How to Convert Your Social Media Followers into Paying Customers

How to Convert Your Social Media Followers into Paying Customers
If you’ve been a regular on social media over the last couple of years, as most people are, you will have noticed that the promotion of brands through social media has gained a lot of momentum in a very short period of time. The reason behind this is clear. With an estimated 2.8 billion people using social media in 2016 and a 21% rise in 2017 alone, there is no doubt that we are living in the social media age. However, even if your brand page or account has a lot of followers, converting those followers into paying customers – though that is the ultimate goal – can be tricky. Here are 4 ways to turn your followers into customers.

Have a Designated Landing Page

The reasoning behind this is straightforward. If led to your home page, the user may browse, lose interest and leave. The main goal, when someone clicks on your Google Adwords or Facebook Ad, is to get their contact information, which you can then use to market your brand to them further. The best way to get a user’s email address is to offer them a lead magnet in exchange for their information. Hence, the importance of a good landing page.

Special Deals

Who doesn’t love a good deal? The very idea that you are getting something for less than the market price is enough to motivate just about anyone to go ahead and buy it (Black Friday, anyone?). If the deal is time-bound – 24 hours only, for example – this increases its value and the gives the customer a sense of urgency. Even better; market the deal only to your followers on social media. This gives an impression of exclusivity as well as affinity and, more often than not, will turn a follower into a customer faster than anything else.

Host a Contest

Fact: People love having their favourite brands share or repost one of their photos. As a follower of many brands on social media, I can assure you this is true. The best way to solicit some great customer-generated content is to host a contest. Ask your followers to post a photo of your product – or of them with your product – come up with a unique hashtag for them to include in the post, a covetable prize for the winner, and you’re set. Even though there will only be one winner, this will get your followers engaged and all of their followers will see it too, which is basically free advertising and who doesn’t want that?

Add Value

We’ve all seen those Twitter posts that went viral; you know, the ones where a customer tweets the company, maybe even with a complaint, and the brand replies quickly, solving the problem and maybe even adding in a bit of banter. That is effective marketing. It humanizes your brand and sets you apart from other brands. Responding in a timely and helpful manner will keep your existing customers happy and loyal as well as convert numerous others into paying customers.

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Pinterest Brings You Good News With New Re-Targeting Options And More!

Pinterest Updates

Pinterest is working hard to evolve their business model and develop the platform into a key hub for eCommerce. Over the past twelve months, the platform has released a range of new, business-focused tools, including native video, improved discovery tools and advanced ad tracking capabilities to better link on-platform activity to off-line purchases.

One of the most significant advances on this front was the introduction of remarketing and lookalike audience tools, which Pinterest unveiled back in June.

Pinterest Announces New Re-Targeting Options, Boosting Advertiser Potential | Social Media Today

For all those of you who are ardent pinners and have your business thriving on fellow pinners, we bring you some very good news, courtesy of Social Media Today.

Adding the capacity to re-target interested audiences is important – as has been demonstrated by the success ofsimilar tools on other platforms, reaching out to consumers who’ve already signaled some level of interest in your products, even by simply visiting your site, can be an extremely effective option.

And Pinterest has already found the same – according to Frank Fumarola from Pinterest’s product team:

“…advertisers using [Pinterest’s new targeting tools] have seen an 80% increase in clickthrough rates to their websites.”

The new targeting options have been so successful in fact that Pinterest is adding three new ways to help brands better target and focus their ad efforts.

Here’s what they’ve announced.

1. Engagement Targeting

The first new option will give advertisers the ability to target people who’ve interacted with their Pins, with the capacity to pinpoint specific engagement options – e.g. people who’ve saved a Pin, people who’ve re-Pinned a certain product.

For example, if someone saved your after school snack ideas, you could retarget them in the future with birthday party treats.”

The option will help advertisers reach users who are more likely to be responsive to their messaging, and ultimately more likely to spend. According to Pinterest’s data, people who engage with Pins are 2.2x more likely to make a purchase with that brand in the proceeding 30 days, while 87% have made a purchase after finding a product they liked on the platform.

2. Updated Website Tag

Pinterest is also updating their website tag to enable businesses to track more actions by their website visitors with which to target them on the platform.

“The Pinterest tag identifies 9 events – including signups, add to carts and purchases – allowing you to target people in more creative and effective ways. For example, you can find people who purchased running shoes from your site and offer them new exercise gear, or you can give someone that extra nudge to buy the sweater they added to their cart before the weather turns chilly.”

Given that 93% of active Pinners use the platform to plan purchases (according to research for Millward Brown), adding additional qualifiers to this type of ad targeting could prove very effective, enabling brands to better personalize and focus their outreach efforts.

