Everyone shares the need for affirmation, and in business today, this affirmation often manifests in the form of social likes. You can build your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram audience up to 100’s if not 1000’s of likes and even achieve the status of “verified” on these social channels. But in the end, what is the benefit?

The amount of followers your accounts achieve can symbolize your ability to influence and provide a certain level of credibility. But how many of those likes have you converted to loyal customers? The challenge for every business owner is to move your social followers to sales. How do you do that? Here are a few tips:

  1. Manage your social media footprint. Keep your personal content innocuous and stay in control of your online reputation. Your followers may think its weird that you post cat pictures, but they will probably still be interested in your products. Venture into the land of partisan politics (for example) and you’re giving a segment of your followers a reason to move into another source for your products or services. Don’t give them a reason to quit you.
  2. Provide a call to action. If all your followers are doing is seeing your posts in their infinite morning scroll, you’ll not having the impact your business needs. But if the call to action is clearly “share this post for a chance to win” they are more likely to slow down when they see you or go directly to your page to find out about your latest offer. The point of social media is the social aspect of it. Be interactive.
  3. Respond to negative comments. It’s always a blast when someone leaves you a positive review, but interact with the negative comments, too. It’s your opportunity to shine by showing your gracious customer service skills and your interest in putting the customer first. Don’t get into battles on social media channels with your revenue sources, it’s just not a winning strategy.
  4. Share your customer testimonials. Let your prospects know that real people love what you do. You’re not just another voice in social media, you’re a business owner that is able to meet the needs of your customers.
  5. Create time sensitive offers. No one wants to miss a deal if they can help it. Move your prospects from the social realm and get them in your stores, online or brick-and-mortar, to catch that deal before it expires. If you repeat this often enough, your prospects will become repeat customers and your social likes and follows will be of greater substance.

The impact of social media on business of every size has been enormous. But things are changing and your business should never rely solely or mostly on any single avenue of marketing. It’s crucial that you turn your likes into loyal customers, because for some of them, a weariness of social media is setting in and they are leaving. Find other touchpoints for your prospects but leverage channels like Facebook and Instagram while you are able.