With over two billion of active users, social media networks are an excellent means of promoting your brand and accelerating business growth.

Unless, of course, you're doing it wrong.

Some 61% of SMBs report success with gaining new customers via social media, according to research (PDF). That means, however, another 39% do not; that is, they fail to turn likes and shares into the metrics that justify their business goals—i.e., they fail to convert.

Sitting and waiting for a moment when all such engagements will start translating into purchases is not a viable strategy, of course. Because strategy involves analysis, planning, and, above all, understanding the ways users can be directed to the sales funnel.

To understand how fans can be turned into consumers, great brands invest time and money analyzing their fans' needs and behavioral tendencies. That's because converting social media fans requires more than constant sharing; it requires understanding the ways they interact and build relationships.

It's social media, after all.

People are rational (sort of)

Reason is a primary characteristic of human beings. It plays a vital role in most decisions we make in our daily lives. Similarly, your social media fans may still be seeking a reason to finally try your product or service, or click on your call to action.

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image of Bojana Dobran

Bojana Dobran works with a professional team of SEO consultants and content marketers at Four Dots, a Boston-based inbound marketing agency.

Linkedin: Bojana Dobran

Twitter: @acrylic_noons