The full list of events you can track with Pinterest’s new tag (as noted by Search Engine Jornal) are:

  • Page Visits: People who’ve visited one of your primary pages (e.g., a product page or article).
  • View Category: People who’ve visited your category pages.
  • Search: People who’ve searched on your website for products or store locations.
  • Add to Cart: People who’ve added items to their shopping cart on your page.
  • Checkout: People who’ve completed a purchase.
  • Watch Video: People who’ve watched your videos.
  • Signup: People who’ve signed up for your product or service.
  • Lead: People who’ve shown interest in your product or service.
  • Custom: A special event you want to include in your conversion reporting.

3. “Actalike” Audiences

Pinterest has also announced that their “lookalike” audiences will now be called “actalike” audiences.

“We’ve renamed lookalikes to actalikes because the audiences you target on Pinterest don’t just looksimilar, theyactsimilar too.”

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

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Small Businesses Should Budget For Social Media Marketing

budget for social media marketing

If you are a small business don’t get carried away with the fact that you wont need set some moolah aside for your social media campaigns.

Irrespective of your size you will need to put in some funding to promote your business, whether you have to use it bring up your SEO ranking or make your mark on the various social media platforms.

Here are some ways in which you can budget for your marketing, put together by Hostgator.

What are some effective ways to spend on social media?

Spending money on social media marketing boils down to a few different strategies, all or one of which may work best for your small business:

  • Use your budget to boost and purchase advertisements.
  • Hire an additional employee(s) to be your official social media marketer.
  • Pay someone to create photo/written/video content for your brand.

Here are six reasons why creating a budget for social media is an excellent decision.

1. High ROI Potential

Over the last two decades the world of advertisements and marketing strategies have rapidly shifted towards focusing on the Internet.

And where do people spend most of their time online? Social Media.

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram know this better than anyone and have provided incentives for businesses to purchase advertisements for less than you would pay for most other advertisements based on potential reach. Due to social media’s targeted approach, you’re much more likely to have the right potential customers viewing your ads.

2. It Gives Your Business Direction

The best businesses take the needs of people, however large, and fulfill them on a regular basis. The best advertisements figure out who these people are, and send them directly to your business. As previously mentioned, social media excels in targeting by seeking out audiences based on data patterns, or as we call it in the tech world, analytics.

As your business ages, you can use analytics to determine which products, services, and advertising strategies are (and aren’t) working for you. Paying for ads or hiring a social media analyst will be key in being able to use the data beneficially.

3. Unlimited Reach

The thing about social media ads is they don’t have a specified limit for how many people can view them. Since ads are integrated right into the social platform there’s an unlimited potential for people to share, tag, and re-post your content all over the Internet.

This is why companies create advertisements that often have nothing to do with their product until the last few seconds. If you can engage people for 15-30 seconds with something memorable, no matter how ridiculous, the amount of people who will see it can be endless, and for years after the time it’s released. If your business doesn’t have any team members capable of creating dynamic content, this might be an area where you should focus spending your budget: hiring creative content creators.

4. One Click Away

Printed advertisements have been on the decline for a number of reasons:

  • Tracking ROI is difficult and usually comes down to word of mouth.
  • The expected reach for print ads is more finite, and can be capped at how many copies are printed.
  • Print ads lack in-depth analytics about who is seeing them, and where viewers are coming from.

Internet ads, however, don’t have to deal with any of those pitfalls. Best of all, if someone feels the need to take action on your advertisement they’re only a single click away.

5. Developing A Customer Relationship

Have you ever left a comment on an advertisement you saw in a magazine? Me neither, an artfully-drawn mustache perhaps, but never a comment I would expect someone might reply to.

With social media you have the unique opportunity of creating advertisements that also develop a personal relationship with your customers. If anyone has a question, or something to compliment you on, you can answer it on the spot and thank them personally for using your service.

6. Looking Towards Permission

Even though this whole article has been discussing the benefits of ads, I have to talk about advertising as a whole. People are sick of ads.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

 

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Good Times Are Here For You Tumblr Users!

Tumblr Users can make cash out of their sites

For those of you who are unaware of what Tumblr really is, it is yet another microblogging, social media website. This is how it works, users are free to post multimedia and content that interests them to a short form blog.

And now for you folks who are seasoned Tumblr users, we bring you good word! You can not use your websites to generate some cash for yourselves. So for those of you looking to generate some extra money, why don’t you all give Tumblr a shot?

Here it has been explained as to how you can do this, all courtesy of Digital Trends.

If your Tumblr site has managed to build up a serious number of enthusiastic fans over the years, then how about some cold hard cash for your efforts?
Starting today, the Yahoo-owned company will start showing ads on its 300-million-plus blogs, and it wants to share some of the generated revenue with you.
In a post titled, “Coming soon, money from your Tumblr,” the social blogging platform outlined plans to bring ads to Tumblrs so that “people can start making money from their blogs.”

