Spend a few minutes on any social network and you’ll find big brands like Samsung, Nike and Disney along with lesser known companies like Uber, Buffer and Zenger Farms. When people are passionate about the brands and companies they like and trust, they’re likely to follow their social activity and even engage with them in meaningful ways online. These brands (big and small) show up and encourage participation because they understand the value that social media brings to their organization as a vehicle to reach their audience.
Even with this solid research, there are still brands and organizations that have yet to accept and embrace the impact that social media can have on their business. Here’s a rundown of the most common reasons that still linger and why they need to be kicked to the curb:
#1 There’s no proven ROI from social media
First, let’s look at this Zappos example where they receive incremental referral traffic from social networks that result in incremental sales without a dime (or penny) spent in incremental costs. By simply placing a Share My Purchase button on their purchase confirmation page, Zappos enjoys $33.66 per shared purchase on Twitter, $2.08 per share from Facebook and $.75 per share on Pinterest.
#2 We’re too small – we don’t have a large, recognizable brand
By leveraging the social networks of their happy, satisfied customers, Zappos demonstrates that size doesn’t matter. You don’t need a large audience, just customers that are so pleased with your product or service that they will tell their friends about you.
#3 Our audience isn’t on social media
Does your customer have to make a decision between your company and a competitor? 81% of consumers do online research before buying (either in store or online). This means that they are online and most likely spending time on a social network (72% of adults do). At an increasing rate, people are turning to their social networks – whether they’re real-life friends, co-workers or people they’ve gotten to know online – for recommendations and opinions on everything from where to eat, shop and stay to what phones, equipment and email service provider to buy. Buying patterns have evolved and shifted, and decisions are heavily influenced by online factors.
Selling the benefits of social media into your organization can seem overwhelming but it doesn’t need to rival solving world peace. Building a case to leverage social networks to reach your audience, develop relationships and increase advocacy can be as simple as presenting the following information to turn naysayers into champions.
TIP: Find case studies that demonstrate success for companies similar to yours (the closer they are to your size, industry or product category, the better)
TIP: Look at your professional network to find someone who is more familiar or experienced in social media to share their wisdom with you and others at your organization
TIP: Think through your goals, strategy, tactics and how you’ll measure against your efforts and include these details in your presentation
When you think about social media as an additional communication vehicle that has the potential to fuel word-of-mouth activity for your company, it’s easier to take the next step toward defining the role it can play within your existing marketing efforts. This looks different for each organization so feel free to build off the success of others you come across in your research.
Other than where noted, statistics shared in this article are from Janrain’s StatBoard.
Image above is from the Process Industry Forum blog where they shared an overview of great social campaigns.