As a brand, how can you ignore that 81% say social media posts by friends directly influence their purchase decision? Or how can you not be serious about your Facebook Page when 78% say posts by companies directly influence their purchase decision
Like public relations, social media’s ROI can be difficult to define. Just ask Google, or actually ask Wildfire by Google, now part of the Google brand family.
While it is true that a literal definition, (Revenues-Expenses/Expenses) exists, online marketers need to further explore the true power of social, according to the experts at Wildfire by Google .
Let’s look at the Social PR Opportunity
If you are looking for consumers there is no easier place to find them than on social media websites. Facebook alone is home to 901 million active users. That’s 50 percent of everyone with an internet connection!
Social profiles are also starting to outpace brand websites for web traffic, according to ComScore, which noted that Skittles’ Facebook page took in over 320,000 visitors last March, easy outpacing the web traffic for the Skittles website, which took in 23,000 visitors.
But the true power of social comes in how they influence users interaction with brands.
12,000 people were surveyed by MarketForce, and what becomes clear is that there are very clear positive AND negative impacts on users spending habits based largely on their interactions with a social brand.
- 81% of respondents indicate that posts by friends directly influence their purchase decision.
- 78% of respondents indicate that posts by companies directly influence their purchase decision
While those are staggering numbers, there are perhaps even bigger repercussions for companies to engage social media users.
- 42% of users claim that because of social media, they are more likely to share any negative experiences with brands or products.
- 32% say they are more likely to “not buy certain products because [they] learned of a negative customer experience through social channels.”
Social PR Question: How do you win with social media?
It is all about knowing what consumers are looking for. A recent study by Lithium lays it all on the line, explaining what they hope to gain by becoming a fan or a follower of a brand’s social media platforms.
- To be eligible for exclusive offers and content (67%)
- To interact with other customers and share my experience (60%)
- To find games, promotions, and other unique experiences (57%)
By meeting these expectations, you can grow trust in your brand, and turn that trust into dollars, and unleash the power of social ROI.
Social PR Answers:
Wildfire offers these tips on how to maximize a brand’s social PR ROI.
1. Use a paid content strategy to drive new traffic to your brand in addition to word of mouth.
Most social media platforms have established advertising options that will allow marketers to enhance their organic traffic by using content AS the ad. Further proof that in social media, content is king. On Facebook ads can come with the endorsement on your established fans, further enhancing the trust factor for your paid content and increasing the reach of of your content to non-fans.
2. Run exclusive promotions and special offers, catered to new fans and friends of fans, encouraging viral spread.
Remember acquiring new fans isn’t the endgame, it’s keeping them. So give ‘em what they want! Fans will stay fans if they feel like they are being catered to. Give them exclusive content, sneak peeks, or fan-only contests. That will keep people coming back to your page, and it will keep them engaged.
3. Systematize growth by launching the same campaigns across all social networks, maximizing coverage and integrating your social marketing efforts.
The theme and tone should be altered to meet the needs of each individual social network’s audience (Remember your Google+ followers aren’t always the same as your Facebook fans) but the message needs to be the same, and executed at the same time. If you do that, Wildfire says you’ll have a better chance of making your message stick.
To read Wildfire’s study and see examples of user engagement, click here to to see Wildfire’s white paper, “Why Social Marketing Will Deliver a Positive ROI for Your Brand”