A few days ago someone on Twitter said, ‘Pro tip: having millions of followers is fun but having an engaged audience pays the bills’. That was a simple yet profound piece of truth that you must understand about social media. I respond to the tweet by saying, ‘Facts! That is why micro-influencers (with 1000 to 40000 followers) are usually preferred more by advertisers than macro-influencers (40000 to 1+ million followers). It is because micro-influencers are typically characterised by exceptionally engaged followers’. It is not enough to just have followers; convert them to customers, here is how:

Are They Your Target Audience?

The first thing you need to ascertain is whether or not your followers are your target audience. It would be pointless to do anything if you are working with the wrong audience.

(By the way, it is not just formal business people or entrepreneurs who can monetize their followers. Anyone who has a considerable following can and must find ways to monetize them. It can be via directly selling to them your stuff or you can charge advertisers to tap into your following, for a fee of course).

Anyways, back to my point, you must do some research on the state of your followers. You will be investigating things like where they are from, their ages, gender, and the like. That will give you a clear picture of whether or not they constitute your ideal target audience. If they are then great; you can get down to business. If not, you will have to work on cultivating a following that is your intended target audience.

Hook Them In With Some Offers

I have mentioned before that do not make hard sells. People generally do not like hard sells. Especially here in Zimbabwe, you must know most people are looking for bargains. Thus if you want to find a way to the heart of your audience you must offer them something. This is of critical importance when looking to realize your first sales. On average, 8 in every 10 people usually won’t be discounted when making their first purchase. This is as important at the onset as it will periodically be from time to time. If you occasionally have special offers or discounts they will be thrilled to always buy.

Take Note Of Your Most Engaged Followers

There is an interesting subset of your followers you must consider. These are followers who probably have never purchased anything from you but are highly engaged on your platform(s). I know this to be true because there are some platforms where I engage with every post though I have never purchased anything. The good thing about such followers is that they already have good regard for you. They simply need to be nudged for them to buy something. That nudge can start by ensuring you respond to all their engagements on your posts. Again, I have seen this working on me i.e. I have ended up buying from a brand because of that. I know it works wonders so you must adopt that approach with your followers. Let me also hear that their engagement is a function of the consistency, regularity, and quality of your content. It goes to emphasise the importance of content in keeping your followers engaged as a whole.

The Indispensable Place And Role Of Social Proofs

Feedback, testimonials, and reviews from your customers are essential to boosting the conversion of followers to customers. People now most prefer to make purchases informed by other people’s experiences. You must make it a policy to share positive feedback, testimonials, and reviews from your customers. The feedback, testimonials, and reviews can either be solicited or unsolicited. When other followers see you parading your customers they can be inspired to buy just so they can be featured later on.

Research has repeatedly shown that social proofs are now one of the biggest drivers of sales. Social proofs put faces to the brand in that your followers get to see that you have real customers. This is also a good place to talk about you putting your faces to the brand. Let people know who is behind your platform, the faces and the personalities. This will make you more relatable such that your followers will engage more and even refer others.

Those are the fundamentals of how you convert your followers to customers. It works for everyone who has or can cultivate a following on social media. Just to give you a hint: the 3 easiest social media platforms to cultivate a following right now are TikTok, Twitter, and LinkedIn. A lot of you are sleeping on those platforms; well, you are missing out. From today, just know that if you have a few thousand followers and are not monetizing them you are wasting potential and opportunities.