Are Social Fans Better Customers?

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Ecommerce sites find customers all over the place. From organic search engine traffic to paid ads and good old fashioned word of mouth, your business can grow at an incredible rate these days, but one of the (potentially) most effective ways to spread the word on your amazing business is social media. While this is certainly a great way to get people talking about you, a question that plagues many marketers is, “Are social fans quality customers?” Every effort needs to lead to revenue, so do fans convert into meaningful sales, or would you be better off focusing on other marketing channels?

Every site is different, so you’ll have to see how your customers react to social media, but here are a few benefits you gain from quality social media:

Reputation management. Social media sites are ideal settings for showing how much you care. Build a loyal customer base by giving them one on one help. It’s public enough that others will see you care, and specific enough to give genuine aid to those who need it.

Create brand advocates. Probably the best thing about social media fans is they are outstanding brand advocates. They know how to spread the word on your great customer service, share your promotional deals and offers but more importantly truly awesome products, and by engaging with their brand they share their loyalty with your business to their entire friend base. If you have smart posts, your social fans will have access to how-to guides, blogs and more and they’re often very enthusiastic. Treat them well and that enthusiasm works in your favor. Ignore them and watch out for a passionate backlash.

Better search engine positioning. My main duties for OpticsPlanet revolve around search engine optimization, and social media plays a big role in that. If visitors to your site “like” your page it’s more likely to be listed at the top of search engines like Google and Bing. Your social customers not only make sales; they help others find you.

Simply put, social fans are better customers if you treat them right. Every day, week and month should be an entertaining mini-tour around your website. What do you sell? Which of their questions/concerns can you address? What interesting new blogs have you written? Inundate them with sales pitches and they’ll ignore you. Do nothing but tell funny stories and they won’t buy from you. Build rapport. Earn trust. Increase sales.

Brian Coughlin is a social media and SEO expert for, the leading Internet retailer for technical and high performance gear. His passion for social media engagement and search engine dominance helped OpticsPlanet rank in 2012 on the Social Media Top 300 by Internet Retailer.

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