Thursday, December 6, 2007

Making Actual Money with Social Marketing

I'm always on the look-out for examples on how to use social marketing to add to the bottom line. How do you use social networks like Facebook or blogs to sell stuff? How can I add social marketing to my direct marketing arsenal and also prove an ROI to my clients?

Well, I was pleased as the proverbial holiday punch to find this article today:

'Tis the Season to Be Social: Five Ways to Tap Into Social Shopping

The article provides some handy lists of tips, including: 5 ways to use social marketing, 3 social shopping factors to understand and get right, 5 social shopping caveats and 5 social shopping metrics to consider. I'm not gonna list all of these tips (each group is fantastic, by the way), but I will list here their 5 ways to use social marketing to actually sell things. All of these tips leverage word-of-mouth to get products noticed and sold.

  1. They suggest that retailers participate in "newer forms of social shopping, such as StyleFeeder, Stylehive, Kaboodle, and ThisNext. At a minimum, join and monitor the activity around your products. Consider advertising on these sites and evolving affiliate marketing plays, such as Lemonade.
  2. Create or join fan groups on major social networks, such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn.
  3. Participate in the conversation through community boards or blogs to provide a conduit for customers to get product and related information and engagement. Examples include 1-800 Flowers', Stacks and Stacks' Clutter Control Freak Blog, and Sleep Number Beds' community site.
  4. Leverage customer comments and reviews on your site or through other sites and blogs, such as BizRate, Epinions, and Trusted Opinion.
  5. Provide widgets to enable customers to get your information either on a social networking site or directly on their computer. Product data feeds can be leveraged to feed into widgets, and even if your firm's data isn't formatted for this type of execution, companies like Performics can help you convert it."
Now, these are some tips I can use--tangible ideas that I can bring to my clients and show them how to maximize social media. It makes me excited to test the concept and I'm running through our client list to decide who we can bring these ideas to, first.

And, kinda off-topic, but something I found interesting and a useful tidbit for my blogger friends out there: "According to October 2007 comScore results, roughly one of every seven minutes spent online is in conversational media (social media and blogs); specifically, conversational media sites average 12.4 minutes per usage day out of the 86 minutes spent on the Internet in total."

So, yes, people ARE reading!

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