Do Facebook ‘likes’ add up to sales?

    Sam Mutimer

    Do Facebook ‘likes’ add up to sales?
    In short, yes, they can (providing you have a product or service to sell), but a like itself is only the initial stage of the process – let me explain.
    First, let’s look at why someone would like your page; we tweeted the question and here’s what some of you said.

    In most cases it’s because they are interested in your product or service, want to get a better deal, or want to be associated with your brand. They want to be involved in the community, hear what you have to say, engage and communicate with your brand.
    As a business, you should consider these ‘likes’ as the first step in an ongoing relationship.
    Think of someone who has liked your page in a similar way to someone who is looking through your physical store window; they are interested, but it wouldn’t be cool to go out on the street to chase them inside. If you were a store owner and you wanted someone to come inside to show your products, you might entice them with an awesome window display, or a ‘sale’ sign or promotion, or great music – things that convey your brand values.
    Once someone has walked inside your store you know they are there to browse your products, ask a question or directly purchase. You now have the opportunity to interact, engage, make conversation, answer questions, flatter them and create a positive experience in an effort to make a sale.
    To bring this back to Facebook, you can’t directly see who has liked your page until they comment, or like a comment (think customer at the window). However, you do have the opportunity to entice them to interact by having a compelling and engaging page that will add value to the ‘liker’. You need to discover what it is that engages your audience and entices them to comment. Things like competitions, questions, videos etc. all help to encourage participation and comments.
    Once a liker has left a comment (think customer who come inside your store) you have the opportunity to spark up a conversation and begin to build a meaningful relationship, answer questions, advise, promote your product (without being too pushy) and make the person feel like part of your community. This creates a positive brand experience and increases the potential o sell to that person.
    I personally would make conversation in a genuine and authentic way with EVERY person that leaves a comment or likes a post.
    So, you can see, the more people that like your page, the more opportunities you have to spark up conversation, the greater the chance of converting that initial like to a sale – be it a sale directly within Facebook, online or whether the positive brand experience you have created encourages someone to buy from a physical store.
    Gary Veynerchuk calls this the ‘Thank You Economy’.
    We’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Why do you ‘like’ a Facebook page? What does a brand do through social media that makes you want to buy their product? What kind of social experience and engagement do you expect from a brand?