That’s what a lot of companies are asking themselves as they struggle to turn Followers and Fans into paying customers. Fortunately, there is help.
First, make certain you are using a professional social media manager. You wouldn’t hire the neighbor kid to run your traditional marketing program, why would you count on him to manage your social media marketing program?
Second, understand that a social media marketing plan is not a static creature. By its very nature it must be fluid. It must be constantly adjusted and tweaked to meet the needs of the customers you are trying to reach. Then, it must provide a very specific call to action. Without this key piece of the marketing puzzle your social media network will not provide you with the returns you are looking for.
A professional social media manager can help you achieve the results you want because they understand not just how to create a Fan page on Facebook, but also, how to leverage a social media marketing campaign to provide the returns your company is expecting.
While Americans claim they are more likely to purchase a product if the brand supports a cause, and more than 40 percent have “liked” a brand or posted on Facebook for supporting a cause, barely one in five actually put their money where their good intentions are by switching brands, paying more or purchasing more.
That’s one of the key findings in a new study co-sponsored by BlogHer, the leading participatory news, entertainment and information network for women online, and the recently launched Cause Consumer Engagement specialty at Ketchum, one of the world’s largest global communications firms, as part of the BlogHer 2011 Social Media Matters Study. The study, fielded by the Nielsen Company to nationally representative samples, was conducted to gather insights on current social media and cause marketing trends in the U.S. general online population and members of the BlogHer community. In addition to the United States, the study was fielded in Brazil, Germany and Hong Kong.
“This research is significant because it contrasts what consumers actually do versus what they say they would do in reaction to a hypothetical cause marketing situation,” said Kelley Skoloda, partner and director of Ketchum’s Global Brand Marketing Practice. “In many instances, it appears cause programs have a far greater effect on brand affinity, reputation and share of voice than on sales. But the research also revealed the keys to turn talk into action.”
While only 23 percent of consumers report a change in their purchase behavior based on a cause, nearly twice that number report using social media and word-of-mouth to talk about a cause.
“The study reveals four key drivers that brands must focus on to generate consumer engagement and sales,” noted Melissa Kinch, senior vice president and associate director of Ketchum’s North American Corporate Practice. “These drivers are target your most passionate audience, understand what they are passionate about, include local engagement opportunities, and leverage online influencers.”
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