How do your fans become customers? Tips for selling through social media
Social media marketing has a variety of important functions: Your own brand profile is sharpened, a more personal relationship is established with your customers and the reach of your own content is increased. With the ever-increasing importance of Facebook, Instagram and Co., social networks have long since ceased to be just communication channels for companies and have also become an interesting sales channel. Almost 50%  of all customers of a brand follow it online before they have ever bought anything from it. The own fans on the social media channels offer an enormous potential to win new customers. But how do you make the leap from like to purchase? Therefore, in today’s blog post we present tips and tools on how to turn your social media fans into real customers.
Maintain an active exchange with your fans
In order to convince your fans of your company, it is important to listen to them carefully. To understand what your followers appreciate about you and what they want, it’s about more than just counting your likes and dislikes. Take a close look at what is discussed under your content and where your company is linked. Social media can be a valuable source of feedback – especially for interested user groups who have not yet made a purchase from you. Encourage your fans to engage in a lively exchange with your business. In order to get an even better picture of your own community, it is also worth visiting some profiles of your followers. What else do your fans share, like and comment? What are their interests and what does their network look like? All this information helps to produce content that really catches your followers – the first step to clicking into the online shop. To ensure that your posts don’t get lost in the newsfeed, it is also important to continuously share new content. This does not necessarily mean 4 posts per day, but an upload plan with at least 2-3 posts per week should be adhered to.
Optimize your customer service also in the social media
After all, social media marketing thrives on dialogue and not on monologue: For 71% of users, a positive interaction with a brand in the social media makes a purchase more likely. The messenger services of networks play a particularly important role here. Increasingly, those interested in customer enquiries are using the option of typing a quick chat message instead of changing media and sending an e-mail. The communication over the Chat makes a fast and personal exchange possible between enterprises and Followern. Here also product recommendations can be made directly and linked into the Shop. Only problem: If the follower reached a certain size, it becomes fast difficult to react to each customer speech. One tool that can help is chatbots, for example. This form of „virtual assistant“ is becoming increasingly intelligent thanks to KI and responds to inquiries around the clock within seconds.
Create individualized ads
The own community in the social media is not a homogeneous mass, this should be reflected in the content as well as in the advertisements. Fortunately, social networks with their ad managers already provide a helpful tool to tailor ads as perfectly as possible to the different target groups. By accurately targeting different segments, different ads can be played out – so your message has the greatest impact and you avoid wastage.
Set incentives with exclusive promotions or discounts
The interest in a company’s products and services is the main reason for people to follow a brand on social media. This is followed immediately by 58.8%  hope for special promotions or discounts. Many fans and followers have already thought about a purchase, but are still waiting for a final incentive to become really active. An exclusive discount code for your community or the announcement of a free shipping campaign can be exactly the impulse for the first purchase in the online shop. Such promotions can be combined particularly well with a thank-you to the community – for example to the 10,000 Follower Milestone or as greetings on public holidays. By not simply sharing a code, but involving your followers in the action, you show that they are part of a community and that your company values its fans.
Create credibility with Influencer Marketing
Word of mouth – whether analogue or digital – is the best form of advertising for companies. Influencer marketing in the social media cosmos therefore remains an attractive means of attracting new fans and ultimately customers. Influencers are a mixture of best friend, star and experts – this makes their recommendations credible and creates trust in the brand.
Here we have summarized for you all the factors that need to be considered for a successful influencer campaign.
Use the shopping features in the social media
Probably one of the most important tips to turn fans into customers: Get active and make shopping as easy as possible for your followers. Especially on the internet, time and attention of the users is very limited. This is where the new shopping features of social networks can help. They make it possible to bring your shop directly to your followers – without detours or leaving the app.
Social Commerce Instagram is the first step in this direction. In 2018, the Facebook subsidiary activated its shopping features for all companies worldwide. Every shop that has a Facebook shop or a product catalogue on Facebook can now use the new shopping functions. A guide to setting up Instagram Shopping can be found here.
The first option is to link products in picture or video posts. If a user clicks on the items marked with a small shopping bag, he can be forwarded to the appropriate product page in the online shop with a single click. If you like a product, you no longer have to take the detour via the obligatory „Link in der Bio“ and search for the product in the shop. For each picture 5 different products can be linked. If you have posted at least one marked product contribution, the „Shop“ tab will appear on your profile page. Here your followers can search for your products in your business profile.
The product stickers for the stories function similarly simply. A small banner with product name and price links interested parties directly to the shop. At the same time product posts are also played out in the Explore-area under the Shopping tab. Thus they reach also potential customers, who do not follow your page yet. By integrating the shopping function, you can save your customers long clicks and at the same time set a call-to-action.
In March 2019, Instagram also introduced another new feature designed to further simplify sales via the platform. With Instagram Checkout, users will soon be able to make a purchase through Instagram without ever leaving the app. Name, billing and shipping information is entered directly and the user receives tracking information about the app’s notifications. The function is still in the testing phase and is only available for a selection of US companies. The feature was well received here: Already 53% of the online shoppers surveyed used the Direct-Purchase option if they liked a product on Instagram.
Under the keyword social commerce, Facebook, Instagram and Co. are becoming more and more important as an independent sales channel. To make the transition from the post office to the shopping basket a success, new tools from the networks themselves as well as the adaptation of one’s own communication strategy can provide exactly the right incentive. With the help of social media, not only fans but also real customers can be won.