Social consumers have more purchasing power than ever before.
According to recent social media statistics, Instagram and Facebook have become two of the top channels for folks looking to research and buy products online. Consumers have become accustomed to the concept of social commerce, which is good news for budding businesses and big brands alike.
That doesn’t mean social sales are a foregone conclusion, though.
In fact, one of the top challenges for marketers is aligning their social strategy with their business goals.
If you’re struggling for an ROI or want to generate more customers from social media, you need to look at your social conversion strategy.
In this guide, we cover the specific tactics and tools necessary to boost your social media conversion rate. These tips can help create more social customers no matter what stage they’re currently at within your marketing funnel.
With that, let’s dive in!
1. Make your landing pages seamless and mobile-friendly
With mobile ecommerce on the rise, the need for brands to appeal to customers on-the-go is a no brainer.
A brand’s ability to win over buyers via social boils down to creating a seamless experience. Think about how users navigate Instagram, swiping and tapping as they move from Point A to Point B. Your social landing pages should follow the same principles – easy to navigate with minimal interruption.
For starters, your social landing pages shouldn’t be hidden to customers. Check out how RageOn promotes their storefront in their Instagram bio. Pretty simple, right?
Upon clicking, it’s clear that their landing page is optimized with their social media conversion rate in mind. Swipeable and scrollable with large, bright buttons to boot, mobile shoppers obviously aren’t being treated as a second thought.
Here’s another awesome example from Bose, with an intuitive and interactive landing page is tailored for customers on-the-go.
Whether you’re promoting offers on Instagram, Facebook or anywhere in-between, having a mobile-friendly landing page is a game-changer. Not only can you appeal specifically to mobile consumers, but also better assess the behavior of your social shoppers.
If you’re not sure if your landing pages are up to snuff, a quick mobile test via Google can give you some peace of mind.
To further improve your social media conversion strategy, you can continuously split test your social landing pages and optimize them over time. Tools such as Optimizely allow you to A/B test elements such as imagery, copy and link placement to maximize conversions.
And if you need a better idea of what a fine-tuned social landing page looks like, you can check out some of Unbounce‘s mobile-friendly landing page templates for inspiration.
2. Get more eyes on your promotions via video
Product-related videos go hand in hand with a higher social media conversion rate.
Noted to increase conversions and time spent on any given page, there’s a reason why video-centric posts and ads are all the rage among brands. Videos do double duty of showing off your products in action and catching the eyes of social customers.
It’s no secret that social ads centered around video traditionally perform well. Here’s an example from BigCommerce, whose recent Facebook ad campaign tripled their free trial conversions through social video.
The same rings true on Instagram where Stories ads are killing it right now. This campaign from Nuxe scored 6x ROI with simple, stop-motion video.
Remember: video ads and content don’t need to be massive, big-budget productions. Anything you can do to catch your customers’ eyes and get them to stop scrolling is a plus. Video does exactly that.
Integrating video in any shape or form is crucial for your organic content, too. Whether it’s mini-commercials or creative product displays, video should be central to your social media conversion strategy.
3. Include compelling calls to action
Sometimes increasing your social media conversion rate means making small tweaks to your profiles and captions.
Asking for followers to check out your recent promotions is totally fair game, granted you’re tactful about it.
In other words, you can’t just scream “BUY OUR STUFF” and expect much traction. Instead, make a point to subtly encourage engagement with your calls to action.
For example, J. Crew invites followers to shop their Instagram feed in their bio. Straightforward, but effective.
J. Crew’s feed isn’t shy about promoting products. However, the brand makes a point to put a bit of personality behind their promotions with captions that sound like they were written by a human versus a bot. Either way, they point directly to their product page without being pushy about it.
Bear in mind that there’s some debate going on right now over how explicit brands should be about promoting offers, though. As noted by Rand Fishkin and a recent study by Agora Pulse, some marketers are speculating that Instagram might be penalizing posts that use variations of the phrase “link in bio.”
Is Instagram penalizing posts using the text "link in bio"?
This experiment https://t.co/3b5XZ8ZdKh suggest so:
– Avg reach of 30 posts using link in bio was 293.17
– Avg each of 30 posts that didn’t was 443.93
33.96% decrease in reach when using "link in bio" 🤔
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) May 1, 2019
Whether the phrase is being actively penalized by the Instagram algorithm or it just isn’t a successful strategy, the takeaway here is that brands should experiment with captions and calls to action to encourage engagement and find what works. This includes questions, tag-a-friend posts and other less “salesy” messages to your followers.
4. Split test your social posts
Just like any sort of marketing metric, analyzing your social media conversion rate means looking at your data.
For example, do you know what types of content score the most engagement, clicks and traffic to your website? By understanding your posts by the numbers, you can adjust your content strategy to align with your social media conversion strategy.
