Monday, November 30, 2009

conversion conundrum

As I've been continually learning about social media the big question looms out like a sunset, beautiful but also out of reach, how does small business drive conversion through social media. Social media is great for branding, for expanding communication, for reaching new possible consumers, so you would think that sales would come soon after.

It's been proven that search and social media is closely tied. I've mentioned on a previous post the GroupM study that shows:
  • Consumers who are exposed to a brand’s social media efforts and paid search programs are 2.8x more likely to search for that brand’s products (compared to users who only saw paid search).
  • 50% increase in clickthrough rates in paid search when consumers were exposed to influenced social media and paid search.
  • The clickthrough rate on paid search for searchers using a brand’s product name in the query increased from 4.5% to 11.8% for those that were exposed to social media. And for organic search, the clickthrough rate increased 2.4x.
There's tons of large scale success stories for large brands like Dairy Queen, Skittles, and even Delta. So, how does it work for small marketers? The answer is the same as it does for the big marketers.

As Sima Dahl says in her blog Expert Business Source it's about the three Cs: Conversation, community and conversions.

1. First, you find the right conversation. You have to find what consumers want to know, the entertainment principle. This is the first step. If you already have fans even better. I worked with Mellow Mushroom and they had single restaurants with over 2,000 fans in one month.
2. Community is what social media is all about. This is where you can strengthen your fan base and listen as well as talk. The more you know your customers the better.
3. Conversions come from the other two. Once you have a fan base and people who believe in you, you can find out why they like you and offer that to more people.

It's hard. It takes time. It takes some trial and error. It can happen.

Then it's all about

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