How to Boost Social Media Response With Landing Pages
What happens after you've gotten the thousands of likes or the thousands of fans you were looking for?
That's a question you and countless social media marketers have been left with.
All the emphasis in the blogosphere has been on how to use the latest tools and techniques to drive engagement for your brand on the social web.
But you're not seeing the results you wanted in sales, and it's not moving the needle on your bottom line. Management has started to notice.
The dilemma you're facing now is how to convert all those likes, fans and connections into business.
Convert Your Fans into Email Subscribers
But how do you do this? How do make that leap from getting all your customers who liked your Facebook page to actually becoming an active prospect?
You need to get them off of social media.
More specifically, you need to get them off of social media and into your email marketing system.
Marketer Andrea Vahl (aka Grandma Mary) says that one of the 7 deadly Facebook marketing sins is not getting your fans into your email list:
"Facebook could go away tomorrow and you would still have the ties to all of your Fans. Your e-mail list is yours."
Brian Massey, the "Conversion Scientist," says that email marketing is essential for any considered purchase:
"If all of your customers buy spontaneously on their first visit and never buy again, then you may not need to invest in email marketing. I don't know of any business like this."
If your customers take weeks or months to come to a purchase decision, you cannot ignore email. Email is the biggest social network on the planet. Even retirees use email.
But getting your prospects from your social media sites into your email list (or on to your site to purchase your product) requires one more element: an off-network landing page.
How to Use Off-Network Landing Pages to Convert Fans into Buyers
As part of our Landing Pages 101 series we wrote a blog post on How a Social Media Landing Page can Increase your Social Marketing Success. We discussed how a social media landing page can help you bring your fans off your social media sites and into your own commerce network.
But Brian Massey, who introduced the term social media landing page, says you need an additional landing page to get your fans off the social networks and into your commerce network.
In this video Massey compares social media landing pages with off-network landing pages, and how to convert your fans, connections and like-ers into customers.
On-Network Landing Pages
Massey explains that a brand who engages with its fans on its social media sites can use a social media landing page to drive deeper engagement. A social media landing page is a page on Facebook (or LinkedIn, etc.) that is dedicated to that brand.
The advantages of using a social media page within that particular social network, according to Massey, are that they are high trust and they contain the engagement elements of the network.
However, there are disadvantages. Distractions are a huge one. All the shares from your friends and the little red numbers in the top left corner are a potential conversion killer.
The other disadvantage is that there is a lack of control. It's not easy to create calls-to-action with on-network landing pages. This can also kill conversions.
Off-Network Landing Pages
The off-network landing page allows you to bring fans on to your own property – giving you more control. You can remove the distractions, such as removing any sidebars or even removing site-wide navigation. You can also place your calls-to-action anywhere you want.
However, you lose the scent your visitors were following while on the social network. Scent is hugely important – it's like a tracker dog following a scent to find a missing person, and then losing that scent when he gets to a river. The dog gets confused and wants to go back.
If you bring your fans off the social network into off-network landing page, they may lose the scent of that social network and hit the back button.
The advantages of an off-network landing page: the analytics are better. You can measure precisely whether they convert into a subscriber (or buyer) through Google Analytics or your favorite analytics tool.
How to Optimize your social media Landing Page
Create a Hybrid Landing Page
A hybrid landing page is one that frames content from your off-network landing page within your social media site. Let's take Facebook, the most popular social network. You can create a Facebook landing page with elements from Facebook and elements from your own off-network landing page.
If you can integrate your Facebook credentials with your online form, you don't have to force people to fill in a form. They can subscribe to your newsletter just by clicking a button.
Respect the Scent of your Social Network
Another solution is to respect the scent of the social network. Design your off-network landing page so that it retains many of the visual elements of the social media site your visitors were on.
- Welcome your visitors from whatever social network they were on. For example: "welcome Facebook fans" or "welcome LinkedIn visitors!"
- Use the colors and logos from that social network
- If technically feasible, use the sign-in credentials from that social network to have them subscribe to your email list. For example, if they're visiting from Facebook, they may be prompted with an "Allow Application" notification when they click on the "subscribe" button. This way they can subscribe without having to fill out a form (as I mentioned above).
(For information about Facebook Connect login, click here.)
Your next steps
Getting actual business results from your social marketing efforts is your real goal. The best way to achieve this is to subscribe them to your in-house email list. Conversions from email marketing are much higher than conversions from social networks.
But you need a way to convert fans into subscribers. You can do that with a social media landing page that is either in-network or off-network. For best results, create an off-network page that's either a hybrid or a true off-network page.
It may be easier for you to create an off-network page, but you run the danger of losing the scent for your customers. Keep the scent for your visitors by integrating visual elements from the social network they came from, welcoming them specifically from the social network they came from, and creating a seamless sign-in experience between that social network and your conversion actions.
Also, let us know in the comments below what your experience has been converting social media fans into subscribers and customers!