Since the rocket-like launches of Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest years ago, organizations have been asking the million dollar question in regards to social media, "How can we convert fans into buyers?"
While I don't proclaim to have all of the answers, the answer to the question of converting social media followers to customers seems a rather obvious one: The same way you converted your existing customers.
From my perspective, there's too much status placed on 'fans' and 'fan counts' by most social media "experts". The people who "like" your brand are essentially giving your company a virtual high five. They appreciate something you've done or a perception you've created about your products. They may or may not be your current customers. And – unless you work to convert your followers into buyer – they may or may not be your future customers.
In a traditional sense, your Facebook fans and Twitter followers are the digital equivalent of window shoppers. Some of them know your brand well, they enjoy your products and actively share their experiences with their friends.
But some of your fans – a large majority – are standing on the sidewalk. They like your window display, but it hasn't compelled them to open the door and try your brand. And this is where your business acumen and experience – more so than your social networking skills – come into play.
So ask yourself and your team: What do you do as a brand that brings potential customers in off the sidewalk?
If you can answer that question, then you can convert social media followers into buyers.