Home > Reputation Management, Social Media > How do I know if I’m getting anything out of this?

How do I know if I’m getting anything out of this?

We have talked on the Fan Page about the question business owners had asked in the past relating to advertising expenditures. Many would say that they were investing in print advertising, billboards, radio, TV, Yellow Pages etc. but really had little or no way to track the effectiveness of these programs. Today we often hear the same type of question relating to social media. How is social media going to impact sales?

Actually, Norm has the answer. Remember the character on “Cheers”, whenever he would walk into the bar, everyone would stop what they were doing and say “Norm”. So why did Norm go to “Cheers” instead of another bar? He went there because he felt appreciated. He had established a dialogue with the owner and he felt like “Cheers” cared about him personally and as a customer.

Just like Norm, we want to interact and establish dialogue with the companies and brands that we frequent or use. Beyond that, we want to be appreciated for that support. However, in today’s web based society this dialogue and interaction has moved beyond the individual establishment and into the online community.

Whereas Norm had to take on the burden of developing the dialogue and building the relationship with “Cheers”, through regular and frequent visits, the situation has now been reversed. It is now incumbent upon businesses to take that first step in reaching out and engaging their community of potential clients and customers, online.

Today’s consumers are, praising, berating, reviewing, asking, requesting, promoting and influencing others about local businesses and products every day, on Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, FourSquare, Google reviews and many more.

That, in a nutshell is what social media does. It allows a business to proactively reach out and engage their community in dialogue online, which ultimately develops relationships that translate into sales both on and offline. Such as;
• Responding to an online customer complaint directly. Show that you are listening, that you do care and will do what you can to make it right.
• Thank them online for a positive comment or for recommending your business.
• Offer your Facebook Fans a free sample of your new appetizer, because you value their feedback and you want to get it right!
• Promote a Twitter only discount because you appreciate their relationship with your business.
• Actively solicit your customers for positive reviews on Yelp and your local search engine listings.

We haven’t even talked about video, blogging, FourSquare and the many other ways social media can influence your business, at times the list seems endless. If utilized properly, social media provides a direct line of access to your community 24/7.

What do you think a business would have paid 20 or 30 years ago for an offer of unlimited, 24/7 access to their clients, customers, prospects and potentially their entire community?

OK, I do get that we need to measure results. So, first establish your baseline and then set your monthly KPI’s, key performance indicators, such as;

• Grow our twitter followers by ___%
• Increase our Facebook fans by ___%
• Generate ____ number of positive reviews on Yelp.
• Generate ____ number of Positive reviews on Local search listings.
• How many customer complaints did we monitor, address and resolve online?
• How many FourSquare influencers did we identify and reward?
• Etc. etc. you get the idea.

Then track your KPI’s each month and adjust your tactics as needed. You should be generating good KPI results month over month. So how does this translate into sales? Well, take a look around, if you’re doing it right you should be seeing a lot more Norm’s at the counter!

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