How To Convert Social Media Fans into Paying Customers

By Vee Tardrew - February 26, 2014

Having a presence on social media these days is a given. SMEs, large corporates and big brands, mom-and-pop shops down the street, B2B and B2C alike are building social followers, one ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ at a time. While it’s a nice pat on the back to boast about a 467% increase in social reach last month, how is that contributing to the bottom line? Social media followers are one thing but paying customers are the ultimate objective. So how do we go about converting those followers into marketing leads? Glad you asked – here are 6 tips on social media lead generation.

The DO’s and DON’Ts of Lead Generation via Social Media

DO Share Engaging Content

Growing reach and building trust is the initial step in moving your social followers towards a buying decision. You can achieve this by sharing relevant, interesting, educational and entertaining content on a regular basis.

There were 2 key points there - the relevant bit and the regular part. In order to position yourself as an insightful industry resource you need to not only share out your own content, but curate content that is aligned with your industry and that your buyer persona will find relevant too. And you need to do this consistently and frequently. A social media account that is sporadic in posting will not garner much of an engaged following which is detrimental to conversion opportunities. Content that is likely to be commented on or shared on is ideal to growing your reach, which expands your pool of followers and prospective clients.

DO Share Your Own Content

While you should be careful to not over self-promote, it is perfectly acceptable to share your own content with your social media followers. In fact, you must do it. We try to stick to the Pareto principle of 80/20. 80% of your posts should contain curated content and 20% owned content. Your content can be your blog posts, eBooks, infographics, industry reports or case studies. Anything that is relevant and interesting for your followers.

Another tactic, which is highly effective on social media, is to offer exclusive deals to your followers. This can be in the form of coupons or discount vouchers, limited period offers, exclusive event invitations or free product trials. Any of these exclusive deals not only encourage following but help you to convert these fans to leads. 

DON’T Be a Broadcaster

This point comes back to the fact that social media is supposed to be just that – social. That implies an element of interaction and engagement in the form of personal conversation. If you are only using social media to broadcast your message without listening to what is being said, you are losing out on conversion opportunities. A tool like HubSpot's Social Inbox makes monitoring the noisy social networks easier. You can be alerted to mentions of your brand and industry keywords instantly, allowing you to respond in a timely fashion. Reach out personally to those looking for assistance in your field of expertise. A personalised message will go a long way to helping your prospects identify that you are genuinely interested in assisting them to solve their problem.

DO Make Use of Capturing Tools

Both Facebook and Twitter offer applications that allow you to capture contact information of you followers from within the platforms. Facebook makes use of 3rd party apps while the Twitter Lead Generation Card allows followers to accept an offer within a tweet and their contact information is fed directly back to you.

These are fantastic as there is less work for the user. They needn’t leave the social media platform in order to complete an action, take up a deal or show interested in an offer.

DON’T Leave Them Hanging

Once you’ve secured leads via social media they should be treated like any other lead. Enroll them in an email nurturing campaign to start moving them closer to a buying decision. The entire objective of getting them to take up an offer of sorts is to convert them to a lead and then to a paying customer. Using email is the most effective channel once they have converted from social media, taking interaction to the next level. Email is more like a private conversation and you aren’t limited to truncating your responses into a certain number of characters.

DO Track Your Lead Sources

Naturally you’re going to want to show your boss that social media marketing is contributing to pounds on the bottom line. In order to do this effectively, make sure you are able to track your social media leads right through to sales completion stage in order to be able to report on the ROI of your social media sales generation efforts.

Do you have any other tips to convert fans to customers? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.Download the All New Social Media Playbook for Business