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You Need to Start Converting Your Social Media Followers Now. Here's How. – Entrepreneur

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If you want your business to thrive rather than merely survive 2021 and beyond, seize the spotlight you have.

February
24, 2021

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


are cool and all, but if you’re not converting those fans to customers, your efforts and investments are futile. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the world can, and will, change overnight. So, if you want your business to thrive rather than merely survive 2021 and beyond, you have to be prepared for the worst to happen. 

Imagine if TikTok had been banned in the U.S. last year as nearly happened? A lot of people would have lost these leads. What if the same threat looms over us for or other platforms in 2021? If you don’t want to be caught with your proverbial pants down, you need to start converting your followers to customers now. 

Why, though?

Unless you purchased fake followers, most of your social media fans like your products or services, making them hot leads. Failure to implement a strategy to convert these fans to customers means you are missing out on sales that are there for the taking. 

An increasing number of individuals and organizations have lost their Instagram accounts to hackers, unable to ever re-access their former accounts. What happens to all of those followers if you weren’t already converting them to customers? They are lost forever, and all the time and energy you invested in building your online presence is flushed down the drain. 

Related: 6 Steps for Better Social Media Engagement

The how 

Most brands only pay attention to their post-engagement analytics. Yes, likes and comments per post are important so that you can adapt your content strategy accordingly, but what if your account gets hacked tonight? Kiss those leads you had on ice, waiting to be reeled in like little fishes on a hook goodbye. Read on to discover how to convert fans to customers. 

1. Activate email subscription. Most site visitors will not subscribe to your emails unless there’s something in it for them. Entice visitors to share their information with you by offering limited-time discount codes, giveaway entry or free ebook downloads in return for their information. Offering 20-40% off a visitor’s first purchase from you is one of the most effective ways to push newbies across the finish line of your sales funnel. To get ahead of the competition, you have to cut through the online noise by offering consumers value for money over competitors. That’s the holy grail of influencing purchasing decisions. 

2. Retarget, retarget, retarget! I know you’re busy and overwhelmed, but another essential step in successful conversion is retargeting those who share their information with you. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many social media users, including some of the biggest powerhouse brands in the world, are culprits of dropping the ball at this level of Jumanji. 

Your email-subscription set-up should be connected to the email platform of your choice, whether that be a basic MailChimp account or a more advanced platform, so that all of your new contacts are automatically added to your email database. The more advanced your platform, the easier it will make your life, as a lot of the actions, such as segmenting, are automated. (The importance of email segmentation is a separate topic for another day.)  An email database you don’t utilize is as pointless as social media fans you’re not converting. Aim to send out at least one email per month to your contacts, preferably with special offers or new products or services rather than just company news (which everyone deletes). 

Related: 7 Easy Ways to Win More Conversions on Social Media

Case in point….

Here’s a quick summary of a case study for you. The year is 2019, and the biggest concern for brands was probably the rumors about Instagram potentially being shut down and disappearing over night. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, but we were hit with a global pandemic that no one was prepared for either.

Anyway, with the Instagram rumors in full swing, I reached out to a fashion powerhouse to collaborate on a giveaway with a prominent entrepreneur I was working with at the time. The result? Nearly 1,000 emails within 24 hours, and a 23% increase in sales within three weeks as I retargeted these leads via weekly email marketing.

If that doesn’t demonstrate how valuable converting your fans to customers is, then I can’t help you. 

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Britney Spears calls recent documentaries about her ‘hypocritical’

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Pop singer Britney Spears spoke out on Tuesday about recent documentaries about her life and career, calling them “hypocritical” because they rehash her personal problems while criticizing the media for reporting them the first time.

Walt Disney Co’s FX network and The New York Times released “Framing Britney Spears” in February. The documentary examined the singer’s meteoric rise to fame as a teenager, the ensuing media scrutiny and her widely publicized breakdown.And this month, the BBC released “The Battle for Britney: Fans, Cash and a Conservatorship” in Britain. It will debut in the United States and Canada starting May 11 via the BBC Select streaming service.

In an Instagram post, Spears did not name either documentary but said “so many documentaries about me this year with other people’s takes on my life.”

“These documentaries are so hypocritical … they criticize the media and then do the same thing,” she added.

In March, Spears said she cried for two weeks after watching part of “Framing Britney Spears”.

The BBC said in a statement on Tuesday that its documentary “explores the complexities surrounding conservatorship with care and sensitivity.”

“It does not take sides and features a wide range of contributors,” the statement added.

A New York Times spokesperson declined to comment.

Spears, who shot to fame in 1998 with the hit “Baby One More Time,” is in a court battle seeking to replace her father as her conservator. He was appointed to the role in 2008 after she was hospitalized for psychiatric treatment.

Her fans have shown their support on social media under the hashtags #We’reSorryBritney and #FreeBritney. Spears is scheduled to speak to a Los Angeles court in June.

In her Instagram post, which included a video of herself dancing, Spears said that “although I’ve had some pretty tough times in my life … I’ve had waaaayyyy more amazing times in my life and unfortunately my friends … I think the world is more interested in the negative.”

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by David Gregorio)

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Grammy organizers change rules after allegations of corruption

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The organizers of music’s Grammy Awards on Friday announced an end to the so-called “secret” committees that have led to allegations that the highest honors in the industry are open to rigging.

