As a marketer, you want an ROI. You want tangible results. You want revenue.
Can social media drive revenue? Yes, it can, and it has.
Can it drive revenue for you? It depends on how well you can use it.
If you use social media only for garnering likes and shares, you may not be too impressed with the results.
Don’t get us wrong.
You want to go after likes, shares, and comments to keep your audience engaged. But you want this engagement to be geared towards converting your followers into customers, right?
So, instead of a simple social media strategy, you need a social media customer acquisition strategy, which can drive brand awareness, garner audience engagement, generate leads, and ultimately drive these leads through the conversion funnel.
In this article, we will talk about how you can pump out conversions from social media and transform it into a profitable customer acquisition channel.
So, stick around till the end as we share insightful tips backed by data and evidence.
What is social media customer acquisition?
Social media customer acquisition, when thought of as an approach, is unique.
Unlike conventional customer acquisition tactics, social media customer acquisition is neither too sales-y nor too promotional. Instead, it is set in nurturing healthy relationships with the target audience, subconsciously inviting them to become your customer.
Importance of social media customer acquisition
With 3.8 billion people spending an average of 145 minutes on social media, the reach potential of your social message is immense. And when you optimize your social strategy with sales in mind, you maximize the chances of increasing your revenue.
Additionally, social media offers exceptional user segmentation. Even if you don’t invest in targeted advertisement, you can build your social community and ensure that your message reaches the right audience.
What makes investing in social media customer acquisition increasingly important is that half of 16 to 24-year olds research products on social media, and 57% of people follow brands on social to stay up-to-date about their products or services.
That means your target audience is already present on social media. And they are ready to become your customers. All they want from you is to go and get them.
Businesses that step into the social realm to connect with the people looking for them or could be interested in their services set themselves up for success. Take this small business, for example:
Emerson saloon, a small hairdresser shop in Washington, wanted to acquire customers and drive sales. They developed a social strategy and started building their presence on Twitter and Facebook with this goal in mind.
As a result of their social efforts, 75% of their clients came from the internet, while their revenue increased by 400% in 2 years.
You can do that too. Let’s see how.
How to enhance your social customer acquisition approach
Social media has evolved into a comprehensive marketing approach and encompasses the entire sales funnel. This means it can drive conversions and bring customers.
Here are a few tips to help you master social customer acquisition and leverage social’s conversion potential:
Build a community
A huge following isn’t enough if your followers don’t feel connected to the brand. People buy from people they have a connection with, who they trust as their emotional partners and those who understand them.
With more than 40% of interactions expected to be automated by 2023, people crave that human touch. They want to interact with actual humans, and not just computers.
So, the first step towards transforming your social into a customer acquisition channel is to build a community for your followers to help them find the human touch they crave and feel connected with the brand.
Once you foster a healthy community, you get an engaged audience with whom you can nurture your brand relations, actively converting followers into customers and customers into brand advocates.
Sharing helpful, valuable, and relevant content, responding to your customers on time and inviting them to join exclusive groups are all proven community-building tactics.
Canva, the digital marketing tool, has mastered the art of building a community with its Facebook exclusive group.
People in this group are primarily designers and belong to Canva’s group of prospects who share ideas, participate in discussions and help each other, nurturing a healthy community.
If you want to build your own community, you can learn a thing or two from Canva.
Less promotion, more value
48.6% of people use social media to connect with friends and family, while 36% use it to fill spare time. The point is, no one uses social to see promotional messages from brands.
So, how do you communicate your message and drive social customers without offending your prospects?
The trick is to offer value and blend in promotional content in between. Some people say it’s 80% valuable content and 20% promotion. But there is no hard and fast rule.
Check out how Starbucks strikes a balance between engaging and promotional content:
The only tip to remember is to leverage the reciprocity principle.
Do your target audience lots of favors. Provide them with valuable content, help them out whenever they want, and be responsive as best as you can until they are almost compelled to do whatever you ask them to do, to return your favors.
Prioritize customer service
In an era where 86% of people are willing to pay more, your customer service can be the difference between you and your competitor.
You can convert your social media into a customer acquisition gold mine by responding to and helping every customer who reaches out to you.
Given that most people turn to the brand’s social channels whenever they want to learn about a brand, being there to help your customers out will make you appear reliable and trustworthy in the eyes of your potential and existing customers.
Groove released small business survey data in 2013 in which they found an interesting correlation between customer service and conversions.
Even though customer service was not the top priority for a majority of the respondents, the 7% of respondents who did prioritize customer service experienced an 11% higher conversion.
So, we can see how customer service has the potential of driving sales.
You can easily incentivize the fact that most people turn to social media when looking for help, build immaculate customer service on social media and convert your social followers into customers.
Use the right social platform
If you are a makeup brand, will you ever consider LinkedIn for marketing? No. Because you know your target audience is not on LinkedIn.
Every social platform has a niche audience with specific interests.
LinkedIn, for example, has a majority of business professionals. Instagram, on the other hand, has more millennials and Gen Zers.
So, if you want to funnel your social followers through conversion, you have to make sure that the platform’s users you choose match your buyer’s persona.
Below, we will discuss the top 4 platforms, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and show you how you can stir your followers there and convert them into customers.
32% of all internet users are on Twitter, and 34% of marketers have generated leads from this platform. This means Twitter has some conversion potential. So, if your target audience resides on Twitter, it’s time you tap into its potential and win some customers.
The best way to drive exposure and build an engaged and revenue-driving community on Twitter is to post engaging content and stay active.
