this to your advantage by running a contest across your social platforms. Prompting your followers to share your company’s social media post in exchange for a contest entry will increase brand awareness, boost your engagement and expand your leads into your followers’ social networks. – Adam Binder, Creative Click Media
8. Study Your Analytics
With social media, brands have to subtly shine in the background as customers are being catered to. This approach is healthy for engagement, but it’s not the best for conversions. Keeping track of your traffic will help you distinguish the outlets and types of posts that produce the most significant traffic to your money-generating pages. – Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing
9. Post Consistently And Retarget
When “social first” became a true staple of most marketer’s playbooks, experts would talk about social media strategy like it was the Holy Grail. It’s still true that a strategy is required to be successful—in fact, in 2019, it’s table stakes, not a differentiator. The real formula requires posting in a consistent calendar of content, followed by retargeting from other channels via social ads. – Megan Cunningham, Magnet Media, Inc.
10. Target With Precision And Follow Them Until They’re Ready
Younger generations have zero tolerance for brands that don’t know who they are. Social media is a personal experience, and users increasingly expect a brand that slides into their feed to know the kinds of products they will like. That makes precision targeting more important than ever. And because people aren’t always ready to buy, you have to follow them with retargeting until they are. – Scott Baradell, Idea Grove
11. Provide A Solution To Their Problem
The problem many brands face is that they are trying to sell with no idea what invokes a purchase decision. The easiest way for a customer to identify why they should buy your product is to identify why they need your product. Once you understand this problem you are solving, you can provide content, ad copy and insights to persuade the end consumer into making an immediate purchase. – Daniel Snow, The Snow Agency
12. Integrate Social With Other Channels
Although Gen-X and younger audiences are undeniably huge social media users, it has been reported that email is still Gen-X’s primary means of messaging. Marketers need to remember that omnichannel marketing that addresses the entire customer journey is what leads to sales conversions. For example, we integrate our email acquisition data with social campaigns to generate powerful results. – Paula Chiocchi, Outward Media, Inc.
13. Provide Clear Directions On Where To Buy
Don’t let the investment in creating compelling, engaging content and designing the right social media platform boost or ad buy fall short by not providing clear directions on where to buy. Also, strengthen the sell-through by providing contextually relevant landing pages or storefronts. Make sure to tell the same story when they follow the click-through. – Patrick Nycz, NewPoint Marketing