We’re in this to make money. Even if you’re a non-profit, you’re using social media to support your cause and donations are a big part of that support. So, CONVERSION is the key.
What is conversion?
Conversion should be tied to your social media goals. The most common types of conversion are:
- Sales — the mother of all conversions
- Subscriptions – let’s you continue working on getting sales
Sure, other things matter in getting conversion and these elements should be reflected in your goals — things like positive sentiment, increased awareness, good quality perceptions. So, don’t forget these non-financial outcomes of a good marketing and social media campaign, but today I REALLY want to talk about conversion.
How to encourage conversion?
I love all my brothers in social media — except when they compete for an account I really want — but vanity metrics, such as #Fans, #Followers, etc really doesn’t mean a lot when you talk about conversion. Sure, building a strong community is important — look at the HOGS (Harley Owner’s Group) to see how a committed, loyal following impacts your bottom line. But, I’m not sure that’s what some folks are building on social networks, especially when they use “tricks” like contests to attract Fans or buy Followers. These aren’t engaged users and they DON’T impact your bottom line. They’re a distraction and frankly more of a bother than a benefit to the firm.
Fans and followers only matter to the extent they support conversion by amplifying your message, defending your brand, creating user-generated content, and similar engagement outcomes.
So, if your highly paid social media firm promises lots of Fans/Followers ask them how much your sales will increase from this increase. And, don’t accept standard figures estimating the average value of a fan. Most I’ve seen are bogus and have NO reality to them.
That doesn’t mean social media doesn’t support conversion. It does. And, social media might produce the highest ROI (Return on Investment) of any marketing tool in your arsenal. But, like any tool, it takes skill and instruction to use it right. I’m convinced that most folks are using it wrong.
While social media does a LOT to support your brand, your website is where consumers come to buy (or not buy) your products. So, the entire social media process should focus on … are you ready? Here’s the secret to making your business a success….. Your website’s ENTIRE goal is:
BRINGING PROSPECTS TO YOUR WEBSITE AND ENCOURAGING
EXISTING CUSTOMERS TO KEEP BUYING YOUR STUFF.
That’s it. No big secret. Everything else you do online MUST support this overarching goal!!!!!!
That means your blog, forum, chat room, bulletin board, or other communication channel is CRITICAL for your success. These content sharing platforms give you something to talk about over social networks, attract the Google bot to visit your site and serve it up to searchers, and keeps customers coming back for more.
Getting visitors to your website is also not such a big secret.
GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT!
Don’t talk about yourself. Help solve their problems. Entertain them. Let them show off a little. The key to a successful social media marketing program is to focus on customers, not YOU.
This may sound simple, but you’d be surprised how many firms just don’t get this. They feel like they’re wasting money if they’re not talking about themselves 100% of the time. Instead, they should be talking about their customer and helping solve their problems 90-95% of the time and only talking about themselves rarely.
Creating great content
I posted last week some secrets to creating great content. But, the more I think about it, the key is really being a social business and these tactics help once you’re a social business. Your business should be like the old general store in the small towns where I spent much of my youth. Places where everybody congregated to just talk and the owner knew everyone in town by name. Heck, they knew your entire life, sometimes better than you did. The owners were real — they were part of the community.
I remember when Barnes and Noble opened and folks thought they were crazy putting in benches and comfy chairs that invited readers to tarry over a good book. Other were convinced they’d lose all their business because folks would just read the books and magazines, rather than buying them. Instead, for a generation, they became the first place folks thought about when they needed a book or just wanted a place to meet friends or hang out for a couple of hours. It was genius until folks decided Amazon was just more convenient.
Tell a good story and folks will fall all over themselves to share it.