Dr. Glenn Gearhart CEO of World Market Vendor Services, Inc. provides News and Commentary

Using Online Social Media To Enhance Profits

Use online social media to assure eCommerce profits

Why should you care about social media? Why is there so much discussion about using online social media to drive profits? Here are a few reasons:

  • 800 million active users on Facebook
  • 200 million registered on Twitter
  • 100 million professionals on LinkedIn
  • 80 percent of Americans use social media every month
  • 44 percent of the junk mail goes into the landfills unopened
  • Readership and circulation of all major newspapers is declining
  • Less than 1 percent of emails are opened and acted upon

The current numbers of participates may vary for the above, but the point remains the same….Social media is the new see and tell media… You need to use it!

Consider and utilize these points in structuring your approach to social media and Blogs. I always say: “Gathering accurate and reliable data is the first step in making informed and wise decisions.”

1) Research and be aware of all the ways social media and Blogs can assist your product sales and band name promotion.
  • Where are consumers addressing your product or band? What countries, what groups or classes of consumers?
  • What are consumers saying about your products, brand and your competition?
  • What are bloggers saying about your brand and internet presence?
  • Where are the opportunities to stimulate advocacy for your products?
  • Are there issues or negative messages that need a response or resolution?

2) Define what you desire from social media.

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • What products are you trying to sell to them?
  • In what countries are your target buyers located?
  • How do you plan to reach them?
  • What approach will you use to reach them and is it working?

3) It’s not about YOU, it’s about THEM.

  • Social media is not the same as TV, radio or print media – pushing information at social network users will not work, it will be rejected.
  • You must use social media in an engagement mode, on a personnel level.
  • Social media allows you to touch customers and interact with them. Users want that, and you need that. Interaction is how you learn what the customers really wants. Once you learned what they want, you can package your message to get through to them.

4) Impressions and viewer hits mean NOTHING.
In the world of social media, there is no way to count eyeballs effectively, consistently or accurately. Metrics are a little hard to gather from social media. However, some businesses use a five level approach to collecting metrics from social media users. These metrics are used to combine with other internal data to get usable results.

  • Level one The lowest level of participation – Similar to impressions or hits in the traditional media.
  • Level two – The next level of participation - How many followers, friends, visitors, hits, etc.
  • Level three – A higher level of participation – some minimum degree of interactive participation from the visitor.
  • Level four – You get the visitor’s identity and you get the visitor to register in some form with you and you encourage them to say nice things about your product and your brand
  • Level five – The visitor makes a purchase and recommends you to others.

5) Combine social media results with other research.

Social networks and blogs are a good place to view sentiment and collect data, but it must not be your only source of views and opinions. For accurate data from which to draw conclusions and make decisions you need to blend the social network and Blog sentiment with internal data. Data collected from call centers, customer service, surveys, behavioral data, online chat, and customer emails and tweets. Use many sources and blend wisely.

We welcome the opportunity to help you promote and monitor your brand and products online at World Market.