This last 2-3 years saw businesses flocking to social media in droves. Thanks to the push from the media and success stories of a few top businesses, everyone came looking for their own pot of gold.
Yet not many found it. Most people believed in the old cliché, ‘build it and they will come’, but it simply isn’t true. With the crowded online space, businesses have to work extra hard to capture and keep the attention of potential customers online.
The best way to do this is through creating social media campaigns that take customers through a funnel – from stranger, to fan, to buyer, to advocate. While this sounds simple enough, many businesses are ignoring some of the crucial elements required to make their campaigns a success.
Let’s take a look at some of the top things businesses should fix to improve campaign conversion rates.
Your offer isn’t appealing enough
People on social media are not there to seek out businesses. They are there to interact with friends and persons who share their interests.
For them to interact with businesses, they have to know what’s in it for them. What interesting content are you providing that I haven’t seen before? What special offer can you provide that I can’t get elsewhere? How does your business understand my needs better than anyone else? If you’re not inherently answering any of those questions from the outset, they won’t be interested.
Make sure your offer is relevant to your business. Sure, you could giveaway Amazon or iTunes gift cards that appeal to almost everyone; it could get you a lot of fans too. But would this help your little coffee shop in TinyTown, Pennsylvania get new customers? Not very likely. Surveys show that 84% of consumers said they were more likely to visit a retailer who offers a loyalty program – get creative and focus on building loyalty.
You also want to avoid being too “salesy” via social media. As previously mentioned, people are there to be entertained and connect with like minds. You want to show them how you fit into that realm, then build a relationship with them. Once they trust you, they’ll be much more willing to learn about your products and become customers.
Your message & presence isn’t consistent
There are some businesses that are only around on social media when they have something to sell. They post repeatedly for a week, then disappear for a month before coming back with their latest push.
You want to make sure that your business is posting consistently on social media, even if you don’t have a campaign running. You also want to ensure that when you do have a campaign running, you still keep a balance between promotional content and entertaining/informative content, so your audience doesn’t feel overwhelmed.
Content development is one of the most time-consuming aspects of social media. If you don’t have a dedicated social media manager and can’t afford a full-service agency, you should consider a service like $99 Social which develops and shares daily content for you in your own voice on social networks you market on. They get the practical tasks of running effective social media campaigns done for you, complementing your own efforts and affording you more time to focus.
You don’t follow through
Unfortunately for legitimate marketers, the online marketing trade had gotten a bad name due to those who engage in ‘bait and switch’ tactics. These make persons extremely cautious about sharing their information with businesses.
To build and keep the trust of your fans, you have to show them that you’re willing to do what you say you will. This can be from the initial interaction – responding to comments on posts or announcing the winner of a sweepstakes on time. It can also be after they’ve purchased your product or taken advantage of your special offer – respond and follow up on customer complaints in a timely manner.
Or it could be at the most crucial stage of your sales process – when a fan is about to give you their contact information. This is where someone goes from just another person entertained by your content to someone who is actively showing interest in your offering, also known as a qualified lead. You need to ensure that this person knows they are in the right place by keeping the message and look on social media and on your landing page consistent, and stating very clearly what you intend to do with the information they provide.
Since people on social media are very vocal and ready to share their experiences, breaching that trust, in any of these areas, could bring an abrupt end to your campaign.
Your content isn’t loading fast enough
Does your site load in 3 seconds or less? If not, you could be losing customers. In a recent study done by Kissmetrics, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load; that’s a 40% loss in potential business.
The digital age is one of instant gratification. We hate waiting. Businesses therefore, need to ensure that there are minimal delays in the customer experience. Luckily, since this is such a common problem, there are several tools to help you speed up your website experience for visitors.
Firstly, you need a reliable hosting company to facilitate when clients come to the site from an active social campaign. For this, we recommend an innovator like Hostt, a free, unlimited hosting platform that gives you 100% control of your website; built for the high demand and expectations of the modern user. Downtime and application lagging is one of the biggest deterrents to successful online marketing campaigns as many businesses focus all their energy on product and promotional strategy versus having a healthy balance with the technical side. Don’t overlook getting yourself a good and reliable host, is a must.
Additionally, you’ll want to install plugins on your website to help it load faster. If you’re using WordPress, we highly recommend W3 Total Cache and jQuery Image Lazy Load; which ensure that page content is efficiently delivered to visitors. You will also want to consider using a Content Distribution Network (CDN) service like the one offered by Incapsula, which also has a free package. A CDN will significantly improve your site’s load time especially if you serve visitors from a broad geographical profile.
As much as possible, you should use landing pages when leading customers back to your website for a specific offer, rather than sending them to your homepage. GetResponse is an amazing all-in-one, automated marketing tool that offers customizable landing pages and email marketing templates.
It’s not failing, you just have high expectations
Businesses also tend to have an unrealistic expectation of the results they can expect from social campaigns. If you’re a small business just starting out with a limited budget or targeting a small geographical area, you shouldn’t expect the same results as a national or international chain with an easily recognizable name that has been around for decades. In addition, many of the success we witness today have been grinding for a long time before being discovered.
A small, but loyal fan base that engages you, advocates for your brand in their everyday lives, buys your product and promotes it to others is much better than getting thousands of fans who aren’t interested in you or your products.