At a recent Selling Power conference titled “Sales Strategies in a Social & Mobile World”, Barton Goldenberg, president of ISM, presented a keynote titled “Analyzing the Business Value of a ‘Social’ Strategy”. Here are the key points from the speech:
ISM defines Social Media as: A set of highly interactive technology tools that leverage the fundamental human desire to interact with others. It is a new way for organizations to communicate with and relate to employees, consumers, partners and other stakeholders.
Barton came across this quote while doing research for a pharmaceutical company: “Over 80% of Internet consumers search online for health information, trusting peer-generated Social Media content more than pharma company Websites and what their physicians say.”
Barton foresees a date in the near future when the terms “pharma” and “physician” can be replaced with terms pertinent to your industry. Over 80% of consumers will be searching online for information pertaining to your industry and they will trust peer-generated content in Social Media Websites rather than information on your company’s Website or so-called experts in your industry.
To paraphrase Cisco’s CEO, John Chambers: “The collaboration kids get through social networking is the future of business.”
A 2011 Hubspot survey found that social media is at present the preferred marketing channel a majority of companies plan to invest in over the next 12 months. It is interesting to note that the previous top marketing channels 20 years ago, print and television are near the bottom of the list.
Gartner predicts: “By 2015, companies will generate 50% of web sales via their social presence and mobile applications”.
The Big Question is: Can you really make money from a successful social community? If Yes, how?
A few years ago, ISM helped to set up social communities for six AAA Clubs. The AAA staff monitored the activities of their members that were engaged in the AAA automobile or travel community. From this monitoring, it was determined that the members who were actively participating in the AAA communities were spending measurably more on AAA products/services than non-AAA community members.
Barton provided these key takeaways concerning the Social Media/Internet Search tie-in:
• Consumers exposed to a brand’s Social Media content are 2.8 times more likely to search on that brand’s terms.
• Consumers exposed to a brand’s Social media content are 1.7 times more likely to search with the intention of making a purchase.
• Overall, brands report a 50% lift in click-through rates from consumers exposed to both Social Media and paid search.