Major Brands: Social Media Is Great – How Do We Make Money Off It?

Social media has captured the minds of the world’s population, especially those of corporate marketing and sales executives. While social media platforms and its users are having a great time, sales and marketing ideas are still limping and it seems nobody is able to come up with reasonable ideas to monetize on the new way how people interact with each other.

Recent reports about Facebook and some of their clients display the misery quite drastic. In the week of Facebook’s IPO, General Motors announced to quit buying ads on the site. At that time GM had a social media budget of $30million and intended to buy Facebook ads for $10million. This is plain and simple unbelievable. GM’s idea gives the impression that many big companies see social media platforms as nothing else than new age magazines.

Taking a look at the diverse GM’s Facebook pages and Twitter profiles opens up an unused treasure box. There are hundred thousands of likes and follows, but it seems that there is not much of real social media action going on.

The corporate Facebook page has 400,000 likes and 9700 talking about it. That’s roughly 2% of all likes. What? GM is posting on a regular basis and people like the posts and comment on it. Here is when the problem of social media hits GM: There is nobody to interact with the people commenting on the posts. GM seems to respond to comments that display negativity, which is a good thing. However, there are 100’s and 1000’s of opportunities daily “to sell”, and these opportunities are wasted, by ignoring the interaction when people enter the showroom, which the Facebook page actually is.

Think back 10 – 15 years. You stand in your showroom, somebody walks in and is looking at the cars, nobody cares about the prospect and the prospect walks out without any communication whatsoever. Can you imagine what the sales manager would say? This might sound ridiculous to some, but in essence, this is what the Facebook page is, your showroom.

Here is another example: Again, go back 10  – 15 years and imagine what a company would have done with 400,000 contacts that showed interest. And? What do you think? At that time the phone number was the hot commodity. Remember telemarketing? That’s what they did. They gave the numbers to a marketer and called all 400,000 people, and they made sales. I know, selling a car is different from selling a credit card or life insurance, but it will create a lot of leads and they will turn into sizable sales.

This is the concept that will make your social media presence on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site successful. People like and commenting on your page is your phone number that you need to get in touch with them. Buying ads is not what will create a lot of leads and sales. Keep in mind, your likes and the comments are warm leads, people came to you, they must be treated as such.

I was riding the GM story in this example. GM is not the only one that is performing poorly in the new sales environment. You can take a look at almost any corporate Facebook page or Twitter profile and see the same negligence. Food stores, any other retailer and everyone else that has something to sell. Look at your social media sites and connect the dots to your old conventional sales methods. This is how you can make money and profits from social media. And connecting the dots is really all you need to do.

Read also: Why Every Major Brand Should Use Empire Avenue

8 responses to “Major Brands: Social Media Is Great – How Do We Make Money Off It?

  1. Great blog, but a difficult area as the other guys say. So much completion for our attention these days

  2. Reblogged this on Musings and commented:
    As a mother and fellow human being I cannot help but wonder how Social media is going to fit into our society in general. This article is about how social media is viable in the work force and businesses. Good read.

  3. There is a more subtle dynamic at work. The problem with advertising in social spaces is that it tries to take the conversation from social norms (trust) to market norms (dollar value). Large organizations have not figured that out yet. They engage an audience, get them all warm and fuzzy then try to sell them something. The transition to market must be done carefully, interactively and subtly.

    • Have you ever been on Facebook or Twitter to watch ads, Doug? I am a power user of both, but advertising is the last thing I notice when I use these sites. It is not going to work, and if, just very limited. Engaging the audience that comes for a visit is key. If they can’t do that, there will be no business.

      • That’s my point. Ads don’t work. What DOES work is taking an engaged audience and conducting online events where the conversation can continue and lean more towards product benefits. Engaged in social parlance just means they have seen, like and possible share your content. Converting an engaged audience into customers is the trick. Advertising is not the answer.

      • 🙂 We are in the same boat, Doug!

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