How can brand reallocate marketing budget - focusing on e-commerce, decrease OOH and increase OTT are just some of the things marketers are thinking...
Winning the social media popularity contest may not bring you actual sales
There's no doubt that many likes make your brand look more credible, but it doesn’t say anything about the actual conversion.
Yes! We’ve reached 5000 followers on our Facebook page, it’s a reason to celebrate. We’ve been doing everything to get those additional 200 accounts that we lacked to click “like”.
But wait… at the same time we didn’t really sell a lot of products. How is it possible? They all follow us on social media, so why don’t they buy?
Unfortunately, however great these 5000 followers look, it is not what the social media game really is about for your business. There is no doubt that many likes make your brand look more credible in the eyes of visitors and may increase their interest in your content, but it doesn’t say anything about the actual conversion. Having 5000, 10000 or even more followers won’t help your company if you don’t know how to convert them into paying customers.
Competing for the wrong numbers
If you find this situation relatable, you’re not alone. Thousands of companies fall into the trap of chasing wrong metrics, having failed to find appropriate KPIs for their social media strategy and looking at wrong data. The success in selling online is not reflected in the number of likes and followers, because these can dramatically change even overnight.
Let’s stop and think for a second. Who is more likely to buy your products? Someone who follows you, because the memes you repost are funny, or someone who is truly interested in what you do? Marketers happen to think that if they get more people to like their posts, the number of new visitors to the website will also raise. This can happen – but only if the content is relevant and aligned with the brand story, i.e. tells visitors what the business is really about. Approaching marketing campaigns with an analytics-first mindset tends to make companies create content for the metrics and not for their consumers. Instead of focusing on the audience’s expectations, they test, test and test – and people know it, because it’s not hard to notice. Even if the content is decorated with perfect hashtags and posted during the audience’s peak activity times – it just won’t work the way you want if you don’t post what people want to engage with.
Change the competition in time
The solution lies in making people follow your account for reasons connected to what the company is actually about – not for anything else. In order to do this, you need to define a goal first. What do you want to achieve through the activity on social media platforms? When you know it – focus on coming up with some really good content. Good content will help you build relationships, communities and engage with your audience… right! Engagement – this is what you should care about! Not only will it lead to getting potential customers to engage with your business, but also help you benefit from social media platforms’ algorithms for growth – instead of letting them push your content so far down the feed that no one will scroll there before the next Christmas.
Investing in great content will attract people who are really interested in what you do – not in what you (re)post to gain more likes. Original blog posts can generate awareness and drive visits to your site. Valuable courses can convert the traffic into leads. Engaging ebooks can encourage people to sign up for free and when they sign up – you have a chance to convert leads into paying customers! However, you need to remember that only relevant content will result in the target audience visiting your profile. Telling the brand story on social media will lead you to getting rid of the gap between people who follow you for different reasons but being interested in your products.
Ask yourself whether your followers have a potential of converting into paying customers and follow only the accounts that can add value to your social media strategy. You will surely admit that it’s better to be liked by fewer accounts which are authentic and are likely to pay for your products instead of speaking to… exactly, to an audience that will never convert, because they are here for different reasons. Coming back to the matter of engagement, think about it – posts with lower engagement rate but a very strong CTA can drive more profile visits or even sales than those collecting meaningless likes and fake comments. These create a short-term engagement which doesn’t bring people down the sales funnel.
So what truly matters? Shares, clicks and reach. The more people get to see your content, the more of them will eventually click on it. The moment they click, you have them on your landing page and you have a higher chance to convert them into real paying customers… and hopefully retain them as well. Retention can actually influence your bottom line more than collecting new followers. Therefore, you need to focus on real connections and utilize trackable links to observe conversion from social media platforms to a landing pages or website. Something that helps if utilized well are hashtags – but only if you find those which are relevant to your product and aligned with the overall brand image. Otherwise they will bring irrelevant numbers which will make you excited for no reason.
Numbers! Right. Don’t fall for “we are against the analytics-first approach” mentioned above in this article. Do learn and utilize analytics, but only after you grow the community and find appropriate KPIs to track. Don’t chase raw numbers, but put them in meaningful context and seek trends. When you calculate your ratios, compare them to those of your competitors – and draw conclusions which will bring your business closer to achieving ambitious goals.
Many brands fall into the trap of collecting likes, comments and followers and forget about what is truly meaningful for their business… and what brings actual customers. Great content which effectively presents what the company is about can help convert visitors into customers who are willing to pay for your products and genuinely care about what you do. Don’t chase meaningless numbers – make them help you instead.