As more and more businesses get to grips with the ins and outs of having a social media presence, issues of monetisation are only going to become more pressing. Practically everyone in the world of corporate social media is looking for methods of monetising social media and measuring ROI, whether that be monetary or otherwise. It’s not just about being on Twitter or Facebook, it’s about how you can use social media to sell. And the best piece of advice that any brand or business can get when it comes to selling on social media is to stop trying so hard to “sell” on social media.
Confused? Let me explain…
Monetising Social Media – Engage, don’t sell
The successful corporate social media presence isn’t one that makes the hard sell. Customers are wary of being sold to in what is a social space – conversely they’re incredibly responsive to human, social contact. One of the greatest opportunities offered by social media channels is that of brand loyalty development. If a customer @ replies you on twitter, or posts on your Facebook page, or leaves a comment on your blog then they’re asking to engage with you – so make sure you do! There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than non-engagement when they’ve initiated to a conversation, and that’s likely to mean that they’ll become alienated from your brand.
Monetising Social Media – Conversations, not pitches
It’s fast becoming a cliché that social media is “about the conversation.” But there’s a reason for that – your greatest value in social media lies in customer engagement, not pushing out links to dry press releases. Poor quality content quickly becomes noise, and you’ll lose your customers’ attention. By balancing your own content with that of other people and conversational exchanges with customers, you’ll ensure that they value your content more highly. This is particularly the case with Twitter.
Monetising Social Media – Promotions and competitions
There are times when you’ll have a specific product or campaign that you’ll want to push out over social media. Done correctly, competitions and promotions can be a great way to engage customers – there’s something about the immediacy of social media that introduces a real-time element of excitement that’s lacking with traditional media. Downloadable vouchers, requests for sharing your content or asking customers to upload a picture of some form are all good ways to maximise the engagement value of this type of activity.
Monetising Social Media – Slow and steady wins the race
A lucrative social media presence is always going to depend on engaged, interested customers. This won’t happen overnight! Making sure that your social media channels have any sort of power in terms of revenue generation relies on ensuring that your content is valued by your customers – and that’s why quality of interaction, rather than quantity of followers, should always be your top priority. A combination of both is obviously the holy grail, but a low follower count isn’t always necessarily a bad thing. A small, engaged audience is more likely to buy than a large and unengaged group.