Sadie Cornelius decides the overall marketing initiatives for Cover Story Media, from brand management to social media strategy. We're thrilled to have her here today to share her social media expertise in a guest post on five tips to get your followers to stop just 'liking' and start shopping.

So you’ve successfully built a community of loyal followers and fans? Congrats! But what good are they if they don’t buy what you’re selling? It’s like throwing a party where everyone shows up but no one eats the food you worked so hard to make. So how can you get people moving towards the buffet so you can start making money?

The good news is, you already have an audience to share your message with (versus talking to no one). Either through paid or earned media, you’ve gained the trust of enough people to get them interested enough in your brand to publicly “like” it. Now it’s time to turn those likes into buys with these 5 positively fabulous behavior changing ideas.

1. Offer incentives

Whether it’s a bonus gift or a discount, incentives are a great way to dangle the carrot and move prospective customers towards the checkout. Make your offer compelling and valuable enough to actually create action. And be sure to give your incentive a limited time because having a deadline builds a sense of urgency so prospects don’t have time to think about it, they just do it.

Offer Incentives
Example: As a new product with no success stories (yet!), Mostess Box is giving fans 30% off and Free Shipping on their premiere VIP box to help motivate and encourage people to try. Then once people sign up for the membership service, they’ll be hooked to get more and may even share with friends.

2. Give exclusives

Nothing makes people feel more special than giving them something that only a select few have. As a fan they are already an “insider”. But be sure to play that to your advantage by rewarding your community with promo codes or products that are available for members/fans only. Email is a great channel to test this while limiting your exposure to your target audience.

Online Exclusives
Example: Jess Lively has a popular podcast with millions of downloads and a workshop where she coaches people to live with intention. Everyone who signs up for the workshop will receive a free shirt that is only available to people on the “insider list” as an extra bonus. (Brand Building Bonus: a t-shirt or other free promo item can also help your fans spread the word to their friends.)

3. Create interaction

Build buzz for your brand by handing the microphone to them. Encourage your community to do something with your product and share with the community. This invites everyone to join in the fun and play along. Let’s face it, in today’s age of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), if one’s peers are on the bandwagon, then they will want to join in too!
Interaction On the Website
Example: Warby Parker sends a box of sample glasses frames to try on at home to help decide which pair to buy. They encourage prospective customers to ask friends (or the community) for advice on which pair looks best. Not only are they getting helpful feedback, they are spreading the word about the product for the company. And if someone puts it out there to the world that they’re going to buy new eyeglasses then they’re on the hook and feel more accountable to do so.

4. Show success stories

Seeing Joe the Plumber speak says to voters, “Hey, that could be me too. I’ll support that presidential candidate”. So show your community that everyday people with similar needs and interest to their own are using and buying your product. This will make your brand more relatable. Celebrities in commercials can be too much of a fantasy (not to mention more expensive to hire!).
Online Success Stories

Example: Framebridge has a section on their blog dedicated to “love stories” where they share Q&A interviews with people who have framed things they love using the Framebridge service. It’s an easy way to get free user-generated content and give people inspirational ideas on what they might want to frame too!

5. Make it personal

Likes are just a number but by bringing a human element into your messaging you help personify the product or service. Call customers out by name with special shout outs on social media to make them feel like you’re not just a business, you’re a person too! Why? Because people like buying from people more than big businesses.

Personal Message on Social platform
Example: theSkimm is an entertaining email that provides daily news updates but they also use the daily email blast to give shout outs to its subscribers (and Skimm’bassadors). It’s a small thing that might require a little more time to do, but it goes a long way in making people feel special.


Want to learn more about social media, building websites, selling online and more? Visit for tutorials, how to’s, and unbiased reviews including an in-depth review of various inventory management software, such as TradeGecko


About the author

Sadie Cornelius Cover Story Media

Sadie is the Director of Marketing for U.S.-based Cover Story Media, Inc. where oversees strategy and execution of graphic design, social media and marketing initiatives for several global brands. She has more than a decade experience in digital and traditional media for a wide-range of companies and industries including The Austin Chronicle, STA Travel and Alliance Abroad Group. Her writing has also been featured in Forbes Magazine and When not working from home in Washington, D.C., you can find her traveling to visit friends and family around the world including her hometown of Kansas City and adopted hometown of Austin, TX.





See also:

Instagram Advertising is the next big thing
Instagram and Indonesia: How social media selling is disrupting eCommerce
9 Key signs that it's time to move to a robust inventory management system