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The Second Date

While follower-building strategies are important, if you're not following up with follower-to-contact strategies, you're missing out on a lot of pretty great second dates.

Follower to Conversion Strategies

When it comes to building digital business, a lot of marketing attention gets spent on talk of building your social following. So we build social engagement plans, we do partnerships and collaborations, we create content calendars, and we try to find new ways to get more followers who will become increasingly invested in our brand over time and potentially turn into customers.

Long story short: if a follower is someone you've met in a group and kind of dig, a contact is someone who's getting ready for your second date. (And a customer has moved in with you, but that's a whole other story.)
So exactly how are you doing this? Well, if you follow the funnel, your followers are by definition warm (or marketing qualified) leads. They've demonstrated an awareness of and interest in your brand but - as with all funnel building - if they haven't been converted to contacts, they're still two steps away from becoming a customer. (And, yes, there are customers who convert directly from social, but if you believe in the numbers, this is the exception rather than the rule, just like The Bachelor couples who actually ended up married.)
The money is in the list.
Given this, the actual value of a social follower is notoriously difficult to quantify. Thus your job as a brand is to turn those warm leads into contacts. (Yep, email list contacts. As the old ecomm adage goes: the money is in the list.) Once you move them along the funnel, the conversion metrics get significantly easier to observe, improve upon, and quantify in dollars.
So what tools and tactics can you use to convert social followers, who have self-selected as being interested in your offering, into list contacts?
  1. Exclusive social contesting: We see giveaways on brands' social pages in our own Facebook and Instagram feeds every day - but more often than not they're used to drive perceived engagement or generate possible new social followers (as an aside: tagging a friend in a post isn't really engagement). This is all well and good, but unless all of your followers are members of your database, a more funnel-focused use of that activity would be to point them to a landing page and convert them into subscribers.

  2. Exclusive social content: If you're active on social, you're presumably creating content in addition to the images being posted - how-to-videos, top ten tips, guides. Often times, brands simply point to this content directly in their posts or bio pages - instead, use a landing page that requires them to provide their email to access your exclusive content.

  3. Exclusive social discounts: The level to which you introduce discount codes, bundles, and flash sales is dependent on your overall marketing strategy, but getting into the habit of offering, for example, a discount code for social followers only (that isn't promoted through your general email list or on your website) can be very powerful for converting followers to contacts. In this case, you may want to consider having something more exciting than your typical first-order-conversion offer, and again: you will need to create a landing page to collect their emails before enabling access to the one-use-per-customer code.

Image props: RawPixel.com.

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