As a small business owner, you’ve done all the heavy lifting when it comes to your website and social media platforms. You’ve built a quality website with authoritative information and set up calls to action to provide potential clients a quick answer for their most important questions. The conversions have come through, and you know you’ve built a solid foundation for your online business presence.
You’ve also assessed which social platforms were pertinent to your business and took the time to create a social media presence that exudes exactly what your business is and why users should follow. As such, your following has multiplied tenfold, exceeding your expectations. However, you haven’t seen much in the way of conversions from all your social media efforts, and can’t quite put your thumb on why this is.
You’ve now stumbled upon an issue that many small business owners are currently facing: how do I turn social media followers into loyal website customers? Let’s take a look at why this is so difficult and what you can do to help convert those followers into loyal, long term customers!
How to Drive Social Media Followers to Your Website
Years ago, when third-party social media platforms first offered a way to connect, for free, with a seemingly endless number of new potential customers, many businesses neglected their own websites to focus on this cheap solution to getting new business. However, this meant those businesses were now at the mercy of the social media platforms, whose ultimate goal was to make money. Over time, as the social platforms forced their business users into their paid advertising models, organic posting became less and less effective at driving users to business websites – and bringing conversions.
But we have found that organic can still be very effective. How? By beating social media at its own game! And the most important part of the equation is having a compelling, easy to navigate website, with informative, original content that makes it worth them leaving their social platform of choice.
But to get them there, you can increase reach and engagement through consistent and timely postings, engaging with followers when they comment, and most importantly, being strategic with paid advertising. Use analytics to fine-tune your targeting and help you decide which content to promote. And most importantly, never forget to provide links back to the company website wherever possible. Be sure your business description has a link, put website links in posts, and use dedicated landing pages to help direct followers to the products, services, or content they are specifically interested in. The ultimate goal is to let the user know that there is something of value for them at your website, whether it be information, advice, or a solution to their problem – then give it to them!
Keeping Your Social Media Followers Engaged with Your Business
So now that social media followers are on your website, how do you keep them in touch with your business? If your website content is helpful and compelling, all you need to do is ask. Provide a simple webform for their contact information, as well as getting them to opt-in to communication from the website. Though email marketing may seem old-school, it’s still a proven format that shouldn’t be overlooked.
More and more, SMS text messaging is becoming the preferred method of communication, so utilize SMS if you can. Since the vast majority of humans on this planet have a phone on their person at all times, it has become the most efficient way to connect. Just like email, if their visit to your website has shown value to them, and they are truly interested in your products or services, then more often or not they will be happy to opt in!
Here are just a few suggestions on how to keep your new potential customers engaged:
- SMS text messaging and e-newsletters: share pertinent content directly to the user, including flash sales, topical news items, business alerts, as well as customizable messages based on previous purchases.
- Continue social media postings, including those with open-ended questions or even contests – invite the followers to engage by requesting their input and making them feel part of the brand, and offer a chance to win something of use to bring the user back to your website over and over again.
- Encourage user-generated content – ask users to post about your products and then get their permission to repost on the website. This can lead to further reach based on word-of-mouth accounts and recommendations.
Creating Loyal Customers Who Visit Your Website Regularly
Now that the social media followers have been to the website and are responding to direct engagement, how can you transition them to becoming regular, loyal customers? It’s all in the details, and it’s not very different from the old school, brick-and-mortar business strategies.
Wherever possible, add small personal touches to customer interactions, whether it’s a handwritten note or just following up after a purchase. You can also offer a loyalty program to reward returning customers and give them even more incentive to return again. Basically, anything that makes your customer feel special and shows that you care about their happiness is worth utilizing. Making the follower-turned-user feel like much more than just an invoice number on a bill can go a long way in providing a sense of satisfaction and positivity that the customer may not have been finding on the social media platform they came from. In the end, we are all just people trying to connect and enrich our lives with positive, fruitful relationships.
If a visitor from a social media platform has found value on your website, gotten to know and like your business, and, most importantly, has found value in interacting with your business, then it is likely that they trust your business. And this last thing, trust, is what makes a loyal website customer.
If your small business needs assistance with your website, digital marketing, and social media presence, contact your tech partner today! Blink;Tech is ready to help you make your mark on the web!