How SMEs can generate revenue from social media

posted November 30, 2017

Social media is all about … well … being social, but for businesses the conversational, personal side to their marketing efforts, at some point, has to generate a level of revenue or benefit to pay for itself.

Building trusted connections – whether on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn etc. – could be leveraged in order to persuade them to take an action that meets your objectives. That action could be to:

  • Join your mailing list
  • Click a link to visit our website
  • Leave a testimonial or review
  • Buy a product
  • Enquire about a service

Whatever the objective of your business, it needs to entice people to want to connect and then to hang around for more. People will only associate with the good stuff so plan carefully and creatively.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message.” - Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

Have a presence

Before your business can generate any form of revenue from social media, it needs to be present. Whilst there are many social platforms to choose from, if you know who your target audience is and you know which platform they frequent, that’s the space you need to occupy.

Use social media along with your website or blog as a shop window for your company. Give potential customers the opportunity to find your company, contact your team or purchase from your shop.

Create engaging content

Having a profile on the ideal social media platform still won’t guarantee revenue. Your business will need to devise a content plan that will keep people enticed and want to comment or click to find out more. Think about how your business can capitalise on:

  • Local community events and news
  • Topical conversations – local, national and international
  • Tips and tricks
  • Insightful facts and figures

Content needs to be creative, unique and consistent. Brand your graphics, create informative videos and more importantly, be open and transparent – let people gain an insight into your business, its people and its culture and develop a personality that people want to be a part of.

Social media is an egotistical environment. Users share what is important to them and what reflects their own personality, likes and needs. Match your content to this and you have a winning formula – one that will generate a profitable outcome.

Respond when asked

Customers get sick and tired of waiting in telephone queues and don’t always have the time (or inclination) to visit a store or office in person. Social media offers a way for people to connect and enquire with you that’s almost hassle free – for them at least.

People turn to social media for recommendations, ‘social proof’ from friends, or because they want a quick reply. Many people choose to send private messages to a business’ social media profiles if they have a question about a product or service or wish to book an appointment or find out more about an event.

Be open to receiving messages and monitor your company name, products and services (even your competitors) to be able to respond to opportunities and questions.

Unfortunately, there will always be a small percentage of customers who are quick to complain and potentially tarnish the reputation of a business.

Be sure to reply promptly and if there are any negative comments, neutralise a situation by responding openly. People can be emotional and irrational and issues are often subjective. If the business is not at fault then you have nothing to worry about – never shy away.

Measure your activity

Copious metrics will allow you to monitor the performance of social media activity. Choose the metrics that you need in order to determine exactly what it is generating. Think about measuring:

  • How much traffic comes to your website
  • How many enquiries do you gain
  • What number of enquiries converts
  • What the ‘costs versus sales’ are

Review activities regularly to ensure your efforts are fruitful. With the social media landscape continually diversifying you must continually evaluate, change and test. Be concerned only with the hard evidence.

Generate revenue from social media

Social selling is highly effective and social media advertising platforms such as Facebook Adverts (highly recommended by the way), Twitter Sponsored Ads or LinkedIn Adverts can be extremely lucrative if your campaigns are planned and targeted effectively.

Businesses make money by adopting direct online shop sales, nurturing prospects into customers or building a database to leverage with adverts, emails or direct mail.

Social media influences, drives traffic and offers your business heightened exposure that it would never achieve elsewhere.

Plan your objectives, create engaging content, be consistent and focus on revenue generating techniques. Contact us today if you need a digital helping hand.

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