Social Media // January 3, 2014The Secret to Converting Facebook Fans Into Lifetime Customers
Posted by Fuze
So you have Facebook fans. Congratulations. The real question is how will you turn them into paying customers? Getting “likes” is only the first -and most trivial- aspect of effective marketing on the world’s largest social network.
Many businesses owners and even marketers do not take into account just how difficult it has become to make fans pay attention to posts in their newsfeed. Like Google, Facebook has its own algorithm which dictates where your timeline posts show up among the thousands of others that flood your fan’s feeds. Additionally, Facebook recently updated the algorithm to make it more difficult to show up highly without paying to “boost” posts.
How do you reach your audience through all of that noise?
While it’s essential to post, and post often, you must use a bit of strategy to determine how you can reach your fans in meaningful ways that spark true engagement and sales. Facebook has turned into a land of frivolous user behavior where “liking” brand pages or posts is largely devoid of any intent to go deeper. Our Facebook obsession has turned users into robotic content consumers who behave like Pavlov’s dogs. In reality, a good percentage of your “fans” are idle bystanders who have no intention of becoming customers.
To transform your legion of robots into real consumers, your posts should offer real value that makes them stop and pay attention. Social media is about give and take, and you can’t make the fatal mistake of waiting for your audience to come to you, and never expect to lands swarms of devoted followers without first wetting their whistle with a deal, offer, promotion or freebie.
Once you’ve established a decent following and are getting a good response from your timeline posts, it’s time to take your relationship a bit deeper. The next phase is to take your engagement off of Facebook and into a realm that is proven to drive impressive sales and tremendous spikes in consumer loyalty. Welcome to the wonderful world of email marketing.
The Holy Grail
Email marketing is one of the most highly effective ways to keep your audience engaged with your brand. Statistics show that open rates for email marketing campaigns, when sent by a company or brand and are not spam, are as high as 84%. Additionally, research shows that email results in a $40.00+ dollar return for every $1.00 spent. The proof is in the pudding – email works.
Let’s move on to the next phase in our mission to thwart reliance on Facebook. Building an email list via Facebook.
Use Contests to Capture Email Addresses
We live in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately society where you must give to receive. Facebook contests allow brands to serve up special offers and giveaways in exchange for entrants taking a simple action, such as liking a page or entering their email address. If your offer is enticing enough, you’ll have no problem capturing both. Consumers are increasingly more comfortable with giving up their email address, and absolutely love deals. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
There are some fantastic services that make it easy to run contests on your Facebook Page. We have been using a company called Wishpond for our clients, and the results have been outstanding. Wishpond allows you to launch a variety of contests, including Sweepstakes, Voting, Instagram and Referrals. A handy dashboards gives you access to contest analytics, showing the demographics and interests of everyone who participates.
We implement both “like gating” and email capture as requirements to enter contests. Like gating requires non-fans to “like” a brand page to enter. Both fans and non-fans are required to enter their email address, but no other personal information is required. From our experience, the drop-off rate for like gating and email capture is around 10% each. However, since our end goal is to build email lists for remarketing, we’ve found that it’s well worth losing a few entrants.
Use Email Campaigns to Remarket Contest Entrants
When a contest ends, we always take the following steps. First and most importantly, we send an email to the winner and announce it on the Facebook page of the company who ran the contest. Next, we export the email addresses of all entrants and upload them to MailChimp, which is our preferred email marketing platform. Lastly, we always send a courtesy email to all who didn’t win, thanking them for their participation and offering them a consolation prize (e.g. discount on next purchase).
With a brand new pool of highly targeted potential customers locked and loaded in MailChimp, we’re ready to remarket them with monthly promotions, updates and insights. We can then begin to track open, click-through and conversion rates and start gathering real intelligence on our audience.
A well-crafted and highly targeted email effort is far more effective than anything you can do on Facebook. While you should continue building your Facebook audience and retaining the interest of those who you’ve already acquired, email offers a new frontier of possibility and profitability.