22 facts show social media is pay to play now 4

Posted on June 12, 2016 by Rob Petersen




social media pay to play

For many businesses, an allure of social media is it’s a free way to promote your company. Seductive thinking. Maybe that’s why 88% of U.S. businesses use social media marketing.

Companies worldwide spent $23.68 billion on social media advertising in 2015, according to eMarketer, a 33.5% increase from 2014. By 2017, social network ad spending will reach $35.98 billion, representing 16.0% of all digital ad spending globally.

Seductive thinking to social networks and their shareholders raising the question: Would a social network favor someone who pays for an ad over someone who posts for free?

Here are 25 facts that show social media is pay to play now.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: Social network revenue from advertising is growing at significant rates.

  1. Facebook advertising revenue jumped 57% in the first quarter of 2016 to $5.2 billion from $3.3 billion. Mobile ads, which command a higher price than those shown on desktops, accounted for roughly four-fifths of that revenue. (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. LinkeIn’s ad revenue grew by 29% in the 1st Quarter of 2015 to $154.1 million. (MarketingLand)
  3. Twitter in fourth quarter 2015 made $641 million from advertising, up 48% year-over-year and with mobile accounting for 86% of that sum. (Ad Age)
  4. By 2017, Instagram’s global mobile ad revenues will reach $2.81 billion, accounting for over 10% of parent company Facebook’s global ad revenues. (eMarketer)
  5. Snapchat sold its first ad in October 2014, brought in $3 million that year, and is on track to generate $100 million in revenue in 2016. (Business Insider)
  6. Pinterest’s leaked financials revealed the company is targeting $2.8 billion in revenue by 2018. (Business Insider)
  7. Social programmatic ad platforms are growth engines. Spending on FBX, Facebook’s programmatic platform, increased by 150% year-over-year globally during the second quarter of 2014, based on a sample of advertisers compiled by Ignition One. (Business Insider)
  8. Social networks earned an estimated $8.3 billion from advertising in 2015. (Jeff Bullas)

AD PRODUCTS FOR ALL BUSINESSES: It’s a very sophisticated marketplace. There’s an ad product for every business.

  1. Small businesses spend an estimated $5 to $50 a day on promoted posts and ads on Facebook. (Reuters)
  2. 76% of B2C respondents use promoted posts – boosted Facebook posts and promoted tweets and pins. 61% find promoted posts effective. (Social Media Examiner)
  3. 80% of LinkedIn’s revenue growth is from sponsored content. (MarketingLand)
  4. Google+ advertising is changing the way social ads work. Called +Post ads, they allow businesses to pay to have content shared on Google+ appear as an expandable, interactive display ad across the web. (Modern Connection)
  5. Snapchat charges $750,000 for a disappearing ad on its platform drove an audible gasp from the industry. (eConsultancy)

ORGANIC REACH IS DECLINING: It’s getting harder to achieve the same results posting for free on social networks.

  1. “Organic reach” of content from brands and small businesses has fallen to less than 2 percent of all fans. (Inc.)
  2. In December of 2013, Facebook changed the algorithm that determines who sees what content, resulting in business pages losing 40-80% viewership of their posts. (Modern Connection)
  3. Company Facebook pages reach as little as 2.6% of their followers. (Adweek)
  4. Of the 2.6% of users pages reached with their posts, 11.8% engaged with those posts, on average. (Adweek)
  5. Pages with more than 1 million Likes saw link posts perform the best, at 3.78% reach. For those with fewer than 1,000 Likes, video posts perform best with reach up to 30.0%. (Adweek)
  6. Average organic likes growth was 0.53%, and pages with fewer than 1,000 Likes saw that figure rise to 1.62%.(Adweek)

SOCIAL MEDIA WORKS: Is social media worth it? The facts say “yes.”

  • People are spending nearly an hour every day scrolling through Facebook status updates, liking Instagram posts, or chatting on Messenger (Business Insider)
  • Facebook has 50 minutes of your time each day (NY Times)
  • 42% of marketers report that Facebook is critical or important to their business. (Source: State of Inbound Marketing 2012 (Zephoria)

Do these facts convince you social media is pay to play now? Does it change your thinking? Does your business need help navigating social media in a pay to play world?

7 smartest lead generation tips using social media 1

Posted on February 29, 2016 by Rob Petersen



Lead Generation

by Nora Flint

While there are a lot of SEO benefits for blogging, in the end, most business owners who blog want to make money from lead generation with their audience. Needless to say, this is easier said than done.

Think about it. How many blog posts have you read in your life, and how many times have you bought something from the site? My point is that people read a lot more blogs than shop online. Generating leads by blogging can be difficult on a level just shy of alchemy.

Lead Generation #1

According to a report from Track Maven, two thirds (66 percent) of blogs from businesses get fewer than 10 interactions. The report notes that 43 percent of professionally marketed blog posts receive fewer than 10 interactions and nearly a quarter (23 percent) receive none at all.

However, there is also a lot of data that shows content marketing is an effective way for businesses to generate leads. The data cited by Track Maven also found that B2B companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads per month than those that do not.

