In her recent Social Media Marketing World 2017 presentation, Shama Hyder, visionary digital strategist, acclaimed international keynote speaker, and bestselling author of “The Zen of Social Media Marketing” and “Momentum: How to Propel Your Marketing and Transform Your Brand in the Digital Age,” mapped out how to use social media to evolve your audience from strangers to consumers of your content and finally to brand enthusiasts. The following takeaway tips will help you devise digital strategies to achieve specific business goals throughout the customer life cycle.
For affiliate marketers, the burning marketing question is: How do you attract your ideal audience, convert them to become regular consumers of your content who trust your recommendations, and then transform them into enthusiastic ambassadors who will share your content with their networks?
And how do you fit social media into this equation? Not just for the sake of buzz, but also to actually bake social media use in at all three phases of the customer lifecycle to up buying on eBay to boost your commissions?
Hyder’s methodology for using social media at each stage of the customer lifecycle is ACT: Attract, Convert, Transform.
ATTRACT: How do you ATTRACT attention and get people to flock to your website, app or social channel?
Attention is perhaps today’s most valuable commodity.
To earn it, you must create content and curate products that appeal to your core audience. Remember, it’s not about you -- it’s about them. And it goes beyond providing people with information they want and need; it’s also about what being your fan/follower allows your audience to say about his or her own personal brand.
Hyder uses another acronym to illustrate how you attract attention: ETC.
E = Educate: Successful affiliate marketers know that sharing a wealth of knowledge, for free, builds authority and credibility, which in turns helps people trust your product recommendations. And don’t worry that you’re giving away too much free information; your best bet nowadays is to out-educate your competitors.
Take ACTion: Create and share blog posts, curate content on social platforms like Pinterest and Facebook, Tweet out tips, and so on.
T = Transparent: People want to do business with other humans, so be transparent and use social media to interact, be personable, have an opinion, and be helpful. When you’re being challenged, have a real, human exchange. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about being authentic and responsive. As an eBay affiliate marketer, you may also want to be transparent about being financially incentivized for product recommendations.
Take ACTion: Tweet back, reply to comments on your posts, respond to negative feedback in a timely, constructive way, share your customer's’ Instagram posts of your product or experience, and so on.
C = Choices: Give your audience lots of ways to engage with you. Choose the right social platforms for your audience -- you don’t have to be everywhere -- just where your readers, subscribers and/or followers are.
Take ACTion: Make sure you have contact information in all of your social platforms, and in cases like Instagram, where you can have a personal or business profile, make it professional.
CONVERT: How do you change a stranger into a consumer or customer?
Once you’ve attracted your audience, and they’re consuming your (free) information, there’s a simple formula that explains how passive readers become your best active referrals.
Consumer + Time = Customer
People who consume your information over time get to know, like and trust your content, which leads to more affiliate sales. Help them make meaningful connections with your content, and make it easy for them to click through to find quality products that you’ve selected especially for them.
TRANSFORM: How do you take that attention and conversions to build your business? Hyder says it’s by “combining both attract and convert into a magnetic force.”
Once you’ve built your following, look for new ways to connect with your audience to keep them engaged and coming back for more.
Facebook Live is a great opportunity to reach your audience and potential new fans/followers, too. You can get three times as much visibility in a Facebook feed than any other content. So use it to spread the word about what you do to build your profile, extend your authority and offer up new ways to interact with you and the eBay products you recommend.
Social media opens up opportunities at all three phases of the buyer lifecycle, so use it to make those invaluable connections to attract, convert and transform your audience from passive lookers or readers to active ambassadors that support you, your content, and your affiliate marketing success.