It’s not clear what form the ads will take, though it seems likely they’ll show up natively among your posts rather than anywhere else on the page. There’s no word on the revenue split either, so hold tight for more information, which Tumblr promises is coming soon.
While the ads start rolling out now, the lucre won’t start rolling in till “later this year,” the company said. And take note, site owners – you’ll first have to register your details in order to become part of the scheme. Again, those registration details are on the way.
If you’re not interested in monetizing your Tumblr blog and the thought of “ugly” ads appearing on your carefully curated site causes an instinctive grimace of disapproval, fear not. You can turn them off in settings.

Ads have for several years been appearing on a user’s dashboard page, the part of the site that pulls in posts by other Tumblr users that you follow. This latest move, however, has the potential to take ads to a much wider audience, and in turn make the company a whole lot more money, something sure to delight Verizon, which recently announced its plan to acquire parent company Yahoo for $5 billion.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

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Your Business Needs These Fantastic Five

Social Media Content Format

Step 1 is to rope in the audience you want for your product or services. Now that you know what has to be done in order to get your required audience, the next big question is what will help you keep them once you attract them.

So to solve that little problem for you we have here the 5 formats that you ought to follow, based on what you have to offer, in order to maintain your audience. These five points compiled by Heidi Cohen, you are bound to be successful in your feat.

5 Social media content formats

There are 5 key social media content formats. Each has its own specific characteristics to attract your target audience on social media.5 social media content formats

 

1. Social Media Content Format: Text

Text tends to be the densest and most difficult to consume social media content format.

Users read about 20% of the text on the average page according to usability expertJakob Nielsen. While adding additional words increases read time, visitors only read about 18% of them. Attract blog post attention - consider word length-Jakob Nielsen

 

50% of Americans read at the 8th grade level. Reading level is often measured by Fleishman-Kincaid tests. If you use the Yoast plug-in on your blog, it checks the readability level.

US Reading Level Chart

 

Write easy-to-understand information on novel topics to convert text social media content into social media shares.

Social Media Content Format

900 words is the sweet spot for blog post length according to Orbit Media’s Blog Survey. But 8% of bloggers are going deeper with 1,500 words.

Average Number of Words In Typical Blog Post-Orbit Media Chart

 

Social media options

  • Blogs are the jewel in the crown of social media. You own the content and the media entity. You retain all intellectual property rights. BTW, blogs also handle other social media content formats! (For a deeper conversation as to why blogging isn’t dead, check my view, Chris Brogan’s view and Gini Dietrich’s view.)
  • LinkedIn Publishing (as well as PDFs on LinkedIn Slideshare) enable everyone to publish long form content.
  • Medium remains below the radar as a social media entity. It’s worth using.
  • Facebook Articles and Twitter are expanding the amount of text allowed. (BTW, Ann Handley called BS on Facebook for saying that text was going to disappear. )

 

It’s important to note that you can republish your blog posts on LinkedIn Publishing and Medium. BUT there’s a good chance it can be considered duplicate content.

Text Social Media Content Format Strengths:

  • Provides in-depth information on your offering.
  • Offers broader audience (when used on LinkedIn Publishing and Medium)
  • Supports search marketing (when used in your blog.)
  • Links to your offering (most frequently on a blog.)

Text Social Media Content Format Weaknesses:

  • Looks intimidating. TH;DR (Too Hard; Didn’t Read) The data backs this up.
  • Takes time and skills to create quality text content.

Actionable social media content format tips to improve text readership:

  • Make your text lines look short and easy to read. (Hat tip: Derek Halpern) Screenshot of Social Triggers' Use of Good Content Formatting
  • Use short sentences and short paragraphs. They’re more inviting to read.
  • Outline content and bold important lines to guide readers.
  • Select short words. (Hat tip: Winston Churchill)

 

2. Social Media Content Format: Images

Images include a variety of options: pictures, photographs, charts, infographics, cartoons and even activity books. (BTW, I wrote Marketo’s Let’s Get Visual ebook. )

74% of social media marketers use images according to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Research.

Photographs are truly worth a thousand shares if you use the correct one.

  • 10% of all of the photographs made in the entire history of photography were made last year.
  • 1.8 billion photos are uploaded and shared per day.

