So you’re rolling your eyes at the title thinking to yourself, “Yeah right.”
That’s OK. Because I’m hoping to prove that your skepticism is completely unfounded. Businesses just like yours are using creative techniques in social media to:
- stand out in a very crowded and noisy market;
- increase their search engine rankings and;
- realize high quality leads that eventually result in sales.
However what these businesses understand is that it takes time to develop relationships that lead to actual sales. In other words, without perseverance and some creativity, social media will not pay off.
Here are 6 ways that businesses are using social media to convert followers into paying clients:
- Sell your products/services on Facebook. Emmy’s Closet makes handmade bows and accessories for children. They created a ‘My Etsy’ custom tab on their Fan page to make it super-easy for people to buy their products without leaving Facebook! Using e-commerce on Facebook has given their customers a fun, easy and friendly shopping experience. Try Facebook e-commerce to hook prospects who are already hanging out on Facebook.
- Use your blog platform to answer questions for which your brand has solutions. That way when you have a product, service or information to sell, the followers who have come to know, like and trust you will be the first to respond. For example, every day fans from around the world flock the Social Media Examiner Fan page to ask questions about social media marketing. Next month they are hosting the 2011 Social Media Success Summit at a price of $597 per ticket with an early-bird special of $297. Already 1500 fans have signed up. Do the math.
- Award shopping points to followers who participate actively on your Fan page e.g. Giantnerd a reseller of outdoor gear has a familiar, fun and friendly brand that awards “Nerd dollars” to active members who share content and photos of Giantnerd products they have purchased. You can bet that this technique is extremely persuasive in getting other members to purchase their products. It also provides testimonials from satisfied customers, social proof of a successful brand and an exciting user experience.
- Hook potential customers by giving away free stuff and getting them involved in your social media network. Cree is a LED Lighting Company that invites ‘victims of inferior lighting’ to submit photos of their dismal lighting conditions at home, in the office, etc. In return, they give away free lighting makeovers to the winners. You can be sure that those members have been hooked. The next time they’re in the market for a lighting solution, guess who they’ll turn to?
- Use geo-location and pictures to allow customers to track the progress of their project/delivery etc. For instance if you hire Martel Home Builders to execute your construction project, they will provide a geo-location tracker on their website to help you locate your contractor at all times. If your contractor is stuck in traffic on the way to your property, you’ll be able to validate his whereabouts by checking his location on their site. Geo-location services such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Google Latitude can be integrated to your site to give customers a value added experience.
- Tweet an order. Allow customers to tweet instead of calling your business to make a reservation, place an order and so on. This makes it super-easy for them to make an immediate purchase especially if they do not have your phone number at hand. For example San Chez Bistro in Grand Rapids, MI allows clients to tweet their reservations in advance and then provides them with information on where to park once they get there!
These are some interesting ways that businesses are using to convert social media fans and followers into customers. Depending on the nature of your business you may be able to replicate these ideas to suit your own brand. Why don’t you give it a try – you might be pleasantly surprised! I know I have.
Over to you: Have you tried any other social media techniques to convert followers to customers?