Do your social media followers actually translate into customers?

When you finally hit that magical number of followers you start to feel a sense of validation that your social media content has been successful. You have a solid following that shows active engagement which is great but what does that mean for your return on investment? Are your followers actual customers? Do those “likes” translate into increased sales? Those are the questions you should be thinking about and trying to find answers for. 

There is no doubt that using social media is a valuable tool however, it’s important to note that it may not be completely representative of your customers. According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), “[a]lmost 90% of what you hear on social media comes from fewer than 30% of social media users”. Diving deeper, HBR has classified social media users into three groups. The first group is the enthusiasts which makeup 30% and post 5 or more times a week. The second group is the dabblers which are the majority who are quieter and only post 2 to 4 times a week. The third and final group are the lurkers who are silent most of the time and average at most 1 post per week. With that in mind, it’s difficult to definitively state that the most vocal users are representative of everyone.

Despite not knowing exactly which followers are actual customers and if their sentiments are being represented by the most engaged users, your company can still find valuable insights that are worth exploring. Consider using various social listening tools so you can monitor and discover potential trends in the data. You may uncover significant relationships between the most liked content based on demographics or even start to notice patterns across different social media channels. There are endless opportunities to capture insights and by tracking the data over time and comparing that information with other customer reviews and surveys that are conducted you can start to validate how the majority of your customers are feeling. For more tips on how to convert your social media followers into customers check this great resource!

While all of your followers may not necessarily be existing customers or even convert into a customer in the future, social media is still a great platform to generate brand awareness. You may not know the thoughts or reactions of all your followers but the ones you do know of do carry weight. Continue to use your social media to provide quality content based on the insights you’re able to gather but also keep mind that there are limitations to the data. The more data-driven, alert, and inquisitive you remain, the more in tune you’ll be with the needs of your audience who over time may just so happen to be your most loyal customers.