If you’re like many of the businesses out there you’ve either taken the dive into Social Media and you’re not seeing the results you’ve expected or you’re still sitting patiently on the sidelines waiting for someone to figure it all out before you’re willing to jump into the game. Time after time when I speak to various companies, they are unsure how to actually generate any real revenue with Social Media. The real problem is that while Social Media on its own is great for driving brand recognition and venturing into the engagement arena with consumers, neither of those efforts are going to generate any significant amount of revenue.
If your Social Media strategy revolves solely around getting people to follow you on Twitter or asking them to like your branded Facebook page, you are doing nothing more then trying to win an impossibly difficult popularity contest, which I might add is not going to happen unless you’re one of the select few celebrities or entertainers pushing into the millions of followers on twitter or likes on Facebook.
According to Twitter Counter (http://twittercounter.com/pages/100) large companies such as Pepsi, Coke and Microsoft have less then 600K twitter followers, Most of the top automakers have less then 100K followers, and most of the top banks have less then 50k followers. Now take a look at the people on the very top, Lady Gaga (with over 22M twitter followers) has already won the popularity contest. The rest of the top 10 is held by individuals such as Justin Bieber with 19M, Katy Perry with 17M, Kim Kardashian with 14M and President Obama sitting at a cool 13M. What does it tell you when you look at the top 100 most followed worldwide twitter accounts and Google, sitting at number 70, is the only business on the list? It’s probably safe to say you aren’t going to win the popularity contest by just trying to get followers or likes.
Now for the good news, all hope is not lost with Social Media. Never in the history of the world has there been more channels in which to reach a consumer, and never has it been harder to actually get their attention. Gone are the days when you could bank your entire marketing budget on simply one channel alone and expect to achieve large results. We’re starting to understand that when it comes to marketing: Social Media is one of those channels that must be paired with another channel to see real results. So instead of trying to get more followers only, you simply have to reevaluate your Social Media strategy and write a Social Media plan that also incorporates Social Media as a supporting channel into a multi-touch, multi-channel engagement strategy paired with both a traditional channel such as direct mail and a digital channel such as email.
Some examples of multichannel engagement using Social Media:
- Use Social Media to start a viral campaign and follow it up with a printed piece of direct mail and an email.
- Use Direct Mail to drive consumers to a Social Media channel to harness the power of social sharing and online interactions to gather consumer feedback, increase response rates and drive sales.
- Use Social Media to mine consumer data to then incorporate users and their demographics into a Marketing Database to be used as part of your greater marketing efforts.
- Use Social Media to direct users to a micro-site or a landing page where you can collect additional information and follow up with a direct mail piece, an email or better yet both.
- Use Social Media to promote a mobile or opt-in text to win campaign and follow that up with a direct mail piece and an email.
While it’s important to continue to use Social Media to engage with consumers and promote your brand, it’s not a winning strategy. Build a robust Social Media plan where you’re using Social Media as a mechanism to launch a multi-channel engagement strategy because the right Social Media plan that incorporates more consumer touches at the right time, using a multi-channel strategy is absolutely going to increase leads, response, conversions and ultimately generate real financial results.