How do you translate social media growth to sales growth?
Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown
Great question. I know many ventures struggle with this (including myself). However, it is important to know what your goals are in aligning social media to conversions. For example, posting great content on social channels is a great way to grow your following and position yourself as an expert in that area. However, that doesn't necessarily translate into more sales or growth.
The differences are small but powerful. If you want to leverage social media to lead to sales growth you need to take a different approach. An easily example is posting about a discount or sale on your social channels, however, this may or may not lead to sales growth.
By including social integration into the purchasing process you've got a captive customer audience that you already know enjoys your products/services. That's great, but how does this work?
- During the signup offer a referral incentive to invite friends/colleagues
- During onboarding give customers direction and key information that show you value customer service and experience
- At the time of purchase offer ways to share their purchase on social media (either because they just like the product/service or because it can lead to referral incentives)
- During fulfillment let customers know you want to hear the good, bad and ugly about their experience with the purchase and what you can do to make the next experience better
- Use your social media channels to provide timely customer service and information to potential customers and/or unhappy customers (don't try to squash negative reviews the fallout will not be worth "being right")
- Be vulnerable. Customers enjoy seeing there is a human side to the business, not just a constant stream of product pitches.
- Think about how you use social media channels to interact with brands you like and what you wish you got from the brands you like on social media that you aren't getting (think about those as opportunities).
I'm not saying this will be a smooth or seamless process, and it will definitely take time. But keep at it and you'll surely see some positive outcomes. I'm getting ready to refocus my approach for the coming new year. Perhaps it is a great time for you to do the same?
Ian Smith , CEO at CargoHound
We have only been launched for 4 months but already have a solid following on social media - The secret to success is all about creating content that is relevant to the channel you are targeting. For example Twitter is about "speed to tweet" and becoming a reliable resource for industry intelligence. Facebook is more visual and less formal, while LinkedIN is great for B2B business.