If you own a business and want customers, you have to do some kind of marketing.  Many small business owners turn to social media as a marketing tool.  It is free, it is relatively user-friendly, and it seems like an easy way to reach a new audience.  But, of the many challenges of using social media for marketing, there is one thing that business owners tend to forget: You don’t own your leads on social media.  Today we are talking about converting your social media audience to become customers.

Think about it. All those people you are communicating with on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, Periscope, and the many other platforms that exist – what happens if the site goes away?  More likely, what happens if some of the people you are communicating with decide to take a hiatus or not use that service anymore?

Even more likely , let’s say the platform you have chosen continues to exist forever and the people you are trying to reach all continue to use it. The reality is that only a small percentage of your audience is seeing any given post, tweet, video, etc. On Facebook, your organic reach could start as low as 1% or 2% of your audience before people begin engaging with your posts. So, in a perfect world where you COULD still access the leads on social media, you might not reach them anyway.

If you are only communicating with a lead on social media, you are at risk of losing them. What can you do? Start converting your social media audience to other platforms.

If you are only communicating with a lead on #socialmedia, you are at risk of losing them. #smb Click To Tweet

Social media is best used as a vehicle to drive your audience between your different messages.  Every time you do a post, you should think about what the next step is for the person who consumes it. What action do you want them to take? Even if you are not explicitly saying it at first, you should know what you want them to do next.

#Socialmedia is best used as a vehicle to drive your audience between your different messages. Click To Tweet

Social media gives you a great opportunity to attract and warm leads.  Use posts that will be popular to bring them in (check out this selling without selling blog to help you with that). Then you have to take them somewhere else.  Take them to another post. To another platform. To a page on your website. To a sign-up for an email list or another opt-in. Give them a code to redeem in your store. Lead them to the next step that you have identified.

There are many techniques you can use to start converting your social media audience to other platforms, such as:

  1. Ensure that your services, opt-ins, or links to other pages are clearly marked on your social media profile and as easy to find as you can make them. This is passive, but will attract the people who are really interested and are spending a lot of time browsing.
  2. Run the occasional post about your offer, newsletter, or opt-in and encourage people to sign up for it. This is active, and you are going to want to use a method like this sparingly within your overall posting plan.
  3. Use a signature line. This can be as simple as a link to your website at the bottom of your posts with no special instructions. Or it could be a sentence or two as a direct call to action. Even your non-salesy content can have a signature line without feeling salesy if you craft it appropriately.

In marketing, your job is to make sure you are communicating your message to your leads. It is great to be able to access your leads wherever they initially found you on social media. However, if you want your business to be successful you need to have a plan for converting your audience off social media in as many steps as needed to make a purchase. Remember: use social media as a vehicle to get your leads from one place to another!

 

If you are interested in templates for signature lines and other tips on how to use Facebook, and social media in general, for building and converting your audience, check out my Facebook Engagement Bootcamp!