Nice Numbers You’ve Got There. (So, what’s in it for me?)

pic 1There was once a time when reader impressions ruled. Get a client’s product on the cover of Prevention magazine and you got carried around on a chair.

As we made the shift from bragging about total impressions, we became pleased with ourselves when we could show a client their Facebook followers increased 230% and—hey, look at this—72 people repinned this photo!

The client nods. Then asks the money question: Considering the hefty investment we’ve made in social media, can you show me how all this expensive activity affects my sales?

Good question and one we can be prepared to answer.

Oh, we could get into agent-based modeling and show how ‘persuaders’ affect penultimate decision making. But then, does our client really want to discuss quantitative research? No.

pic 2Let’s get down to it. We are expert surrogates for our clients who trust our knowledge, experience and even our intuition to lead the way. Ten years ago we told them this social media thing is big and it’s time to pounce; they trusted us. Ever since, we’ve developed ‘conversations’ and posted and tweeted and virtually partied with consumers. But sales? Not our department.

Our colleague Michael Whitlow is all over it. “We’re on alert. It’s time for our industry to grasp this huge transformative force and what it means to our clients’ businesses,” he says. “We’re just on the verge of reinventing the metrics and finding all new ways to track what’s really happening, including sales.”

Until we step over that brink, we have tools. Certainly Radian6 and other monitoring services track and assess our social media activity and, in some cases, we can make sales deductions. We can rely on the clients’ sales stats and take credit. We can go back to old school consumer surveys to assess social media use, attitude and behaviors.

Recently, Vision Critical, a Vancouver-based insight community technologies provider, developed a very helpful white paper drawn from 6,000 online survey respondents in three countries.

Vision Critical’s ‘From Social to Sale’ hands over some facts that can start the dig that will result in concise answers.

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Step right up and flaunt those big social media numbers you’ve accumulated! And be ready to make a leap from social to sale showing clients the value of their investment and, more importantly, the value of their trust in you.

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