Social Media for Awareness and Generating Revenue

“Technology and social media have brought power back to the people”. – Mark McKinnon

It’s true – social media is exerting a kind of power that no one thought possible. Sometimes however, it could prove unpredictable and overpowering for businesses by being used as a nucleus by customers to spread negativity. Smart businesses channelize social media for awareness and generating revenue. It is a highly visible medium that when used right can help companies successfully engage with customers and create a ‘fan following’ for the brand.

How successful your company is in using social media depends on the goals the business has set out to achieve through engagement via this medium.
– Connecting the brand with customers – making it a ‘human’ interaction
– Furthering the cause of the brand’s status
– Engendering and fostering a platform that gains sales and prospective customers
– Producing consistent advocates for the brand
– Crisis management and resolution of customer service problems

Having on-going and robust ‘conversations’ via this medium strengthens relationships with customers and allows customers to have a more direct connect with your company and brand. These conversations help to enhance the public profile of your company and create awareness. The major advantage of using social media for awareness and generating revenue is the fact that the efforts can be measured and tracked.

– It’s possible to see who has and how many times your brand has been talked about and mentioned during a given time-frame.
– It is easy to gauge how many people have seen your media page, posted comments and from which quarters you are getting maximum attention. Also it is possible to get a feel of the potential reach of your brand to people not your customers.
– Comments comparing your brand with that of your competition let you know where you stand in comparison and what can be done better.
– Social media for awareness and generating revenue is a necessary part of building brand and keeping attention to your offerings.
– Before a brand can make money, a lot needs to be spent to maintain the brand following via social media. This kind of branding and marketing is a major investment for most companies. It makes sense therefore to then use social media for awareness and generating revenue.

When social media is such a powerful, aggressive and visible platform why should companies and brands not use it to make it a channel for awareness and generating revenue?

This is the new strategy being adopted and must be taken over by all companies that seek to leverage the strength of this medium. The most successful brands are the ones that have been able to captivate the imagination of the ‘social’ mind-set.

With time social media sites must move from being cost centres to profit centres for companies by aggressive strategies that would result in a robust understanding of the target audience and beyond. Creating awareness and subsequently generating revenue via social media is also about leveraging pulling the weight of the data that companies currently have and use it to drive their marketing, promotions and advertising. The key lies in being able to extract that data and useful information to create loyal followers for the brand. Analysis of this data translates to actionable comprehensions of what customers want and how they view the brand and what they would like to see going forward.

Obviously companies are grasping the importance of social media data and understanding that to build relationships and connections with their brand they would need to use this data not just to create awareness but also to convert the data in to generating revenue through increased sales. The most effective way to use this data is to target a specific audience with meaningful and customized content. Using customer segmentation and target messages, a brand can more effectively measure how effective their advertisements and promotions have been depending on the response and comments.

Through consistence effort and monitoring, it won’t be long before a brand can discover ways to monetize all their marketing efforts in the form of increased sales. And this is not true for existing customers only but also for finding and attracting new customers. The promotions you put out would be suitable to a large number of people who would then reach out to your brand to make a connection. Also target branding makes customers invite their friends and associates to engage with the particular brand providing effective testimonials and positive word of mouth. A study shows that over 71% people are more likely to buy a brand or buy from a company that has been referred to by a friend or associate via social media.

Companies must ensure that commenting, complaining and purchasing via their social media sites is effortless and seamless. There is a high abandonment rate mid-way of the transaction, around 68%, if customers face difficulties in navigating their way around. Being able to buy products directly on the social media sites has the potential to increase the demand by creating proof that the product is ‘buy worthy’. Companies create awareness and generate revenue that has a greater impact.

As a channel of communication between customers and brands, social media is a relatively new concept but companies must learn fast how to take complete advantage of it to create awareness and continue generating revenue. Whether a company highlights and publicly thanks repeat customers and pays them compliments or turns their back on addressing the complaints via this medium, they are gaining attention from a larger audience. One method ends positively for the brand and the other can take a turn for the worse.

When companies right a wrong via this medium, they are potentially turning customers to becoming brand ambassadors who are loyal and profitable. Every customer interaction must be used as a chance to gain their trust or rebuild it. Resolving customer complaints and issues quickly and effectively via social media earns your brand the respect and faith not just of the customer but others who view these interactions. Indirectly it gives leverage to the customer as well – a major brand sorted out their complaint and is keen on keeping their business. This is great publicity for the customer too. Making the customer feel and look good is an extremely effective method of winning over new customers and getting current customers to provide repeat business. The cornerstone of any brand is its customer service and when it is provided to the best level it garners a band of loyal followers.

There is no greater power for a brand than having direct and pleasant interactions through customer service excellence. The fact is that using social media for awareness and generating revenue is bound to lift the customer engagement levels and also have better sales results. According to studies, social media branding leads to a 100% higher sales rate than the traditional methods of marketing and promotions. When customers can see value in being attached to your brand, they will turn this value back to your company as a significant return on the investment made.

Using social media for awareness and generating revenue is however a laborious task and one that requires constant attention, updating and dedicated resources. These are not one time – they are constants if you hope to strengthen and sustain your brand’s presence. But the fact is that this labour and investment has the potential to pay back much more than thought possible. Smart brands have understood this and are forging ahead using this medium as their ride.

Social media as an emphatic platform has come a long way in a just a few year. People connect with each other and make their voice heard, across the globe. As a company if you still have not decided whether to or how to use social media, it would be worth remembering that your customers, potential customers, other stakeholders, your employees and even your competition are already active participants. No business is so large that they can ignore the influence of the social media interactions and the strong-hold it has globally. Use social media to take the awareness of your brand to an all new high and increase your revenue manifold.

“Social media isn’t the end-all-be-all, but it offers marketers unparalleled opportunity to participate in relevant ways. It also provides a launch-pad for other marketing tactics. Social media is not an island. It’s a high-power engine on the larger marketing ship.” – Matt Dickman

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