And honestly? No brand is going to get it “right” from day one. Upping your conversation rate means playing the long game of analyzing and optimizing.
The good news is that tools such as Sprout can help speed up the process so you don’t have to endlessly experiment. For example, Sprout’s social analytics can help you understand what your top-performing posts are across all networks. Sprout’s reports include everything from your best hashtags to behavioral trends among your followers.
Based on these numbers, you better determine what content is resulting in engagement and likewise when.
Speaking of “when,” features such as ViralPost enable you to schedule individual posts based on when they’ll receive maximum engagement. The more eyes on your promos, the more potential customers that can make a purchase.
By regularly looking at your analytics, you can split test your organic campaigns to figure out which posts are most poised for engagement.
If you’re interested in running a paid campaign, Facebook and Instagram can actually allow you to split test your ads automatically. In short, you’re capable of running two versions of the same promo simultaneously and identify the winner based on performance. Here’s a snapshot from Facebook themselves.
5. Be consistent with your branding
This is a subtle tip, but definitely worth mentioning for the sake of your conversions.
As prospects and leads move through your funnel, there shouldn’t be any second-guessing where they’re coming from.
Creative elements such as your tone, imagery and color scheme need to be consistent as your customers approach the point of purchase. Although this might not seem like a make-or-break moment, pulling a creative bait-and-switch on your followers can be disorienting.
For example, check out this promotional post from Halo Top. Note the playful tone and brand creatives.
Notice also how their bio link is up-to-date with their latest promotion. So far so good, right?
When we click through, we’re brought to a landing page consistent with those same creatives and messaging.
See how that works?
As a result, it’s important to double-check the creative elements of your promotions before you roll them out. Doing so could be the difference between someone converting from a campaign or bouncing out of your funnel altogether.
6. Let your user-generated content serve as social proof to shoppers
As noted in our guide to user-generated content, customer photos are pure gold when it comes to conversions.
Serving as social proof and a much-needed sense of authenticity, user-generated content is second to none for driving social sales. Making user-generated content a cornerstone of your marketing strategy is a low-hanging way to boost your social media conversions. Check out how Keds gives their followers a shout-out.
Increasing your social media conversion rate doesn’t mean keeping those creatives confined to social media. For example, Keds features their satisfied customers on-site as a shoppable lookbook to encourage even more purchases.
Oh, and they also use their Instagram presence to convert customers through their email list.
See how much mileage you can get out of just a few user-submitted photos? Curating user-generated content is an expectation for modern brands and likewise a brilliant way to encourage sales.
7. Use social listening to stay on top of buying trends
No industry or customer base is totally static.
We mentioned earlier that scoring customers is about experimenting and evolving. This means keeping up with industry trends as well as the wants and needs of your customers.
Sprout’s social listening features make it a cinch to understand exactly what people want and expect from your brand. This ensures that your social presence never grows stagnant.
From what customers are saying about you to trending topics worth mentioning in your sales-related posts, these insights can directly influence your social sales strategy.
8. Sell directly on social for seamless conversions
Social commerce allows customers to check out directly from social media posts, saving time both for shoppers and in your marketing efforts to drive conversion. You can highlight products directly without worrying about pushing traffic from a post to a specific product page, and the quick purchase process makes buying more appealing to customers who might otherwise abandon their cart or continue on browsing in their social feed.
Sprout’s social commerce features provide insight into your customers’ order history and lifetime value all in one platform, letting you understand the impact of your efforts. According to the Sprout Social Index, Edition XVII: Accelerate, consumers’ overall social media usage is on the rise, with 71% of all consumers using social more in the past year, and an even larger percentage of Millenials (77%) and Gen Z (78%) doing so.
Social commerce helps close the gap on proving the value of social by connecting conversions to your product post performance.
9. Track your social analytics and conversions
Last but not least, you can’t assess your social media conversion rate if you aren’t actually tracking conversions.
There are a few ways to do this, by the way. For starters, make a point to watch your social traffic in Google Analytics. You can set explicit social conversion goals as highlighted in our guide to scoring a better social media ROI.
Additionally, URL tracking in Sprout Social allows you to generate links which allow you to track the conversion rates of specific campaigns as you roll them out.
With reporting and analytics, you can tie specific goals and outcomes to campaigns to understand what’s converting and what’s not.
And with that, we wrap up our guide!
How are you improving your social media conversion rate?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: social sales don’t happen by accident.
Having a social media conversion strategy is essential to any brand who wants to generate customers from their social channels. The tips above and tools such as Sprout Social can help you do so by the numbers rather than treat social selling as a guessing game.
We want to hear from you, though. What are you doing to monitor your social media conversions? Notice any big difference between social customers and buyers from other channels? Let us know in the comments below!
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