• Aleya Harris


Updated: May 3, 2019

When you first began the journey to increase your social media presence, one of your initial goals was probably to grow your followers in a short amount of time. It’s hard not to model your own social media habits after younger generations who cling to every new follower as they search for their own 15 minutes of “influencer status.”

But as you’ve probably come to realize, having all the followers in the world doesn’t necessarily mean these followers will transform into buyers. There’s a fine line between following someone on social media and actively supporting their company and getting behind their brand.

Chances are there are at least half a dozen businesses and corporations providing the very same services and social media content as you, but what can set you apart from your competitors is the way you engage your followers and attempt to transform them into customers.

So to help get you started, I’ve curated the top 5 ways to turn your social media followers into buyers.

1. Understand your Audience Inside and Out

When you walk into any restaurant, you’re likely to come across patrons of varying demographics, all there for the same purpose. But when it comes to social media, the anticipated take away from a business’ profile can vary depending on who you are and what you enjoy.

While building your social media following, it’s no surprise that you’re going to find some “deadbeat” followers. This is why defining your audience and crafting customer personas can help steer your posts in an impactful direction.

Having done the research and pinpointing your audience, you can begin to invest your time and energy into the channels that they use most frequently. For example, if your target audience is millennials that spend most of their time on Instagram and Snapchat, you’ll want to begin heavily focusing on these platforms. Whereas if you’re targeting middle-aged patrons, these platforms aren’t used as much by this customer type, and thus wouldn’t be an effective way of trying to get your message across.

2. Provide Free Value to your Followers

There’s a widely recognized saying that “the best things in life are free.” And while you aren’t necessarily looking to give away your services for free, there needs to be some value in the things you post on social media.

If all you use social media for is to show off your services and try to make the sale, you are going to turn people away. Trust is something that social media followers take to heart and it’s something you should desire to create with your client base.

To create value between your followers, try inserting tips and tricks or consider offering advice to your followers. Engage them by showing them that if they have questions, you have answers. Even though these exchanges are mostly done through technology, you have to remember that followers are human beings and there’s a person with a personality and feelings behind their laptop or phone screen. Keying into this notion not only builds trust, but brand loyalty.

3. Offer Some Exclusive Deals and Discounts

Who doesn’t love a good freebie? This is the basis for one of the biggest marketing incentives used for as long as I can remember.

Taking advantage of like magnetic word "free" is a great way to push followers into making an initial purchase. From a psychological standpoint, receiving what can be considered something for nothing (or close to nothing) can project a positive feeling and good vibes.

To take this a step further, making your promotions available for only a limited time can encourage your followers to stop procrastinating and act now. The desire to be a part of a limited opportunity can entice followers to act immediately before they have a chance to forget. Plus, most people have FOMO (fear of missing out), and will want to have your offer, especially if it is particularly valuable.

4. Show Off Your Followers

Another way to make followers feel like they’re part of a tight-knit community is to show them off. This can help add value to your followers and make them feel as though they’re being recognized for both their follow and their loyalty to your brand.

One of the easiest ways is to highlight a single follower each week as a “Follower of the Week” or “#FollowerFriday.” In this case, a new follower is highlighted at the start or end of every week. This can be an opportunity to share customer testimonials or even share user-generated content. This format can work across several media platforms, opening you up for universal success.

An additional way you can help show off your followers is by holding photo contests. These contests allow followers and casual customers to share their own content while tying in with your brand by using a specific hashtag geared toward these posts. Sharing some of the best entries on your own page can help add a sense of appreciation toward your followers and might sway them to become first-time customers.

5. Maintain Virtual Customer Service

We’re all familiar with the hassle of purchasing a product that we’re unsatisfied with or never received and having to wait several minutes or even hours on the phone waiting to speak with a customer service representative. This can all be avoided if you’re willing to answer and solve customer service questions on your social media pages.

Social media customer service is another way to engage followers. Excellent customer service can be the deciding factor that pushes would-be customers to choose one company over another.

The Q2 2016 Sprout Social index revealed that 90 percent of the people surveyed have initiated communication with a company or brand directly for product questions or customer service issues. While this number might seem a bit high, what’s even more surprising is that of all the social interactions initiated, 89 percent are ignored or go completely ignored. The horror! This should be all the motivation you need to be a part of the 11 percent willing to go above and beyond for their customers.

Now that you have the best tips and tricks for transforming followers into buyers, I can’t wait to see your customer bases grow!

If at any time you need help growing your business using social media, Food & Beverage Media and Marketing is here to help! Click the image below to get started with a free five day trial of the Social Media Pantry content bundle, a surefire way to help boost your social media presence.


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