August 8, 2013

6 Tips to Turn Followers Into Dollars using Social Media

How To Turn Followers Into Dollars


The way we see it, prospects who have shown consideration of your product are just sales waiting to happen. They want to buy from you but are waiting for the right time and the right offer. They are just lurking out there … so how do you reel them in?

Read on for our six best tips for converting your social followers into paying customers.

1Closing the Sale Using Social Media Tip #1: Ask for the Sale

Seems simple enough but you’d be surprised how many companies just wait for the customer to come to them on their own good time. Yes, each customer takes their own unique path to purchasing from you. But you have to make it easy for that to happen! Offer coupons and special sales to push them to that point of purchasing. Tempt them with new product announcements and seasonal/holiday promotions.

Share your promotions across multiple channels and at multiple times over the course of your promotion.  Tailor your message uniquely to the channel you are sharing your promotion on.  Since Twitter is more noisy than Facebook, it’s good practice to share your promotional messages 3-5 times per day for the duration of your promotion. You can do this by scheduling in advance and rotating through 5 slightly modified versions of your tweet.  On Facebook, sharing once and then promoting the post for the duration of your promotion will increase your exposure and the likelihood that your followers will see your post.

Rignite Insight: A good rule of thumb is to dedicate 20% of your social media postings to driving your community toward a sale and 80% to interesting content.  Don’t violate that rule or you risk losing those followers who are just not ready for a sale, but who follow you for the engaging content you share and will one day be ready to convert.

2Closing the Sale Using Social Media Tip #2: Use Coupons

Couponing is a tried-and-true tactic for closing the sale—and tracking the results of it. There’s a reason why your local grocery store sends out coupons on a weekly basis. Coupons are great for encouraging potential customers (who may be on the fence) to take that leap and make a purchase. Your fans want to buy your amazing, awesome products; they just need one last little push.

In the digital realm, common coupon types include:

  • $ off a purchase
  • % off a purchase
  • Buy one Get one
  • Free Shipping

Experiment with your social media following to see which coupon types get the greatest response. You might be surprised to learn that free shipping out performs even a 50% off deal (people really don’t like paying for shipping).

To get started, simply create a coupon code within your shopping cart or ecommerce platform, then tweet or post a message with the coupon code. To add a little bit more fuel to the buying fire, you’ll want to ensure there’s some urgency built into the coupon. Ensuring there’s an expiration date or only allowing for a limited number of redemptions can greatly increase the number of coupon redemptions.

3Closing the Sale Using Social Media Tip #3: Exchange Group Deals & Coupons for Massive Social Action

Kick your couponing up a notch by tying it into your fan base’s social responses. Here’s how this works. Essentially, your company starts by making a deal with its fans. They interact with your posts in a certain way, and you reward them with a special offer or coupon. These interactions could be anything from urging them to retweet your promotion, to liking your most recent Instagram picture.

Even better, fans excited to receive the offer often put it on themselves to solicit retweets and likes in order to “unlock” the deal. With this tactic, everyone wins. You grow your social presence and your fans save 15% on their next purchase at your store. Take a look below to see this strategy in action.

4Closing the Sale Using Social Media Tip #4: Utilize Facebook Offers

What happens when you combine the “virality” of a Facebook post with the revenue-driving awesomeness of a coupon? A Facebook offer.

A Facebook offer is a short-lived discount that is perfect for driving immediate sales. They are social media marketing magic for many reasons:

  • They have a built-in sense of urgency that spurs action.
  • They are shareable and “like”-able which creates organic virality (which is different than those vitamin promising organic virility . . . it’s in the second vowel).
  • They are supported by Facebook advertising which ensures that your offer is exposed to a wider audience than just your immediate community.
  • They usually increase your community size because of the above virality, giving you a whole new crop of followers and prospects to start working with.

Rignite Insight: Please note that you have to have at least 100 likes before offering a Facebook offer. There are other rules and restrictions you need to know before utilizing this great social media marketing tool so be sure to do your homework before you begin.

5Closing the Sale Using Social Media Tip #5: Don’t Forget Social Media Ads

This is one of the many, many, many cool things about social media — you can market directly to people who have taken a vested interest in your product or company by “liking” or “following” you or even by sharing their email address with you. Best of all, you can do it on social platforms native to your audience.

Rignite Insight: You can use Facebook’s ‘custom audience’ feature to provide a list of specific prospects (by email or Facebook ID) you want your ad to be shown to. This sort of targeted advertising is key for closing the sale.

6Closing the Sale Using Social Media Tip #6: Tap Into Your Email Lists

Remember all those email lists you captured through your social media efforts? Well, now’s the time to reach out to everyone on that list and encourage them to buy from you. So what’s the best way to get that sale?

Just like with social channels, the first step is asking them to buy.

A simple response (but hey, sometimes the simple way is the best way), we know, but sometimes all it takes is a message going out that encourages people to buy.

Now we’re not saying you should ask your customer’s “pretty please” to buy from you, there are plenty of other ways to ask without resorting to pleads.

Here’s just a couple of those ways:

  • Incentive a sale through using a coupon, extra points if its time sensitive
  • Incentivize a sale by offering a limited quantity, “Hurry only 10 left!” goes a long way to pushing for the sale
  • Provide updates on new product launches, encouraging your fans to be the first to own your newest, shiniest widgets!

For best results, mix-and-match the above, and don’t forget to add your own reasons!

Turning followers and prospects into paying customers is the final step in the sales process and social media can help get you there. It’s not hard, but you are dealing with very savvy and discerning customers. Using the tips above will make sure that your social activities aren’t just fun, but boost your bottom line too.

What are your tips? Add your thoughts in the comments below about how businesses can use social media to drive sales.

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About the Author
Kim Cooper

Kim Cooper is Sr. Marketing Manager at Rignite. She helps businesses get better results from their social media activity. She blogs about tips, best practices, and social media success stories.

  • Glen Kosaka

    Great advice Kim $$$

  • Brian Loebig

    Well done Kim. I use several of these tactics myself with great results…especially the Facebook offer. I wrote a blog article myself on how to create one of those. :)

    • Kim

      Hi Brian. Nice to see you here!

      And thanks for sharing your post. It has some great actionable advice for people looking to run a Facebook offer. In fact, I think it just might end up in our weekly #SocialPlus newsletter next week :)

      • Brian Loebig

        Fantastic! Thanks for creating great content to share yourself.