Turn Fans Into customer (2)

So you’ve developed a product or a service, and used social media to spread the word about your brand. Slowly but steadily, people start ‘liking’ your product page on Facebook or tweeting about your service. However, what if your social media fans don’t actually buy your product or service? All that money you spent on sponsored ad space and web-friendly campaigns will just go down the drain. What could you do about it?

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At the Exabytes Internet Marketing Seminar (EIMS) 2016, certified digital media specialist Mugilan Chitambram from Targetzen shared valuable insight on how social media ads, especially Facebook ads, work, as well as how to turn ‘likers’ into purchasers. Here are 4 of his insights:

#1 Practice intelligent audience tracking

In the realm of social media, reach does not equal engagement. Mugilan gave the simple example of an iPhone: many people may be talking about it, but not all these people actually want to purchase a device. Their feedback could be divided into 3 types: general (The new iPhone is out today), negative (The iPhone sucks!) or positive, but made by people with no purchasing power (a young child saying that the iPhone is cool).

To get truly constructive feedback, companies need to identify highly targeted, engaged users who interact with their product or service regularly – and with good reasons to. Using the same example earlier, iPhone vendors would want focus on people who are searching online for queries such as ‘where can I get the latest iPhone’ or ‘my iPhone is broken, how do I replace it’ as potential customers. According to Mugilan, this custom method of social monitoring and listening improves results by 3x when compared to non-targeted fan marketing.

#2 Increase engagement

Highly engaged and active fans are the ones that are the most likely potential customers. As such, increasing this engaged fan base will bring about much more profits. Mugilan offered several ideas – here’s a sampling of them:

  • Ask smart, arresting questions to get fan input. According to Mugilan, this works with even small fan bases!
  • Optimize the timing of your social media posts, i.e post your breakfast promotions early in the morning or the night before
  • Host relevant Q&A sessions
  • Share humorous/ behind-the-scenes snapshots of a business, which helps fans to relate to the product/service that is being offered
  • Be responsive to fan queries – this means offering fans good ‘customer service’ even before they are customers

#3 Upsell to existing fans

Most fans of social media pages do come across company ads often. However, the nature of social media ads renders them forgettable after several hours (or at most several days). As such, Mugilan advices companies to retain fan attention via these three methods:

  • Offer ‘fan-only’ coupons to page likers, which gives fans an incentive to buy a product/service
  • Tell stories about how a product or service enhances people’s lives. The trick here is to focus more on the story, not the product – stories create emotional connections
  • Post real customer testimonials on the companies’ corporate sites and social media pages. Private social media posts, used with permission, adds authenticity to any campaign

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#4 Invest in data specialists

According to Mugilan, data scientists play a pivotal role in strengthening company social media campaigns. Catchy taglines and fuss-free apps might get you a lot of clicks – but to make sure all that actually turn into sales, nothing beats the in-depth, human analysis that a social media specialist could offer.

With social media platforms being a landmine of rich, detailed fan data, marketers would do good to study their fan base and identify highly engaged, active participants and focus on them as potential customers. Although Mugilan’s talk was delivered close to lunch hour, participants attentively took notes and many fielded him questions to on the specifics of social media campaigns for their firms. Lunch could wait, we guess!

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