5 Ways to Spur Action for Your Social Media Tactics

social media how toAre you looking for ways to increase conversions from social media?

Do you want more engagement for your social media campaigns?

Understanding how people respond to marketing tactics can help you achieve your social media marketing goals.

In this article I’ll share five ways to maximize social conversion and engagement by capitalizing on human behaviors.

#1: Tease Your Followers

A tease is designed to arouse desire or curiosity through urging or coaxing. As humans we love to tease and be teased. We simply can’t resist “staying tuned” to find out the rest of the story.

Increasingly marketers are learning the power of the tease, especially in social media.

In July 2013, Oscar de la Renta exclusively released ads from their fall 2013 campaign via Instagram before the official advertising launch in September print magazines.

oscar de la renta instagram post

Fans appreciate exclusive content and that can lead to deeper connections.

The brand started by teasing the Instagram ads on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Then they revealed a sneak-peek announcement image (a closeup), on Instagram. In just two days they received 5,400 likes.

Instagram followers were given exclusive access to seven ad stills from the fall 2013 traditional ad campaign. A link at the end of each photo caption invited conversion by directing fans to place pre-sale orders on the brand’s ecommerce website.

Do you have a new product, service, event or ad campaign coming up that you could tease? What about behind the scenes at your company? Give your followers an orchestrated peek behind the curtain to boost interest.

#2: Put Others First

Howard Gossage, an influential advertising copywriter from the 1960s, said, “No one reads advertising. They read what interests them.” For marketers this means we must shift our perspective from pleasing ourselves with product feature–focused advertising to valuable content focused on helping our customers.

Instead of advertising to attract the small business target audience they’re interested in, American Express opted to be an educational resource with their Open Forum social media campaign. The Open Forum provides valuable operational, financial and marketing advice and information for small business owners.

american express open forum twitter profile

American Express OPEN Forum is designed to help business owners grow their business, which in turn helps AMEX grow their own.

By helping others, American Express helps itself grow. Non-AMEX clients are more likely to join them. In fact, AMEX says the Open Forum site has driven as many credit card inquiries as any other traditional marketing effort.

Helping others has drawn millions of site visitors, hundreds of contributors and over 200,000 Twitter followers with little advertising support. Scott Roen, VP of digital marketing, says, “Roughly 85-90% of our traffic comes from organic means. Not advertising.”

Do you have valuable content and knowledge you can share? Use it to put others’ interests first and draw your own appreciative, responsive crowd.

#3: Show, Don’t Tell

Research has found that including a photo can help increase people’s engagement with your social media posts.

Benefit Cosmetics, an international company known for its free-spirited brand and unique approach to marketing, used no traditional advertising. Benefit reaches its consumers entirely through social and digital channels so conversion relies on their digital content. The brand knows images are worth the time they take to create.

In The Power of Visual Storytelling, Claudia Allwood, director of digital marketing for Benefit, says, “We wanted to create visual, shareable content … as instant as our beauty solutions.”

benefits cosmetics mascara facebook post

Benefit could have tweeted their quippy lines and quotes via text, but using a visual is more powerful and sharable.

In 2012, the brand leveraged visual content including graphic quotes, product images and event photos to launch a new mascara product in the UK. In 6 months the campaign produced over 90,000 likes and a 500% increase in engaged social users. The brand also captured the title of UK’s #1 selling mascara.

What visual content can you leverage or create to share via social media? Put some time into your visuals and your next Twitter pic could be worth 1,000 likes or more.

#4: Present Social Proof

Humans are naturally skeptical. We find it hard to believe anyone who has reason to gain from what they are saying to us. That’s why 71% of online shoppers read reviews and trust them more than advertising.

Marketers can use consumer-generated reviews and testimonials in social content as social proof.

Wine retailer Invino encourages social sharing of its customers’ wine purchases through ShopSocially’s social commerce module. They also aggregate all of those social testimonials and republish them on the website with a product stories app.

invino social prompt popup

Sharing of wine purchases via social networks has resulted in word-of-mouth promotions for Invino.

Encouraging Invino shoppers to brag about their wine purchases on various social networks has paid off. The social proof they’ve gained has helped increase user engagement; the social testimonials directly delivered a 22% increase in sales conversion. The increased engagement has also produced brand loyalty and repeat purchases.

