Did you know that Instagram and Facebook are now two of the main platforms that consumers use to research products online?
This means that social media marketing plays a huge role in driving sales. At least, it does for brands that have optimised their social media conversion strategy. Meanwhile, many others are missing out on vital lead generation opportunities due to a handful of simple mistakes.
Use these three tactics to correct those mistakes and get your social media marketing working for you!
3 Ways to Increase Your Social Media Marketing Conversion Rates
1. Make it easy for followers to become customers
The reason your social traffic isn’t converting into website traffic, newsletter sign ups or sales could be simpler than you imagine. It’s likely that you’ve been putting obstacles in your audience’s way without realising it.
As a general rule, you should minimise the number of clicks required to take the user from your social media post to completing a purchase (or sign up, depending on your campaign goals).
You can streamline this process by taking advantage of the functionalities unique to each social media platform. For example, while Instagram won’t let you add working links to captions, you can direct users to your website with the ‘swipe-up’ feature in Stories. This is vastly preferable to a caption that urges them to “Check out the link in our bio!”, because that would require several more clicks.
For the same reason, a clearly worded Call to Action can drastically improve your social media conversion rate. Remember, you’re trying to make this as easy as possible for your audience. Don’t post a photo and a link in the same general vicinity and hope they will draw the connection. Tell them exactly why they should click the link, and what they can expect to find when they do. Ideally, you’ll be able to do this succinctly, and in your brand tone of voice.
Having mastered the social media end of the funnel, you may find that users are clicking through to your website — but you still have a high bounce rate. Essentially, you’re getting customers through the door, but they’re leaving without making a purchase.
In this case, consider whether you’re sending them to the right part of your website. If your social media content was centred around a specific product, ensure that you link directly to the relevant product page. If a follower is expecting to land on an e-commerce page where they can purchase a specific pair of trainers, but you’ve linked to your homepage instead, they’re unlikely to waste time hunting around your site for the relevant page. That’s a lost sale. It could also mean the permanent loss of a potential customer’s interest.
The next thing you can do is make sure your landing pages are mobile friendly. The majority of social media users access the platforms on their phones or mobile devices, so that’s how they’ll be viewing your website too. Make sure it looks fantastic, is easy to navigate, and offers a clear route to purchase in the fewest clicks as possible.
Once you’ve made sure you’re linking to the correct user-friendly page, double-check those links! If a user responds to your CTA only to be faced with a broken link, they’re much less likely to click on your links in future. It also sends a clear message that your brand isn’t all that slick. It’s an embarrassment best avoided!
2. Test and improve your posts
Testing is a central component of any effective digital marketing strategy. In fact, you’ve likely already used A/B testing (also known as split testing) to increase conversions from your email marketing.
Why not do the same for your social media campaigns? When you run a paid ad on social media, you can opt to show different versions to different users within the same audience. By diving into the resulting data provided by native analytics tools or external social media management services, you’ll be able to ascertain which version scored the best average conversion rate. Your aim is simple — find out what works, and do more of it!
You can A/B test any number of variables. Compare two ads with different graphic design elements to see which prompts the most conversions. Compare differently worded Calls to Action, video posts against photo posts, or even different types of humour.
Of course, you can also create identical ads that send users to different landing pages. The problem may not be on the social media end of the funnel, after all. Which landing page prompts more purchases or sign ups?
This isn’t something you’ll do just once. Continual conversion optimization requires continual testing, and the more data you have at your disposal, the better.
If you don’t fancy a crash course in Google Analytics and the like, you can hire a social media marketing service — or even better, a specialist creative agency on a social media marketing contract.
Either way, it’s important to conduct tests, respond to the data, and continually improve your approach. Your efforts will be rewarded with a conversion rate that’s many times higher than it could ever be through guesswork.
3. Create compelling content
The key to content marketing is compelling content. Unsurprisingly, improving the quality of your content is one of the most effective ways to boost your social media conversions.
Comedy is one of the most effective ways to craft content that audiences want to seek out, engage with and share. Funny content has the unique power to entertain and educate at the same time, and a Call to Action disguised as a joke will often succeed where a flat-out sales pitch will fail.
But that’s a topic for another day. Right now we’re concerned with how that quality content (comedy or otherwise) is going to directly drive conversions.
Firstly, sharing irresistible content is the only surefire (and cost effective) way to boost brand awareness on social media. When followers engage with your posts — whether liking, sharing or commenting — you’ll benefit from an algorithmic boost and your posts will be shown to an exponentially wider audience. More and more people will become aware of your brand and see your CTAs. Clearly, if more people are given the opportunity to convert, you’ll see an overall increase in conversions (even if the percentage of viewers who convert doesn’t increase). But there’s more to it than that.
As brand awareness increases, your follower count will naturally increase too. People will like or follow your page because they want to see more of your content. While the primary benefit of this is that your regular organic audience increases, a secondary benefit is that a high follower count acts as social proof.
When other potential customers view your page and see thousands of followers, they are given the impression that your brand is trusted and well-liked by many. This puts them in the perfect frame of mind to respond to your Calls to Action — in other words, they’re more likely to convert.
This is closely related to the idea of brand advocacy. When you post content that your followers love to share (because it’s entertaining, useful or aesthetically pleasing) they essentially act as free ambassadors for your brand. It’s another form of social proof. New potential customers are far more likely to convert if a friend has recommended they do so — either by explicitly endorsing your brand in their own words, or simply hitting Retweet or Share.
Even better, when you create content your followers enjoy, they’re likely to reciprocate. We call this ‘user generated content’. If your product lends itself to being photographed, customers are likely to share photos and videos of their purchases on social media. This is the most overt form of social proof, and as such, it has huge potential to drive conversions.
If your product or service doesn’t naturally lend itself to being photographed (or your followers just aren’t taking the hint), you’ll have to get creative. You can’t control what your followers post, of course. But you can encourage them by regularly posting attractive and inspirational content, making a policy of Retweeting user generated content with a relevant Call to Action, and even running competitions where posting photo or video content is a condition of entry.
By applying these three tactics, brands of any size in any industry can work towards optimising conversion rates and score more conversions overall. Sales and sign ups, here you come! Just remember to:
- Make it as easy as possible for potential customers to convert
- Test rigorously, and improve constantly
- Get creative with your content
If you need a little help with any of these — or you’re keen to learn more about why comedy could be the key to unlocking content that sends your conversion rate through the roof — then we should definitely talk.