The Recording Academy said that nominations for the next Grammy Awards in January 2022 will be selected by all of its more than 11,000 voting members, instead of by committees of 15-30 industry experts whose names were not revealed.

The Academy was slammed last year when Canadian artist The Weeknd got zero Grammy nominations, even though his critically acclaimed album “After Hours” was one of the biggest sellers of 2020.

The Weeknd, in a Twitter post last November, said “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”

The Recording Academy said in a statement on Friday that the changes were significant and were made “to ensure that the Grammy Awards rules and guidelines are transparent and equitable.”

Allegations that the Grammy nominations process is tainted were made in a legal complaint filed in early 2019 by the former chief executive of the Recording Academy, Deborah Dugan.

At the time, the Academy dismissed as “categorically false, misleading and wrong” Dugan’s claims that its members pushed artists they have relationships with. Dugan was later fired.

American pop star Halsey, also shut out of the 2021 Grammys, last year called the nominations process “elusive” and said she was “hoping for more transparency or reform.”

Former One Direction singer Zayn Malik called in March for an end to “secret committees.”

“I’m keeping the pressure on & fighting for transparency & inclusion. We need to make sure we are honoring and celebrating ‘creative excellence’ of ALL,” Malik tweeted hours ahead of the 2021 Grammy Awards ceremony.

The Recording Academy on Friday also said it was adding two new Grammy categories – for best global music performance, and best Latin urban music album – bringing to 86 the total number of Grammy Awards each year.

 

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by David Gregorio)

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Movie theaters face uncertain future

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By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Maryo Mogannam snuck into the Empire theater in San Francisco with his older cousins to watch “Animal House” when he was 14. He watched most of the James Bond movies at the historic art house and took his wife there on some of their first dates.

The cinema, which had been showing movies since the silent film era, served notice in February that it was permanently closing because of the impact of COVID-19. The marquee is now blank, and cardboard and paper cover the box office window.

“It’s kind of like losing a friend,” said Mogannam, now 57, who owns a retail shipping outlet near the theater, which had been renamed the CineArts at the Empire.

As vaccinated Americans emerge from their homes, they also may find their neighborhood theater is not there to greet them.

An eight-cinema chain in New England said it will not reopen. The same fate hit a Houston art house beloved by director Richard Linklater and, in a shock to Hollywood, more than 300 screens run by Los Angeles-based Pacific Theatres. That includes the Cinerama Dome, a landmark that hosted several red-carpet movie premieres.

Following a year of closures, theaters face deferred rent bills plus media companies’ focus on drawing customers to streaming services. Up to one-fourth of the roughly 40,000 screens in the United States could disappear in the next few years, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.

The National Association of Theatre Owners rejects that estimate, spokesman Patrick Corcoran said, noting that similar dire warnings accompanying the advent of television and the switch to digital screens never came to pass.

Hollywood filmmakers want cinemas to thrive.

“It’s the only place where the art dominates,” said “Avatar” director James Cameron. “When you watch something on streaming, the other people in the room with you are welcome to interject, to pause to go to the bathroom, to text.”

At theaters, “we literally make a pact with ourselves to go and spend two to three hours in a focused enjoyment of the art.”

“For 300 people to laugh and cry at the same time, strangers, not just your family in your house, that’s a very powerful thing,” said Chloe Zhao, Oscar-nominated director of best picture nominee “Nomadland.”

At the Academy Awards on Sunday, the movie industry will “make a case for why cinema matters,” producer Stacey Sher said. While acknowledging the hardship of the pandemic, “we also have to fight for cinema and our love of it and the way it has gotten us through things,” she said.

About 58% of theaters have reopened in the United States and Canada, most restricted to 50% capacity or less. The biggest operators – AMC, Cinemark and Cineworld – make up roughly half the overall market.

Industry leaders project optimism, forecasting a big rebound after restrictions ease and studios unleash new blockbusters.

Coming attractions include a new Bond adventure, the ninth “Fast & Furious” film, a “Top Gun” sequel and several Marvel superhero movies.

“Avatar 2,” Cameron’s follow-up to the highest-grossing film of all time, is set to debut in December 2022. Some box office analysts predict 2022 ticket sales will hit a record.

Supporters point to late March release “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which brought in roughly $48.5 million at U.S. and Canadian box offices over its first five days, even though audiences could stream it on HBO Max.

“That was a big win for the entire industry,” said Rich Daughtridge, president and chief executive of Warehouse Cinemas in Frederick, Maryland.

But near- and long-term challenges loom, particularly for smaller cinemas.

Theaters are negotiating with landlords over back rent. A federal aid program was delayed due to technical problems.

Plus, media companies are bringing movies to homes sooner. Executives say streaming is their priority, pouring billions into programming made to watch in living rooms as they compete with Netflix Inc.

Most at risk are theaters with one or two screens, Wedbush Securities’ Pachter said. He said his best guess is between 5,000 and 10,000 screens could go permanently dark in coming years.

“I think we’ll see a gradual decline in the number of screens,” Pachter said, “just like we’ve seen a gradual decline in the number of mom-and-pop grocery stores and bookstores.”

 

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Additional reporting by Rollo Ross in Los Angeles, Alicia Powell in New York and Nathan Frandino in San Francisco; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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