Driving Revenue with Social Media is More than Just "Cool"

A series of events recently forced me to re-evaluate the activities that both I and the team I am on are working on. We had been focused on "increasing engagement" "building our follower base" and other legitimate efforts.

We had done some really "cool" things - we were even cited in an industry report.

Despite this however, when a new president took over our division I was presented with the question, "So how much revenue have you generated using social media?".

Such an incredibly simple question, but one that is often forgotten about.

However, if there is no legitimate answer, that can be used to cut budgets, staff, and activities. Realistically, social media can't survive as a respected marketing medium if it is just "cool". I suspect that more and more corporate social media folks are going to start hearing that question over the next year.

So how can "Social Media drive revenue?"

Convert Researchers into Buyers:

Especially for large or complicated items, people increasingly research online. Social Media offers us an opportunity to reach these people, listen to their conversations, and help our advocates create content that these researchers can use to make a decision. For instance, if I was going to buy a $300 vacuum cleaner, I would certainly google the brand / model before making the purchase to see what others were saying about it!

Coupons:

Sometimes people need that little extra push to make a buying decision. You have already engaged them in a conversation or at least brought them to your promotion page where they registered to win something. Now try offering them a little incentive to complete the sale.

Driving People to your Website / Store with Deals:

Coupons aren't the only way to drive shopping patterns but certainly it can be among the easiest to track since you know where it came from and when it was redeemed. Unfortunately someone who reads a blog post, sees a tweet, or comments on a Facebook post and then goes to your website to buy something is really hard to track. Large scale social media activities are great at driving people towards your website - if you structure it right!

By using some of the latest mobile / social apps like SCVGR, you can make a fun in-store activity, or maybe use Foursquare to give a "special deal" to someone who checks in. Either way, mobile / social apps provide a great opportunity to do some fun stuff that can lead to building revenue.

Don't forget Though: It's about more than just Revenue!

That's right, while Social Media is commonly lumped in with print / radio / tv, in practice it is also a little bit of customer service, tech support, the bartender who people think they can just bitch about stuff with, and I am also the focus (or is that lack of focus?) group leader who has to relay what people are saying to the rest of the team.

Often we are also the cruise director - who's real job is to keep everyone happy, having a good time, but ultimately buying drinks, booking shore excursions, and visiting the duty free shop!

Contact James Hills

email: james@aboutjameshills.com

phone: 630-779-9302