Social Media

Why You Can’t Sell Online (And 3 Ways Social Media Can Fix It)

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The average bounce rate is around 40% for most websites, and can go as high as 80% for blogs.

You work so hard to get traffic to your site, and then it just… leaves forever.

Which shines a light one of the harsh truths about online marketing: it’s extremely difficult to sell online because most new visitors don’t buy anything.

Here’s why…

The “Missing Link” Stopping You from Making Sales Online

You spend a significant amount of time, energy and money to get people to your website.

Problem is… you’re missing a step.

Companies assume that strangers will land on their website, and immediately make a purchase or sign up to receive a quote.

That would be a nice, convenient way to sell — but that’s not how people buy.

Instead, people work through different stages before making a purchasing decision. So depending on where they are in this buying cycle when they land on your website, they may or may not be ready or willing to give you their credit card information.

Unless a new visitor is arriving to your site from a direct advertisement, or highly targeted SEO keyphrase for your product or service, chances are you still need to do some work to get people over their objections and skepticism.

You need to get them interested, build trust, and convince them that you’re the right person to solve their problems.

And that’s done through increasing engagement.

Which is where social media shines.

Here are 3 tips to increasing engagement — and your bottom line.

Tip #1. Craft Compelling Status Updates

The first obvious way to increase social media engagement is through your regular status updates themselves.

These can be easy to blow-off and overlook, because it seems like people are just posting whatever comes to mind.

But the best brands know better…

Each status update should be crafted to trigger a response. You’re creating content, and should act like a publisher.

  • Use good copywriting to emphasize benefits in your headlines & descriptions
  • Include bright, bold or interesting photos to grab attention
  • Test & track small tweaks to perfect your results based on timing, topics, etc.

And you should always tie them back to your business goals. So how is each status update through-out the day going to (1) gain awareness and increase your reach, (2) improve engagement and interaction, or (3) provide customer support and better service.

Tip #2. Run Frequent Social Promotions

Social media promotions are one of the best ways to increase your reach, and improve engagement with current fans and followers.

They break up the day-to-day monotony, and can act as a great incentive to lure people in.

Here are 5 steps to running a successful social media promotion:

  1. Start with a Goal: The type of promotion you run will depend on your goal or objective. If you want to increase reach, then run a sweepstakes and make it painless to enter. If you want to increase engagement, then run a contest that motivates people to upload a photo, interact with each other, or simply takes some action.
  2. Use Your Own Products & Services: One of the best ways to keep the costs down is to use your own products and services as the prize. You can even create bundles or packages to improve the perceived value of your offer. But make sure it truly is valuable and compelling — otherwise you’ll see low response rates.
  3. Involve Complementary Partners: Look for other similar brands that market to the same customer segments, and who might be able to compliment what you’re already doing. You can increase the value of your prizes, and you now also have a greater reach because you can cross-promote to each other’s audiences.
  4. Include Bloggers: If social media is the new PR, then bloggers are the new journalists who will give your promotion buzz. See if you can hire them to create content and promote your promotion. Or give them some free, exclusive access to make it a one-of-a-kind experience for them.
  5. Add “Viral Hooks”: Finally, make sure to include “viral hooks”. For example, after someone enters your promotion, you can them prompt them to share their submission to Facebook or Twitter. You can make it so the competition is weighted to give them extra chances depending on how many shares they get, and you’ll be able to reach each person’s unique social graph.

3. Introduce a Post-Purchase Cycle

One of the first rules of marketing is that it’s cheaper and more profitable to keep existing customers, rather than acquire new ones.

Yet most companies completely forget or ignore the people who’ve already opened their wallets.

Instead, they focus on NEW traffic, NEW subscribers, and NEW leads.

One of the best, “low-hanging-fruits” for most companies is to create more touch points and hooks for your past customers.

You can even take it a step further, and plan out a “post-purchase cycle” that systematically increases engagement to eventually initiate up-sells or repeat purchases.

A combination of email marketing and social media is extremely effective at creating customer loyalty.

Here’s a simple example of how it might look…

Upon receipt of purchase, the customer receives an email with some incentive — like an exclusive discount, offer, reward points, or whatever.

They can redeem the offer by taking some action in social media.

For example, they could tweet a pre-crafted message to their followers or write a positive review on Yelp.

Then, you and your social media team can be actively scanning for these updates, and proactively respond without minutes (or hours) of a new one.

And you can open the door to a new relationship by striking up a casual conversation.

If your customer doesn’t open the original email, or take the desired action, you can continue to follow-up with a lifecycle email campaign that automatically drips out content and better offers at pre-determined intervals.

This is one of the best, easiest ways to increase engagement with customers over the long-term. (While also increasing the overall lifecycle value of a customer.)

Even if you did nothing else in social media, this alone would reap you huge benefits.

It doesn’t require a lot of capital up-front, but it does take a lot of effort, creativity and consistency.

Because like most things worth doing, it doesn’t happen overnight.

But over time, a series of small wins can make a significant impact on your marketing, reputation and bottom line.

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