By Sweta Patel
It looks like every business has jumped on the social media bandwagon, but what does that mean exactly? Is your business using social media just for updates and website promotion? My company, Global Marketing Tactics, has found that in most cases our clientele was using social media to just “increase their exposure through updates of various articles, quotes, facts and multimedia pieces.” Clients say that is all they were told to do by multiple social media companies and consultants they had resorted to.
We all know social media updates don’t get us customers unless there is a strategy behind it all. In addition, a marketing campaign should have all the components of community building and not just a sales focus. In marketing we tend to execute from a sales perspective. It is not about the sales, it is not about the relationships, but it is about the value. Social media is moving towards a concept known as value co-creation. We create value for the customer (through interaction, experiences, and physical goods) and they create value for us (give us feedback, contribute to the community, and build our network.)
How To Find Them
It is important to find out what the customer actually wants before creating the item or service package. The first step is to use the advanced search on Twitter and LinkedIn as well as various different Facebook groups. Take some time to listen using Social Mention. Then, types in keywords based on your industry and simply ask the biggest influencers, “What are your biggest challenges when it comes to business or life?”
Best Practice: In order to check if they are really influencers, create a spreadsheet with the following metrics on each person:
Facebook Fan Page: Look at how many people are talking about them (not just the fans).
Twitter: View how interactive they are and how many retweets/favorites/mentions they are getting per post.
LinkedIn: Look at their recommendations and who they are from. Remember, fifteen quality recommendations beats one hundred “friend” recommendations.
Google+: View the interactions on each of their posts. Is it worth your time?
Klout Score: Any score about 60 is someone who is considered as an influencer.
How To Interact With Them
There is something about the word “FREE” that keeps people coming back for more. We used “golden tickets” for a national make-up brand to help them spread the word about their new lip-gloss. We created a list of influencers based on the best practice above and then simply tweeted 2,000 “golden tickets” every day for a week using ten different Twitter handles and our response rate was nearly 62% (that is more than the average open rate on an email campaign, and it was free to use!)
As they were ready to exchange their golden ticket for the lip-gloss, we gave them another option. They could double the cost of the lip-gloss and use it towards something on the website, and 50% of the “golden tickets” upgraded their amount. This strategic interaction lead to over three thousand sales in a day for the brand. It had nothing to do with activities but everything to do with the value.
Monetize and Convert
When your customers are able to pick what the value is for the given item they will pay for it. The Hybrid Athlete uses this model and they are successful with it! In fact, they monetized this their using a “Pay What You Want” model. The customers decide and determine the value of the product or service. This allowed Hybrid Athlete to not only build a community around fitness, but have customers who are actively using the website on a daily basis. They leveraged their 11,500 fans from their fan page and served a bigger cause of helping others stay fit at a minimal price (or the price you want).
In order to convert people into paying customers the site must incorporate a value co-creation technique. It is no longer about the sales and the money, but about the community and the value the website brings to its target audience.
What are your favorite social media conversion techniques?
Sweta Patel is a San Diego-based marketing entrepreneur whose company is Global Marketing Tactics.
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