Turn Facebook Fans into Customers

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Content can be a tricky thing to get exactly right and optimized for driving sales. You may well be convinced that you are producing brilliant, informative, and useful content regularly for your website – and according to all those Facebook followers and ‘likes’ you will probably be correct. However, for all the interest you’re managing to generate, you’re still not achieving those conversion rates, which is the whole purpose of your enterprise in the first place. Why is this?

Well, there is a way to do it, and it’s all about style and balance. Your posts need to be entertainingly useful, but that doesn’t mean that they should be out and out funny. You should be telling your fans about your products, but, that said, your posts should not all be solely about them. In short, the trick is to try and tell an on-going story, not only about you, your business and your product, but also about your industry at large. You want to be keeping at the forefront of thought in your field, and keep your fans up-to-date with breaking news about your industry.

And it will be worth it, as the stats speak for themselves. According to data collected as of January 2014 by PewResearch Internet Project, 74% of online adults use social networking sites, and out of these 71% use Facebook. Compare that to other social networking sites (note: it’s all but impossible to find accurate figures for G+, Google doesn’t seem to like disclosing them):

  • 22% use LinkedIn
  • 21% use Pinterest
  • 17% use Instagram

Put simply, the scope of Facebook is huge. It is still the undisputed giant of the social network age, and its marketing potential for you is equally enormous.

It’s true that the rate of Facebook users are falling – not to mention Twitter (see statista.com for projections) – but these are still massive sites with billions of users, and if you’re already reaching out to those users and getting your voice heard, then you’re certainly halfway there to start converting those ‘likes’ into sales.

 

1.15 Billion Facebook Users

So don’t give up just yet – you just need to change your tactics. Your fans are out there in their droves. Jeff Bullas notes that in 2014 there now over 1.15 billion Facebook users worldwide and that over 1 million web pages are accessed via ‘Login with Facebook’. Add to that that the fact that 23% of users login at least 5 times a day, and you can certainly start to see the marketing potential. And businesses are already doing it, with 70% of marketers claiming that they use Facebook to attract new customers.

So, what are their secrets? How do they achieve those all-important conversion rates?

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Offer them something they can’t get elsewhere

One good method is to ‘reward’ your loyal Facebook followers with a coupon or other discount offer that they can only attain through Facebook. Your content is obviously good enough to get people browsing, but they may need that extra little incentive to get them buying. Never be afraid to give a little away. And it works – a study found that 40% of users ‘like’ Facebook pages to take advantage of discounts and coupons (though be warned – they also found that 26% only ‘liked’ the company to receive the offer).

 

Share your customer testimonials

Perhaps even more important than your content is to get the word out there that other people are recommending your product. Forrester Research found last year that while only 10% of consumers trust ads on websites, 46% trust online reviews by other users (and to put this into perspective, consumers only trust their friends and family’s recommendations 70% of the time, so 46% from strangers is actually pretty good!).

No one wants to see shameless self-promotion – word of mouth is still the best means of advertisement, and Facebook the perfect platform for it. So share your reviewers’ testimonials on your FB page, and let all of your followers know that it’s not just great content that you’re producing, but a great product too.

 

Engage with your followers

One of the best things you can do is to start developing a strong relationship with your individual Facebook fans. Start thanking them for any ‘likes’ they give you, and of course never leave a comment unanswered. Don’t pitch to them, and avoid any direct ‘sales talk’ if you can, as this may well scare them away altogether. You want to show them that you’re genuinely interested in what your fans think, and if they could offer any feedback then you will take it on board.

You can of course send them a few more links to similar content on your site that you think they might like also. The trick is to always be courteous. Show your fans a good time with good interaction from you on their site, but let them make the choice to purchase or not – don’t force it.

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Facebook Web Custom Audiences

Facebook insights are highly useful for getting a good overview of when your fans are online and interacting with your posts. Use information from insights to further tailor your content to gain more engagement. Facebook Web Custom Audiences are a targeted way of advertising to those fans who also use your site too and can really help to boost conversions.

Facebook fans

So there are a few tips to start trying to convert those fans into customers on Facebook. The stats speak for themselves when it comes to showing that Facebook is still the social media of choice, and if you’ve got fans, then you’re doing something right in the first place – so don’t change that, whatever it is, instead, just do it more and do it better, with a heavier focus on fan/customer relations by telling them what others think, and maybe chucking in a deal for them to get them started.

 

  • But first you need fans. And getting legitimate fans is really, really hard. The ones you get over Facebook’s advertising system are fakes out of countries like India and Pakistan. Facebook makes a killing faking out people with likes from people who have absolutely no interest in your products or services. Those third world “likers” are most likely even paid a few cents to like pages, while FB takes in a whole lot more for each like (like 1000%). A really sneaky and ethically very questionable practice.

    There is something even worse. Once you get these so called “fans”, you have to pay again to “reach” them. It is quite unbelievable what Facebook is doing. I’ve stopped paying for advertising there.

    Kerry, I’d love for you to dig into the advert and like system of Facebook. I’ve read other articles about it and they say the same thing. Facebook is ripping people off!

    Scott

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