Friday, March 13, 2015

Social for Sales - It's Not Impossible, Just Different

Christian Lowe Blog Post - 03.13.2015 According to a UMass Center for Marketing Research study, a mere 32% of marketing executives are able to connect their social programs to revenue. And, if we believe popular reports about social media and commerce sales, it’s a pretty bleak picture with less than 1% of online sales originated from social media. These statistics can be pretty disheartening to individuals specializing in the digital marketing, particularly in Social. That said, there are brands who have successfully grown sales via social. Brands that have implemented successful social campaigns that resulted in strong revenues from social have done so through distinctive and innovative Social marketing strategies. The key to their success is that they were able to idenitfy their core customers, how to best reach them and how to target their specific interests. Even though digital marketing is definitely an art form, there is a necessary component of applying a scientific approach to a brand's social marketing campaigns. By combining the art and science, some brands have demonstrated immense success in social marketing. Couple of interesting case studies I found are below: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Children’s Fashion Brand Falls into Facebook and Builds Strategy to Drive Long Term Sales Despite falling by accident into her Facebook driven commerce business, the founder of Lolly Wolly Doodle identified the opportunity to sell via social in a unique way and defined an entire business model around it that’s exploded over the last few years, driving tens millions of dollars in sales. Initially, Facebook fans just liked and comment on a post with their email and size. Now the brand continues to offer its daily deal via that creative method but also promotes longer running items by adding a URL that drives easily traceable sales to their new online store via referring domain. What got people to buy was the relevance of the content, the rapid iteration of designs based on fan feedback driving top sellers and the ease of purchasing without having to interrupt their normal social behavior. Home Furnishings Leader Drives Higher Average Orders with Pinterest Wayfair sells beautiful home goods for all styles and recognized that imagery is what truly inspires their customers to realize the dreams they have for decorating their homes. By engaging on Pinterest using helpful tips and images, they have identified audiences that are both willing to engage and share – showing them what products will be popular – as well as shop, spending 50% more than shoppers from other channels. They have used Rich Pins and their inherent tracking functionality to close the loop with their online store. Though some estimates are dire, examples of doing it right are increasingly common and Gartner’s own surveys of commerce brands suggest that social commerce contributes 18% of digital commerce revenue and drives more business value than marketers think. If you are struggling to make the connection between your social efforts and sales, now may be the right time to take a step back and ask yourself some key strategic questions about your audience and what you want your social program to do for your brand. Ultimately, defining a strategy that will appeal to how your demographic wants to interact and instrumenting your activities so that you can determine the outcomes. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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