The first thing to say is that most users come to social media platforms for leisure, information and entertainment rather than to see marketing messages. Around 80 percent of your content should be engaging and deliver a subtly branded, pleasurable experience. You can read another article on how to do that, but here are some tips on making the all-important social media conversions.
Understand your audience
“Entertaining” and “pleasurable” and “informative” are subjective terms. My interest in collecting Victorian spoons may not appeal to a thrash metal aficionado. The point is that pleasing your audience depends on understanding what they like and therefore what they want to see. How do you know?
Your first-party data should already tell you plenty about your users: what they buy, their ages, where they live, their gender, their comments and reviews. Which previous posts have they most liked or responded to? Check your latest data to see what most interests your social audience.
Also consider related topics. For example, if you sell luxury holidays, it’s possible that your audience is also interested in travel news, travel clothing, photography, luggage or inspirational quotes about travel. You can try some of these and follow the data to identify trends.
Produce relevant content
A common mistake is for companies to create too much content that the company thinks is important: new discounts, new offers, product information etc. Since your users are probably also your customers, this is true to some extent, but users will not return if this is the only content. You need the good will and interest of your users 80 percent of the time so that they are responsive to the 20 percent of posts that need to convert.
When the time comes to post strategic content, it still needs to appeal to your user’s interests. Your selling messages need to embody what inspires the audience. So information about a new holiday should use language and imagery of adventure or inspiration. This is not just an “offer” – it’s a chance to experience a thrilling adventure the user may not have considered.
You have to bring the message alive using the same tools you use to engage and delight your audience. It should fit into the overall flow of your feed. Maybe it won’t even look like a sales post because it has the same level of interest and visual appeal. This is just the beginning. The next steps will be crucial for social media conversions.
Use persuasion techniques
You can tell your social media users about something, but it’s better if they discover it for themselves. People are always more persuaded by what they think than what they’re told. One way to do this is by using social proof. Positive reviews from satisfied customers, for example, show that the offer is objectively good – not just because you say so.
User-generated content is valuable for the same reason. Photos, comments and replies from real people give credibility to your brand – something that’s especially important for Generation Z (born 1997-2012).
Social media conversions and video
Generation Z also tends to prefer video to text. Remember that your message is going to appear on screen as the user scrolls through hundreds of others, looking at each for just a second. Your challenge is to stop that scrolling and make the user pause so the rest of your message can work.
Video is very flexible. It allows you to show a product or an experience being used so that your audience can empathize and project their desires. You don’t have to say “Imagine yourself in beautiful Mumbai” – you can show beautiful Mumbai with Indian music and various local details. A product video, meanwhile, answers questions about size and operation, avoiding the kinds of questions that could prevent social media conversion.
Video also gives you two chances to convert: once in the video itself, which creates a brand experience and which can use captions to give information, then again in the post text – which the user is more likely to read if they have stopped scrolling to watch your video. Again, be sure that the video content matches your audience’s interests and remains consistent.
Have a good CTA
You’ve captured the user’s attention with good and interesting content, but now you need to convert this into a click or other action. Your call to action should be clearly visible – consider a button, bold text, capital letters or a separate line – and also tempting. “Learn more” might work for somebody who has already decided they want to buy, but some people will need an extra incentive.
The right CTA for your audience may be the one that recognizes their interests and motivations. It could be something like “Book your luxury summer getaway!” or “Start your bucket list now” or “Discover a whole world of travel” – all of which are a little more exciting than “Learn more.”
Optimize your landing page or site
OK, so your user has enjoyed the social media post and clicked on the CTA. The next steps are crucial because you still haven’t got a conversion. Wherever the click takes them – purpose-built landing page or website – needs to be prepared to help the user seamlessly continue the journey they started when they stopped scrolling.
This means that the landing page should look like a natural next step from the social post. Are the design and branding similar? Are the fonts and colors the same? Is it clear from the copy (without repeating) that they have arrived at the right place?
It’s important to be clear about what they have to do next. Keep navigation clean and clear. Don’t spend too much time explaining or providing context because they came here with the intention of continuing. Explain clearly what the product or offer is and how to buy it
Again, ensure that any CTA is totally clear and persuasive. The user should now have all the information they need to make a decision. To be safe, you might also add an option to ask questions or a FAQ section to cover any questions you haven’t already covered.
Use social commerce for conversions
Sales purists will say that the step from the post to the landing page or website is not only a dangerous place to lose the social media conversion but also unnecessary in the age of social commerce. This is when the social media post includes tags or other options that allow users to learn more about a product or buy it without leaving the social platform they’re on. Social commerce generated around $724 billion of revenue in 2022.
Social shopping is available on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok, offering features such as ads with product tags, virtual storefronts, product description pages, customizable product collections, direct messaging for customer questions and shopping lists.
Finally, remember that it’s always easier to convert an audience that is already loyal to your brand and a regular follower of your organic social content. You don’t have to cold convert. You build on the good faith your social content has built consistently.
Social media conversions – the summary
As you see, it isn’t rocket science. There are a few simple guidelines you can follow to boost your social media conversions. Try them and you’ll soon see a change.