How to Use Social Media to Drive Conversions
Throughout the last decade, the rise of new technologies, diverging cultural trends, and the boundless growth of innovative platforms have together helped social networks evolve into the colossal influencers that they are today. According to statistics recently published by global agency We Are Social, the number of social media users worldwide in 2018 totaled almost 3.2 billion, up 13% year-over-year. Without a doubt, it’s a phenomenon that has ultimately triggered a great shift in the way the world communicates. And for digital practitioners, social media is a powerful tool to help drive conversions and ROI.
These facts alone should turn the heads of digital practitioners at companies both large and small; cause enough to consider the opportunities that such an influential tool can have on B2B marketing campaigns, and go-to-market strategies in general. But, before you decide to go all in on social channels, it is vitally important that you understand the landscape in your industry. The social media crowd is an ever-changing beast — never static and always in motion. Users come and go quickly, their interests wane depending on what’s fashionable. The benefits of a well-executed social campaign can be immediate if the right notes are struck with your target audience. That said, if you’re out of tune, a meaningful percentage of your marketing budget could be wasted without much return.
For most businesses, the overarching goals of any social project will be to build brand awareness, boost engagement, and then of course drive conversions. If your bottom line is not moving upwards and right on the metaphorical — or literal — line graph, then the investment of both time and resources cannot be justified. With this in mind, we’ve put together a selection of social media marketing strategies that you can implement to drive more conversions and boost your ROI.
Unquestionably the greatest aspect of social media is that you can reach people from Asia to North America, and everything in between, with the simple click of a button. Yet, as anyone who has set up an international virtual meeting will testify, connecting with people across borders can be a challenge in itself. So, unless you want to deprive yourself of sleep and work 24-hour days multiple times a week, you need to be scheduling your posts to beat the distance.
To do this effectively, first take a deep dive into your analytics and research your audience to determine the best networks to use in each region. Are they using Facebook? Most definitely. Are they scrolling through the feeds of Twitter and Instagram? Possibly. Is LinkedIn likely to be open on their browsers? Perhaps. Should you do some digging to learn if they are using networks you haven’t even heard of? Unequivocally, yes. Much of your interaction with your followers should be scheduled according to peak use times within individual time zones — people trust reliability, regularity, and consistency. If you’re connecting and starting online conversations at the most convenient times during the week — whether live or through automated tools — you’re undoubtedly going to start building trust and a positive reputation that will, in turn, lead to long-term brand loyalty and a better ability to drive conversions.
Content Creation (and Resharing)
Throughout your initial investigations, you should — hopefully — have begun noticing patterns emerging around the type of social content being consumed and shared more frequently in respective target regions. Some may gravitate toward thought-pieces, others might be drawn to e-books and video testimonials — whatever the trends are, you’ll quickly learn what content needs to be increased and what gaps in your coverage need to be filled.
The key component of any successful B2B content strategy is a cadence of new, informative, and diverse material for your audience to absorb. Your prospective customers want to know that they are dealing with experts who understand the intricate ins and outs of their industry. Every time you publish a fresh blog post, white paper, or case study, you’re showing your current and potential customers how much you know about your space, the everyday challenges they face, and how obstacles can be overcome. Then, when their buying cycles come around, they will remember that your organization had answers to complex questions and provided knowledge that helped them understand and address their pain points — a critical factor that will drive conversions in both the short and long-term.
Now, this all sounds relatively straightforward; and it is (providing you have the resources). What might seem less obvious is that resharing old, evergreen, content is just as important. Consider these statistics for a second: on Instagram, only 10% of your audience will see your post; on Twitter, the half-life of a tweet is 24 minutes; and on Facebook, organic reach hovers at 2%. These figures underline just how saturated the social media playground is and reveal the small window of time you have in which to reach your audience before your posts get buried under an avalanche of news updates and selfies.
What this all means is that your desired audience may never have even seen your content to begin with. Thus, on most social channels, it simply doesn’t make sense to share your posts just once. Resharing material gives your followers the best chance to read it and also stretches the value of your strongest assets. If you do employ this tactic, though, be sure to tweak your messaging every time you repost: ask a different question, use an alternative call to action, vary the quotes you use, create fresh visuals — essentially, try to stay original despite the fact that you’re also recycling material. In short, don’t subject your best content to a ‘one and done’ post.
This point is twofold. First, the actual posts themselves. We all know that every social network has its own formatting quirks, each of them handling text, images, videos, and links differently. It is imperative, therefore, that you are knowledgeable about the strengths and characteristics of all the platforms you are utilizing so that you can optimize your output. For example, posts with location tagged on Instagram get 79% more engagement than those without; the best time for B2B businesses to tweet is 3 p.m. on weekdays; and Facebook videos receive 135% more organic reach on average than a Facebook photo — know what works and where to ensure you’re giving yourself the best chance to capture and drive conversions.
Second, your landing pages. In this context, I’m not simply referring to landing pages in the traditional sense, meaning those containing promotions, advertisements, or access to gated assets. Instead, consider all the pages on which you want a visitor to land, whether they are blog posts, a product page, or a webinar sign-up form. Deliver what you promised — ensure the copy in your post communicates the value of the page and your visuals convey the primary message. Your social media channels and your website should be very closely aligned so take the time double-check your links and ensure that your messaging is on brand.
Beginning and maintaining an effective presence on social media to increase brand awareness, customer allegiance, and drive conversions will not happen overnight. It takes time, focused research and patience. The social media landscape is constantly and rapidly changing — and as such, you should continually be analyzing your performance and experimenting with new techniques to engage users, better reach your target audience and ultimately, drive conversions. Social media is the vehicle for reaching billions of people, essential to not only vectoring in on not only your key targets, but entering new and lucrative markets. Putting in the time to execute the right strategy out-the-gate could represent untold benefits in terms of ROI, profits and conversions. And with 3.2 billion people (and growing) to target, the possibilities are endless.