Modern businesses can no longer afford to treat social media as an afterthought. The data speaks for itself:
- Customers spend 20-40% more on brands that have interacted with them on social.
- 77% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy from brands they follow on social.
- 76% of consumers have purchased a product they’ve seen in a brand’s social post.
- 77% of millennials make a purchase online or in-store after seeing a product on FB.
Whether you’re just getting started with social media or want to level up your current efforts, ‘likes’ are a good place to start. The problem is that most brands don’t consider the ‘why’ behind wanting to increase the number of likes on their FB page. Even the social platforms have started to admit that likes and other vanity metrics don’t cut it – and they’re pulling some of these to focus on more quantifiable metrics.
Facebook Likes vs Follows
Once someone follows your page, they’ll begin to see the content you’re sharing. If the social posts they see from you are helpful, entertaining, and relevant, they’ll likely click on the articles you share. Now that prospect is reading your content, listening to your perspective and considering what you say when researching products and services.
Liking your page, however, doesn’t mean people follow you in their feed. Here’s the difference:
When someone “likes” a page, they also, by default, “follow” it. This means they’ll see that page’s content updates in their Facebook feed. They can choose to unfollow and still like a page. In that case, the page would still be listed with other pages the person “likes” within their profile, but they would no longer see your updates in their feed.
A person can follow a company’s FB page with or without liking the page. This means that they’ll see that company’s FB posts in their feed. Under the “Follow” button on a company page is a drop-down menu with two options: ‘See first’ and ‘unfollow’. ‘See first’ means that the person will see that company’s updates above others in their feed. This is the most valuable type of follow. If a person simply chooses to follow a company page (but does not select ‘see first’), Facebook’s algorithm (EdgeRank) will determine when the company’s posts appear in their feed.
Follow the 80/20 Rule
If all you share is content about your brand, your followers will hit that unfollow button faster than you can say “Wait!” (watch this quick video to hear why). Companies that include a balanced mix of created and curated content, however, realize a 10X higher conversion rate, according to Jay Baer at Convince & Convert.
Share relevant content from credible outside sources. No more than 20% of the content you share should promote your brand. This way, your followers will not only hang around, they’ll be more likely to think of you when they do have a question or are ready to make a purchase. Organic social media is all about engaging followers and building relationships. A few ways to add value to their feed:
- Ask questions
- Answer questions
- Uncover challenges
- Offer solutions
- Share thumb-stopping visuals
- Above all, be human—this is how you connect on a deeper level with your audience and turn prospects into customers!
Organic vs Paid
Paid social media ads can help you reach those who don’t know about your brand (a typical Facebook user clicks on 8 Facebook ads per month). What it can’t do is engage with people in the same way organic social media can. After following a brand on social media, 87% of consumers report visiting their website or app and 78% report visiting their physical store, if one exists. That’s why you need a strategic mix of both organic and paid social media engagement.
The more a prospect visits your website, reads your content, and researches your products or services, the more qualified they become as a lead, and the greater your chances are of converting them to a customer. This is why sharing occasional offers is important. In fact, recent research from Sprout Social showed that 72% of consumers want to see information about discounts and sales on social media while just 18% of marketers post this type of information. When consumers see special offers and discounts, they’re more likely to click for a free trial or to make a purchase.
Post-Purchase Engagement is Key
Building a loyal fan base requires ongoing engagement with your customers. Below we’ll describe a few ways to build deeper relationships with your customers.
Encourage and Respond to Every Customer
Yes, that means the bad ones too! Deleting a poor review looks unprofessional and can cause potential customers to take their business elsewhere. Responding let’s prospects and customers know you care.
Provide Relevant Answers
Answer product/service questions and concerns quickly and professionally. Social media has become customers’ preferred platform for communicating with brands. If you’re not there listening, your competitors will be.
Share Content Your Audience Cares About
Share helpful content specifically for customers, such as:
- insider tips
- how-to videos
- pre-launch info
- special offers
Over time your customers will begin recommending you to their own social networks, effectively acting as ambassadors for your brand. In fact, 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family.
Building your social media presence is a long-term proposition. Turn likes into loyalty by combining organic social media engagement with strategic paid ad campaigns. You’ll create brand awareness, build trust, and encourage loyalty; all of which lead to a stronger bottom line for your business.