3 August 2012

Business Social Media – Can Social Media really leave you Quids in?

Business Social Media

Can social media make money for your business?

Business Social Media

It’s a debate that’s spanned boardrooms to bedrooms: “Social media – it’s nice and cute and everything but are any companies actually making money from it. And can we improve our business social media?”

Let’s face it, it’s easy enough for a business to gain ‘Friends’ and ‘Likes’. Send out enough invites, links and e-newsletters and you’ll rack up a fair few without breaking sweat. But how easy is it to convert your social network into a spending network?

Often, not easy at all. Many businesses are left floundering. Probably wondering whether their investment of time, energy and money in seeding their business social media presence was worthwhile.

However, new research examining the impact of high-profile social media campaigns suggests they can indeed trigger a wonga windfall. You just need to know what you’re doing.

Business Social Media: How Big Businesses are utilising the Social Media Platforms

Sony, for instance, reports that its Twitter campaign urging followers to build a bespoke Vaio laptop and earn a 10 per cent discount translated directly into extra sales of $1.5m. Fast food giant McDonalds ran a targeted campaign through friend-locator website Foursquare, and credited it with a 33 per cent rise of in-store ‘check-ins’ from customers. Computer firm Dell, meanwhile, generates some £3m in sales monthly channeled directly through Twitter.

There’s undoubtedly something ‘friendlier’ about conducting business through social networks. Choose carefully which member of staff runs your business social media. A vibrant social media presence can break through a business’s ‘corporate face’. Express a bit more of its character. Perhaps encourage people to invest where otherwise they might have baulked.

The answer, for companies of all sizes, from global corporates to home-based enterprises, is to synch your brand-building with your sales strategy. Here at SEO Web Marketing we advise more importantly, to converge your technology, so that people logging on to watch your funky new video or download a voucher are only a click away from making a purchase. Big business has already made this leap, so it’s only logical that SMEs and one-man-bands should follow suit.

Just as Delta Airlines customers can now book flight tickets through Delta’s Facebook page, ask yourself – can your potential customers transact with your businesses so easily? Or, having hooked them in with your latest social marketing wheeze? Are they simply directed to your default website, only to be confronted by your standard corporate profile and multiple hurdles to jump through before purchasing? Be clever how you use your business social media and remember Google has now also joined the race perhaps as the tortoise, with Google Plus so research all of the different platforms to find which suit your business.

The rewards can be substantial, because make no mistake, avid social networkers are also avid spenders. Research has shown, for example, that frequent users of Facebook spend up to 20 per cent more online than other general web-browsers. That’s a slice of the pie worth having. However small your business or tight your marketing spend.

It’s not rocket science. You don’t necessarily need your own dedicated icon on every smartphone in the land. A joined-up, zeitgeist-sensitive social media strategy can quickly turn ‘Friends’ into spends.