Checkout how active Microsoft is on Twitter:
You can join relevant Twitter chats and gain exposure as an industry leader by sharing insight and valuable content if you are starting.
Once the followers and participants of your Twitter chat see you in every week’s chat, they will automatically start trusting you and become a part of your community.
There are numerous Twitter chats out there that you can follow. For example, a Twitter chat called #Dadchat is trendy among parents.
Look at how this brand is leveraging #Dadchat to provide value and gain followers:
The moderator of #Dadchat claims that they attract 100-200 moms and dads every week and discuss parenting topics. Doing this, they generated 1200 tweets in an hour and once in 2012, #Dadchat generated over 600 million impressions.
Now, if you had a children’s car seat company and you joined #Dadchat to talk about parenting tips and car safety, can you imagine the exposure your brand name would have earned?
And not just exposure, with valuable content, you can easily make your name as an industry expert and thought leader who people trust.
Facebook, with more than 2 billion active users, is the largest social platform. It contributes to 80% of the social recommendation share of eCommerce in the US and has accounted for 18.3 % of all social media-driven purchase
Numbers tell us that Facebook can be a profitable platform for customer acquisition. And numbers don’t lie.
Facebook decides a post’s visibility from its engagement. Therefore, if you want your content to reach the right people, you have to get engagement on it.
Since video is the most popular form of content on Facebook and is 40 times more likely to be considered. So, you can create Facebook videos to attract your target audience and drive engagement.
At least that’s what Tasty does and wins.
Tasty by Buzzfeed creates short videos recipe videos that are highly engaging and work just fine even on mute.
Tasty has managed to generate some excellent numbers with this approach as it ranked number 5 in most-watched video publisher in 2019 with 961 million video views. Even today, six years after its creation, it stands proudly at number 7 on How Sociable’s top-10 Facebook page’s list.
With 1.2 billion people using Instagram every month, Instagram is a force to be reckoned with for customer acquisition. It is also popular among businesses, with its business participation being ten times higher than Facebook.
Instagram thrives on visual content. And the fact that 93% of consumers cited visual appearance as their main reason for purchasing something makes it an appealing platform for brands that have products to show.
Focus on engaging your audience with daily Instagram stories and publish feed posts at least once every week. Make sure to do audience research beforehand to create content that resonates with your followers.
Follow Instagram trends closely and incentivize the ones that seem promising. For example, Instagram has launched Reels, and brands are using it to create compelling video content for their followers.
Don’t forget to prioritize value over promotion.
Starbucks managed to leverage the power of visual content on Instagram through their Unicorn Frappuccino campaign.
This campaign ran for only five days, but with user-generated content and the bright, eye-catching hues of Starbucks’ beverage, the brand managed to generate 155,000 Instagram posts. And within the five days that the campaign ran, it contributed to a 3% increase in same-store sales for Starbucks.
A platform for professionals, LinkedIn has more than 30 million businesses and is an excellent platform for you to build your presence. And since 55% of decision-makers use material on LinkedIn to choose a company they want to work with, LinkedIn should be your platform of choice if you want to attract B2B customers.
You can build your brand on this platform, create a group, or join one and post content that delivers value and sets you up as an expert.
LinkedIn carousels work well as they are easy to read and can be made attractive. Additionally, if you have a blog, LinkedIn is an excellent channel to promote it and get people on your website.
Driving employee advocacy is another excellent tool that can help you out on LinkedIn because people are 16% more likely to read a post from a friend than from a brand. This is why content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than brand content.
So, if you have employees with strong LinkedIn profiles, it’s time you leverage them for employee advocacy.
Leverage influencer marketing
92% of the consumers involved in a survey said they trust an influencer more than an advertisement or celebrity endorsement. That means influencer marketing has great revenue-driving potential, which is why 89% of marketers believe the ROI from influencer marketing is equal to or better than other marketing channels.
Influencers do not only promote your brand, but they provide social proof. And social proof builds trust with your target audience, which eventually drives the sale, which is why influencer marketing is an excellent tool to convert your social media into a customer acquisition channel.
GOOD FOODS, a snacks manufacturing brand, hired 60 influencers to drive brand awareness and sales for their new guacamole and dips.
These influencers created 2000 pieces of content and garnered 34 million potential impressions, 71,000 engagements and the campaign had a conversion rate of 34%.
The reason behind GOODFOODS’ success was that they chose the right type of influencers, food bloggers and the likes.
So, influencer marketing can genuinely transform your social media into a customer-driving channel if you manage to do it right.
Blend content marketing with social media
Conversions happen on your website. That’s why you want to drive your social media traffic to your web presence, and what better way to do this than with a blog.
Research what your audience is struggling with and create a blog post solving their problems. Given that 84% of people involved in a survey bought products after reading about them in a blog, you can share your blog content on social media, compel your followers to read them with catchy captions and increase the chances of conversion.
Checkout how MailChimp blends social media with content marketing:
Create shareable content that your readers can derive value from and share on their own handles, thus opening another channel for customer acquisition from social media.
The essence of social media customer acquisition lies in building a bond of trust and reliability with your target audience. Therefore, all the tactics to perfect your social customer acquisition stem from sales-focused engagement and encourage assisting the users and providing value. No matter which way you decide to go about social customer acquisition, always prioritize your customer. But don’t spend all your time delivering value. The key is to strike the perfect balance
between value and promotion. Prioritize value to attract and engage customers and then pull them through the conversion funnel with a strong promotional message.