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Making social media pay: An SME guide to getting a return on investment

Making money: where to start

Analytics tools such as Google Analytics and social media management platforms like Hootsuite allow users to embed conversion pixels that show you exactly when a sale was made that originated from social media.

A user is also able to assign a monetary value to a user landing on a specific page. For example, this pixel could be added to your payment confirmation page and you would be able to calculate the actual value of the sale when a user arrives on this page after clicking the link on a Tweet or Facebook message.

We also recommend utilising a retargeting platform in conjunction with your social media activity. Retargeting platforms allow you to show ads to people that have landed on your website at some point. So, you would drive someone to your website via a social network update. Even if they don’t take any action the first time they come onto your site, they’ll be reminded of your company whilst browsing other websites, making them more likely to return at some point in the future to make a purchase.

Facebook for business would not have been taken seriously in 2009. However, now, Facebook ads, for example, are seen as essential for businesses wanting an opt-in audience.

So, in answer to the question of how to make money, it’s constantly increasing its value through creating a credible online footprint for companies and brands. The standalone value can be measured by its total reach on the one hand, and in another light, it should otherwise be viewed similarly to PR. It cannot force consumers to interact, or purchase, but forms the role of credible (or in some cases negative) exposure while offering value.

Nurture leads or convert clients: What we need to know

Social is most effective as a lead nurturing tool, however, when used correctly, it can also be great for driving conversions further down the sales funnel. Users on social media are not actively looking to buy immediately, so you need to share a link to something that can add value to your prospect’s business. Instead of immediately pushing them to your product page, you would direct them towards a landing page that entices them to download a piece of content that could help their businesses. In exchange, you would capture their contact details so that you can convert them later on, either through a sales call or through a more direct marketing channel, such as email.

Why Pinterest is driving profit right now

Right now, Pinterest is the most effective social network for driving sales as you can convert customers near the top of your funnel. This is because users of Pinterest are collecting products they like with a view to possibly purchase the product at a later stage.

Other social networks are more effective later on in the buying process when a social network lead is reminded of your company and returns to make a purchase.

Read more about social media:

Measuring ROI from social: How long it takes

Too many SMEs place much time into perfecting content but suffer from lack of critical number of opt-in followers. A number of businesses think content alone will produce results overnight. The solution is to invest a small sum into Facebook ads which will bring audience numbers up to levels which will lead to a per centage of click-thru’s to the website.

SMEs should bear in mind people on Facebook are browsing rather than shopping. The next stage is just to add value. Provide useful content and engaging conversation. After that it’s about adding links to further valuable content which lives on your website. This means getting potential customers onto your site. The point of all of this is when they are ready to buy, your business will come first to mind because of the value and engagement (relationship building) you’ve created in the interim.

Social selling: A job for sales or marketing

Social selling is a job for the sales team. It requires a certain type of individual who is patient and nurturing in their approach and who keeps a keen eye on his/her prospects’ social networking activity in order to build relationships and trust. They are also able to utilise their sales skills to make the sale and close the deal when the time arises. The role of the marketing team is to create the content that can be used by the sales team to keep social media leads warm. In a typical scenario, the sales team would get to know their sales prospects on a personal level by leveraging social media and would share content that resonates well with the specific prospect to help develop trust.

How do you persuade sales to use social to sell

Very often, sales that are made through social selling tend to be of a much higher value than sales made through other channels. This is because a sales team who uses social media to source their leads can be extremely specific about who they are targeting. They can also monitor these prospects’ activities on social networks to get to know them on a personal level. This gives them a competitive advantage over rival companies who may employe a more traditional sales approach. The prospect is much more likely to respond to someone who really “gets them” and will always think of this sales person first when they’re ready to buy.

Real Business quizzed Grace Victory back in December to produce some business learnings from a social media superstar.

Gavin Hammar is the founder and CEO ofsocial media management dashboard Sendible.


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