Generating new leads is a fundamental part for the success of any online business.
After all, you can’t make sales without leads. So coming up with ways to gather those leads is a challenge that every online retailer butts up against at some point.
One of the most effective ways to find new potential customers is through social media engagement. But that is a tricky prospect in and of itself.
As AdWeek points out, despite the prevalence of shopping and social options available to them, consumers simply aren’t engaging with the platforms to buy products.
The same article, however, points out that social media generally plays a vital role early on in the sales funnel both as a research tool and influencer.
One study has shown less than half of Facebook users have ever bought something after clicking on a post or link. Still, 87 percent of online shoppers say social media plays an important role in helping them make shopping decisions.
The takeaway here is that there is significant opportunity to engage with potential customers through your social media. While it shouldn’t be seen as an end in and of itself, it is certainly a means to an end.
After all, people who follow you on social media have clearly shown an interest in what you have to offer. So converting these followers into leads should be a no-brainer.
Enhance Your Engagement
It’s clear that promoting your band through social media is integral to success, but developing these channels isn’t what will get you sales. No, the key here is engagement.
Here are a couple tips to help you foster a stronger relationship with your potential customers and turn those followers into leads, and eventually into sales.
1. Active and Consistent Responses
Building a worthwhile relationship with your audience is one of the most important facets of any social media strategy.
Customers aren’t looking to be inundated with social media messaging – indeed, this might scare many of them off. So hacking or creating viral content just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Instead, what audiences are looking for is responsive conversation and meaningful interaction. Don’t think of your social media sites as a pulpit, think of them as a two-way radio.
If your followers ask you a question, try to respond to them quickly, accurately, and with kindness. If done properly, this can bolster your post’s organic reach and visibility on news feeds.
Avoid using cut-and-paste responses publically. They may work fine in private messages but look bad when used again and again on public comments.
2. Don’t Just Discuss Your Brand
Try branching out with your comments.
Presumably, your company operates within a specific market segment. Try and post engaging content that talks about various aspects of your industry.
This shows that you’re an expert in your field while allowing the opportunity for followers to interact with you.
3. Engage With Groups
For many starting out in the ecommerce business, they won’t have much of a social media following. One of the best ways to gather like-minded individuals and companies together is to create or join groups.
Avoid interacting with random groups. Instead, get involved with groups that are related to your business.
If you’re selling watches it doesn’t make much sense to join a group dedicated to travel.
You should also considering creating your own groups on social media platforms. You can invite important influencers and potential customers to join the discussions and all the while demonstrate your expertise in the field.
Promoting just your own brand looks tacky. No one likes a show off.
Try to treat social media as an ecosystem where everyone can lift each other up as they progress. This will make you look good in the eyes of your customers and demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about.
4. Use The Right Images
Time after time, studies have shown that visuals matter.
According to one Buzzsumo report, adding visuals to a Facebook post will garner 2.3-times the engagement of one without an image. Tweets with images often generate 150 percent more retweets compared to text-only posts.
This doesn’t mean that you should overload your posts with images though. The key here is quality.
You’re not able to change or modify what image appears connected to a link preview, but there are some tools which can help you manage this.
ShareKit is an excellent option for customizing what’s displayed when you share a link on social media.
5. Add Relevant Hashtags
Another way to get more eyes on your posts is through the effective use of hashtags.
The # symbol allows keywords to stand out within the post itself and they also help track discussions about specific topics while connecting with people.
Don’t go hashtag crazy though. Avoid inundating your viewership with hashtags. It makes your posts look messy and difficult to read.
Instead, make sure the hashtag relates to your audience or that it can help you reach them. That’s the only reason it should be included in your post.
There are a number of examples of successful hashtag campaigns. Take, for example, Oreo’s 2018 #OreoHorrorStories campaign.
The company launched the campaign during Halloween, posting parodies of scenes from famous horror movies with an Oreo in the lead.
It endeared them to fans and started trending during the holiday season, just as people were deciding what sweets to buy to hand out to trick-or-treaters.
Social media is about fostering relationships.
Ultimately, there are nearly an infinite number of ways to engage with your audience through social media. A couple of others include creating polls and surveys or asking for reviews and general feedback.
If you can improve your social media game, you can get more followers. Those followers are now leads that can potentially be converted into sales.
Just try to plan out your strategy and execute on it. Thoughtful and proper engagement with your various social networks will yield positive results for your bottom line.
Also remember that social media is constantly evolving. So be sure to stay on top of your game and you’ll be able to effectively engage, gather more leads, and eventually make sales.