Your customers are talking about you all the time. Leverage customer social proof to support your marketing efforts.

#5: Create Urgency

We like immediate gratification. Given two similar rewards, people show a preference for one that arrives sooner rather than later. In other words, we discount the value of a later reward. The important point is that marketers should always add time constraints or sense of immediacy to social content.

dell outlet twitter stream

Dell Outlet uses deadlines, expiration dates, limited-time offers and phrases of urgency to spur social conversion.

Dell knows computer purchasers value immediacy. In 2009, Dell launched @DellOutlet where they offered products for sale through Twitter. The Twitter page generated $6.5 million in sales in 18 months.

What you’ll notice about most of the content on the Dell Outlet is that it emphasizes “now” through specific end dates, one-day sales or simply phrases such as shop now, 4 days left, only 72 hours, sale ends soon, and last days.

Is there enough “now” in your social media? Create excitement and incite action with time-sensitive deadlines to increase sales.

In Closing

Successful marketers use insight into human behaviors to predict responses to an ad or campaign, then capitalize on those responses to achieve specific goals.

Use the tips above to help you create more engagement and conversions for your own social media campaigns.

What do you think? Have you noted and leveraged a human response for social media marketing success? What other social media tactics do you use? Let us know in the comments below.

Tags: , , , , ,

About the Author, Keith Quesenberry

A professor and researcher at Johns Hopkins University, Keith Quesenberry has nearly 20 years experience as an award winning advertising copywriter and creative director for Fortune 500 and startup clients. Other posts by »




More Info
  • Mike

    Hey Keith — I have a question for you after reading this article: given the current landscape and practices of social media marketing today, would you say that the important outcomes are merely the sheer number of tweets, likes, comments, etc that a campaign generates? For example, if you “tease” your consumers in ways that you describe above, you would expect an increase in the number of tweets, likes, etc. for your product–however, do increases in such measures automatically mean more success, sales, interest, etc for the product? With social media, I can’t help but think that with a lot of people, it’s really more of a big contest to see which of us can generate more “likes” with our content. Can you imagine a situation in which a campaign on social media creates more “likes” but such “likes” don’t translate into real success (e.g., sales)?

  • http://addingtonoise.wordpress.com Keith A Quesenberry

    Thank you for the great question. In many cases you are right. Some marketers chase Likes and have not planned out it will drive back to a sale. It is important to create an integrated effort with social media playing a part in an overall marketing plan tied to business objectives. What this looks like varies based on the business or organization.

    At a basic level a Like is a simple measure of awareness. If someone Liked your post, they are aware of it. Generating a lot of Likes is a measure of increased awareness, which can be an important marketing objective – especially for new product introductions or startups. Many times we don’t know a direct link from a single Like to a purchase that may happen online later that day or week from another retailer online or in a physical store. The same problem happens with traditional TV advertising unless it is a direct response commercial.

    I used to work on fast-food clients and we ran commercials to generate awareness. Sales of their sandwiches went up or down. Perhaps it was the commercial but there were many other factors that could have caused it. What we did know is reach – how many eyeballs we bought based on TV ratings.

    With Facebook we may post pictures of a new sandwich. Showing up
    in the newsfeed generates awareness, which could measure reach (awareness) by the number of fans and shares passing the sandwich on further. But if some
    see the post, get hungry later and go to the store to buy the sandwich, we
    still don’t have a direct measure of sales to that Like.

    However, you could have direct measures by creating unique offer codes, landing pages, etc. In the Oscar de la Renta example their Instagram post did invite customers to a pre-sale with a direct link, which could be measured. When possible it is important to make sure you are not simply collecting fans on each social platform, but directing attention to one place where sales conversion or lead generation can happen.

  • Pingback: 5 Ways to Spur Action for Your Social Media Tactics | Social Media … | bloggerland









Pinterest
Check out the Social Media Marketing Podcast!
Join our Social Media Marketing Networking Club
Download the free Social Media Marketing Industry Report
Get Your FREE Copy of the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report
Wondering how your peers are using social media? Get this free report (50 pages, 80+ charts) and never miss another great article from Social Media Examiner.