You’ve got optimized content, eye-catching graphics, and a great profile. Social media conversion should follow naturally, right?
To a point. But to really convert, you need to come out and ask people to do the thing you want them to do. This is known in marketing as the Call to Action (or the CTA), a very important step that if often more of an afterthought than it should be.
Some examples of CTAs are “Request Quote” buttons, newsletter signup forms, and the ubiquitous “Shop Now.”
They’re so common it’s easy to tune them out, which is why you need to turbo-charge your social media conversion with ideas that will get people to heed your calls to action at an increased rate.
Your followers won’t always know what you want them to do unless you tell them. If you post a picture of a pair of shoes on Instagram, for example, you might get a lot of likes — and nothing else.
People aren’t necessarily going to take action just because they like the way something looks. Give them a reason to click and buy right now, and conversions will follow.
Teefury is great at this. When they unveil the day’s hot new t-shirt design on social media, they have followers who are waiting to snap them up immediately (it helps that the shirts are launched at a special price that lasts just one day).
But what about in-stock items that don’t have the urgency of a one-day special? They give them the same urgency:
This couldn’t be more straightforward. Item is popular, item is running out, item is only $10 — get it now, with directions to the link. It’s a more direct version of “Shop Now” that gets people’s attention.
Of course, every single post you make shouldn’t be about an item selling out. Mix it up, so that every CTA post makes people want to click and buy, without making it sound like you’re blowing a lot of hot air.
Want a Share? Just Ask
Have a big sale, event, or offer to promote? After you’ve created your stunning graphic, encourage your Twitter followers to share it by putting “Please RT” (or just RT, which, if you’re not up on the lingo, means “retweet”).
Here’s an example from Best Cosmetics:
The graphic is the main focal point, containing all of the information customers will need. The “Please RT” in the text of the tweet gives it a sense of urgency — that it’s something people should know about.
Your followers might stop and think of people they know who would be interested in the promotion, and it takes literally a second to share it with them.
You can ask followers to spread your graphic on any social media channel, just say “Please Share” instead of “Please RT” on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Although asking directly can be effective, save it for your really big promotions. It will carry more weight that way. You can also switch up the way you ask — Instead of “Please RT,” try variations like “share this offer with your friends” or “help us spread the word!”
Speak Your Demographic’s Language
Your “voice” is part of your brand, and nowhere is it more important than on social media. It should be consistent, dynamic, and, most of all, in tune with your core demographic.
To put it simply, don’t talk to your social media followers as if they are your industry peers. Most people aren’t going to get (or relate to) industry jargon, but they will respond to a conversational style that reads as though you’re more of a friend than a company trying to sell them something.
Know Your Market
How well do you really know your market? Don’t guess — follow their habits across different channels to determine their interests, habits, and behaviors. You can then use this information to your advantage.
For example, if your target market are Millennials, you should be looking at the newer and fresher social media channels rather than putting too many eggs into your Facebook basket.
By studying demographics via your social media analytics, you may even find that the market you thought was your main target is only one of several.
Maybe you thought your market base was primarily moms in their 20s and 30s, but analytics show that a sizeable percentage are in actuality dads.You’ll want to make your messages more inclusive (ditch the “Hey ladies!” and “Hey moms!”).
Since a good amount (70%, in fact) of the content you share on social media is not promotional, you should tailor that content to your market as much as possible.
Converting on social media is rarely the result of simply tweeting promotional codes or announcing sales several times a week — far from it.
Social media is not all about what you can get out of it (although you can get a lot). It’s about what you can give your followers beyond promotion.
This includes content that offers value to your audience, including expert advice, tutorials, and relevant reblogs.
If the content you share on social media is good, people will interact with you — this is the important part. To stay on top of it at all times, set up your phone to display alerts when someone leaves a comment on one of your social media channels.
If it’s possible (and, for some successful social media marketers, it isn’t due to the volume of the comments they receive), you should always respond to comments, even if it’s just to acknowledge them.
Sometimes, inevitably, someone will comment with an issue. For consumers, social media is frequently seen as a convenient as a customer service venue and a place to air grievances with businesses.
If a commenter has an issue with your business, respond quickly, and stay calm. When things like this happen, you should look at them as opportunities to publicly display your amazing customer service rather than a marketing nightmare.
When people have questions and turn to your social media channels, they may not expect a prompt and helpful response — which is exactly why you (or members of your team) should give it to them whenever possible. This kind of reputation building serves as the backbone for successful CTAs.
Know How to Hashtag
Hashtagging is easy in theory: Just put a # sign in front of a keyword and your posts are instantly searchable to the public.
It’s surprising, then, that so many people don’t really get hashtagging or think it’s just a vapid thing that teenagers do when they post selfies.
Hashtags are not commentary, and they should never be vague. For example, if you sell furniture, #chair is way to vague — besides, who spends time searching social media for the word chair?
In reality, people search for specific things. If your industry has commonly used hastags, use them. If you attend an event with a designated hashtag, use it.
If you happen to see a trending tag that’s relevant to your industry, go ahead and use it, as long as you’re not shoehorning an advertisement into the tag.
It may feel like you’ve struck gold when you can organically use a trending hashtag, but trending tags move very quickly — if you don’t amass a large amount of likes and retweets in a very short time, your message will be buried.
Still, if you’ve got a clever contribution, go for it. And remember tags like #TuesdayMotivation, that can fit almost any business, as long as you’ve got the motivational spirit.
Use at least one hashtag on every social media post — yes, including Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, to broaden the reach of your CTAs.
While hashtags do eat into your character count (on Twitter), without one, you’re basically speaking just to your own followers, as opposed to broadcasting it worldwide.
There are a lot of factors that go into achieving the level of social media conversion you want — but, despite how it might sometimes feel, luck is the least of them.
Be open and straightforward, and build up their trust, so that when you put out that CTA, your followers will listen.
How effective are your social media CTAs? Let us know in the comments!
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