In the past week, I've been ask multiple times "how do I convert sales from social?" This question is at the heart of all social marketers - while I truly do believe that there's a lot more to social networking than driving sales, the bottom line is that without sales your business would go broke. Converting fans into customers is not something that's going to happen overnight, it's a long process of providing value with amazing content, being a part of the community, and helping others. Here are a few elements to consider when seeking to convert your social communities into paying customers.
Provide Amazing Content
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Do you think that your current content is providing value to them? If not, it's time to make a change. Too often we see social marketers and businesses so focused on themselves that they forget the real reason that social sites exists - to create community. Take the time this week to find and create valuable articles, to tell the story of your business. Ask questions of your communities, run a timeline contest to drive engagement - look to have fun with your social media. You will see the rewards tenfold.
Become Part of the Community
Too often we see social media brands start amazing conversations via social, only to be left unanswered. The true value you can provide to your community is you being a part of it - take time to respond to comments and posts on your social properties. Thank people, and ask them a follow-up question to drive conversations. You'll see that social business is all about community, and when you take time to engage, the community will reward you.
Seek to Help Others
This goes right along with being a part of the community. The most successful social marketers and sellers take time each day to help their connections. If you see that a friend who needs help with something, and you know another friend who can help, you should connect them. The connector is the most powerful social networker, and is helpful to his community because he's reaching out to others to connect, and provides value at no cost. This strategy is fail proof - if you only act on one one of these notes, this is my favorite of the three.
With these strategies, I believe that you will start to convert more fans/followers into long-term paying customers. Start acting today and watch your social come alive.