Driving Social to Sales

So your brand has a pretty decent social media following. You have a few hundred (or thousand) likes on Facebook, a sizable amount of Twitter followers, and an active LinkedIn account. Just a few more posts on your social media networks and you should be expecting these followers to be bowing to your every command, right?

Not so much. Unless gaining followers is your brand’s ultimate goal, the numbers game you’re playing with your social marketing plan isn’t going to pan out like you wish. Creating relevant social content for your followers though, that will get you somewhere.

This doesn’t mean posting a Facebook status or tweet about your latest and greatest product with a link to the purchase page. If you do that, you’ll only blend in with purchased Twitter “trends” and loathed paid Facebook ads — a content marketing dead zone.

Instead, it needs to be relevant and useful social content that will drive your followers down a path to other relevant and useful content. This could be anything from a simple link to a blog post on your brand’s site, an infographic outlining interesting information, a white paper providing an in depth look at a significant topic, or just a landing page that prompts the follower to download something more.

A Lesson from Patagonia: 3 Steps to Drive Social to Sales
Patagonia is a great example of a social and content marketing strategy that resulted in increased sales. Analyzing their strategy, you can find a three-step plan to convert social engagement into revenue.

Awareness
Rather than posting photos of their most recent sporting gear to their different social accounts, Patagonia instead provides links to articles on their website that cover different sports. A great example of this is their current campaign focused on the upcoming summer surf season. Their social streams are full of links and information on the upcoming season, which link backs to their website. Once there, followers can find anything and everything about surfing.

Engagement
This eBook’s content contains interviews with surfers from around the world and different videos of people taking on some of the biggest swells. Along with those profiles comes a bit of product: photos of the different board shorts that Patagonia offers and the different features of each.

(Surf 2013, http://www.patagonia.com)

(Surf 2013, http://www.patagonia.com)

Conversion
Incorporating board shorts in the eBook works perfectly for converting social to sales. The “2013 Surf” eBook was promoted by Patagonia on different social platforms, driving already interested followers to engage in the eBook by either reading the articles or watching the videos. From there, the opportunity to purchase is embedded right within the eBook, along with information explaining why different types of board shorts are best for various surf conditions.

Patagonia’s content marketing strategy seamlessly draws their social followers to sales on the website with just a few simple steps. Simply put, they’ve created a community shaped towards their consumer interests without ever having to ask for a “like” or a “share.”

The choice is yours: If you want to continue scrambling to “up” your followers and likes on different social media sites, by all means, go for it. But if you want to create a brand following that extends beyond social and ultimately results in converting followers to customers, it’s time to start looking at your social the way Patagonia has: Step away from the numbers and instead, focus on the strategy.

Want more guidance about converting social to sales? Talk to Matt Betz,Hey Strategist.