Social media options

  • Instagram is a mobile app designed to make everyone look good in photos.
  • Blogs. Every post should include at least 1 image. Andy Crestodina recommends at least 1 image per major point. Here’s an example from his 2014 Blogger Survey. It includes a chart and a photo.Blogger Survey of 1000 Bloggers-orbit media
  • Facebook can include a variety of different images including photos. Posts containing photos receive a 37% increase in engagement according to  Dan Zarrella.
    Facebook: Photos Trump Other Social Media Content Formats - Charts by Dan Zarrella

    Facebook: Photos Trump Other Social Media Content Formats – Charts by Dan Zarrella

  • Twitter can include photos and other images.
  • Pinterest is image rich. Use Pinterest to promote your blog columns! 

Include an image to attract readers, engagement and shares across social media platforms.

Image Social Media Content Format Strengths:

  • Attracts attention. People are visual. We process images 60X faster than text!
  • Improves results for other content formats.
  • Easy to create and to consume.

Image Social Media Content Format Weaknesses:

  • Aren’t search-friendly. Without text, people may not find your images.
  • Don’t necessarily show your brand or logo. (aka: Accidental branding)
  • May be a by-product of a subject that reflects negatively on your brand. 

Actionable social media content format tips to improve image use:

  • Tag people in your images. Identify people where appropriate to expand the social media conversation.
  • Name your images. Add search relevant text to improve your search results.
  • Spotlight customers and fans. Ask customers for photos (with permission to use them).
  • Show your audience how to style your product. This type of content works great on Pinterest.
  • Participate in memes. #TBT (aka #ThrowBackThursday) is a great opportunity to show your business history. Ford does this well on Facebook.
    Ford's #TBT - Photos

    Ford’s #TBT – Photos

3. Social Media Content Format: Video

Social media sites have expanded their capability to support video. Facebook predicts  that video will be the social media content format in 5 years.Heidi Cohen on Video

According to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Research:

  • 60% of social media marketers use videos.
  • 14% of social media marketers use live videos. Mike Stelzner cited live video as the leading social media trend.

Live video is 2016’s darling of the social media content formats. Live video presents a raw view of the world. You have to be willing to be a real person, warts and all. Social Boom’s Kim Garst, the diva of Periscope, admitted she had to get over the wall between public and private.

Video Social Media Content Format

Kim Garst on Periscope

Social media options

  • YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. It should be part of your social media strategy. Here’s an B2C example from 2 Danish brothers, called Slikhaartv.Social media video content
  • Facebook Live. Follow Mari Smith.Mari Smith Creates Facebook Live Content
  • Periscope (Part of Twitter)
  • Snapchat is no longer just for kids.
  • Blogs are another way to distribute video content. Spin Sucks’ Gini Dietrich has a regular Saturday curation column called Gin and Topics.Spin Sucks Gin & Tonic Logo
  • LinkedIn Slideshare also supports video content.
  • Google Hangouts provide a video experience.

 

Video Social Media Content Format Strengths:

  • Are easy to consume. Even better they’re like tv and movies.
  • Attract viewer attention due to the movement.

 Video Social Media Content Format Weaknesses:

  • Has a lot of professional competition.
  • Requires professional support to create quality content. (Read: Expensive.)

 Actionable social media content format tips to improve video use:

  • Create branded intro and conclusion. Include branded visuals and sound to build consistency and an audience.
  • Tape live events and conferences to expand your reach.
  • Start using video to build your skills. Follow Jay Baer’s example.
    How Jay Baer Creates His Jay Today Videos

 

4. Social Media Content Format: Audio

Supported by Apple’s iTunes store, audio has experienced growth.
10% of social media marketers use audio according to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Research.

As a marketer, consider that audio can play a variety of different roles.

  • Fresh-to-audio content. Use audio for interviews and talking heads.
  • Read text content. Like children we like hearing information read to us. It’s the power of the human voice. Ironically magazines have taped their content for the blind.
  • Music can be shared as audio or video.
  • Live content. Tape speeches and other events for broader audiences.

 

Social media options

Not quite social media options

  • iTunes (Apple) is a must have distribution for podcasts and audio versions of text content.
  • Amazon can be used to distribute longer content for a price. Think audio books.

 

Audio Social Media Content Format Strengths:

  • Gives your content a human voice.
  • Is under-utilized. Social Media Examiner’s Mike Stelzner has been promoting podcasts for years.

Audio Social Media Content Format Weaknesses:

  • Is often a secondary activity such as exercise and drive time.
  • Requires good production quality. 

Actionable social media content format tips to improve audio use:

  • Create an audio logo to makes your audio content recognizable.
  • Add audio content to your blog to expand your regular columns.

 

5. Social Media Content Format: Presentations

Presentations are often talks without the talk track. Think PowerPoint come to life and webinars.

Presentations work best when they take advantage of the visual format.

Social media options

  • LinkedIn SlideShare dominates the presentation space. It’s easy to integrate into other social media platforms and allows slides to be clipped. BTW, it’s great for B2B marketing.

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