With the growth of Social Media, organizations are rapidly increasing their marketing resources in this channel. According to the 2011 CMO Survey social media investments are expected to reach 10,1% of the total marketing budgets in 2012. Therefore, marketers need to come up with effective strategies to monetize their investments, and optimize their social media efforts to produce measurable business outcomes.
How can social media be monetized? Five steps can guide you through to this objective:
Step #1: Identify the most active social media users in your industry
You can start by scanning the web in order to identify the social media users who are actively involved in your industry and brand-related social conversations. They are the ones who can sway market trends and bring you an army of loyal brand followers to convert into paying customers.
Step #2: Instill an emotional attachment to your brand
As a next step, try to engage with these social users and spark their genuine interest. Humanizing your brand message so as to appeal to their personal interests is the best way to bring your brand closer to your audience. Thus, you will build a credible and loyal social community who is ready to spread your brand message across the social web.
Step #3: Engage your social audience across multiple channels
Today’s social media users are eager to do a detailed research for your brand before proceeding to a purchase. They might read through relevant forums, click on your Facebook fan page, search for a branded channel of yours on YouTube, or scan the web for company related news. Leveraging a multi-channel social media strategy will help you attract users wherever they might be looking for your brand.
Step #4: Organize your social media strategy around your corporate website
Your website is the hub where you build your brand message. Place it in the middle of your social media strategy in order to ensure that all secondary user-generated content is in line with your corporate values. Equip your webpages with social sharing buttons so that users can reach your social media properties with a single click.
Similarly, harness the power of your social media properties to bring traffic to your website. Design special sales and promos for your social followers, and make sure that every step of the conversion funnel at the website is instrumental for the completion of the purchase.
Step #5: Measure the results and optimize for ROI
At the end of each social media campaign, take some time to measure the performance of each channel. This will give you detailed insights into the properties which bring the highest ROI, and will help you set the right priorities for the future campaigns.