There is no philosopher’s stone for turning blog readers into customers, but there are things website owners can do to improve their chances of a successful conversion. Here are the 7 smartest lead generation tips using social media.


The internet has changed the face of information by making it possible for any person to create content that can be seen by many. At one time, if you wanted your work to be seen by thousands, you had to be published in a printed paper or magazine. Now, anyone can be a writer.

This has led people to search for information from sources online when they would have gone to books (or how-to VHS tapes) a decade or two ago. This give business owners the opportunity to become a trusted source for potential customers.

For example, a cabinet maker can write about design options, material choices and so on using their products as examples. People who have questions about these topics will be searching online and they will be introduced to the brand by the article and may even buy a few cabinets.

Lead Generation #2

This can work very well for businesses that the resources to create helpful videos for consumers. People turn to YouTube and other video sites to find how-to videos for common problems. For example, car part dealers can create a video on how to fix a problem, then link to the products needed in the video description.

I can attest to the usefulness of this from personal experience. I have a 2004 Mustang and I’ve used the videos from parts dealers to help me diagnose and fix problems I had. Even if I didn’t buy a part from the company that made the video, it’s likely that some of the people who watched it did.

When using content marketing to generate leads, remember to use a soft touch. If the content produced by a brand feels more like a full-on advertising than anything else, people won’t stay on the page and may even develop a bad perception of the brand.

As I mentioned in a recent article, a strategy for turning micro conversions (e.g. reading a blog) into macro conversions (e.g. buying a product from site) takes time. You don’t need to cram every marketing slogan and angle into every post.


We often think of the internet as making the world a smaller place because we can easily communicate with the other side of the world. But in a way the opposite is true, the internet has made the world far larger than ever before.

There are probably two or three times as many internet profiles as there are people on the planet, and cyberspace gives us all more places we can be (this is going somewhere, trust me). Content marketers who want to generate leads need to learn where, in the ever-growing world, their target audience can be found.

Lead Generation #3

For most business-to-consumer and business-to-business retailers, key audiences can be found on the major social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. This is why a good starting point for generating leads through content marketing is sharing content on the major social networks.

Of course, that just for starters. Business owners should search for the spots on the internet that are popular for an industry or target audience but are a little off the beaten path. Specialty websites, forums and subgroups within social media networks may hide the people most likely to buy a product.

Reddit is a good place to look specialty audiences. There are threads on Reddit devoted to just about everything, so business owners trying to generate leads should submit their content to the thread so it’s seen by audience that’s looking for this type of material.

Reddit is also useful for finding topics to write about. Reddit ranks items on popularity so it’s easy to see what headlines are trending and which are losing their popularity. It’s even helpful in seeing the style and tone of content that performs well with potential customers. Read this article for more ideas on high-performing keywords.

In some respects, generating leads from content marketing is about the law of averages. If the content gets shown to the right group of people enough times, you will see a steady rate of leads. But it has to be shown to the right audiences.


Website owners who want more leads from content marketing can be like kids asking for seconds before finishing what’s on their plate. One of the best ways to get more engagement is to take good care of the comments you’ve already gotten.

Lead Generation #4

Though it may seem otherwise, people aren’t just posting comments just so they can hear themselves speak. People want the chance to engage with content creators and like-minded fans. And often, the leads are generated from the readers in the comments.

A healthy comment section also encourages people to share the article with friends, family on social media. This, in turn, spreads the content to more people and potential customers. It also benefits the SEO when the link gets shared more frequently.

Responding to all comments quickly establishing a company as being responsive to their customers and fans. This builds trusts in a brand for people visiting the site for the first time, and generates loyalty for people who see their questions and comments are being answered.

Most comments will not be leads that will turn into sales. But if a business can encourage enough people to comment, by responding to the comments they’ve already received, then they will eventually get comments from people who need the company’s products or services.


Another way to make sure social sharing is fun is having a good description and image set for sharing the link on social media. When a link is shared on social networks like Facebook or Twitter, the sites automatically find the headline, featured image, and snippet for the link.

Many websites don’t have these items set up and the default values are usually unlikely to gather attention, even if shared on a person’s Facebook timeline or Twitter feed. Getting someone to share the content is only half the battle when trying to generate leads through content marketing.

The other half is having a link where the social media post it generates is engaging enough to get new viewers, and potential customers, to click. Make sure a featured image is set and that it’s properly sized so that it’s not a thumbnail when used for a post.

Lead Generation #5

For the written parts, make sure that the meta description title is set as the headline for the article. I’ve seen links where the default title is the category is the name of the website or the taxonomy of categories before the link. The same thing can happen with the description.

These sort of errors are likely due to issues with the content management system or website. The best way to be sure that shared content looks impressive to consumers is to set the link’s image, headline and description manually.


When you schedule your content can be just as important as what you write or how your write it. Websites that are able to create content that is valuable and timely for their audience will see better engagement than their peers.

It may seem like a little thing, but the data suggest that publishing content at the right time can have a huge effect on engagement. The sharing app AddThis noticed that they saw the highest engagement among their customers in the middle of the week.

AddThis said that, generally speaking, websites can see up to a 57 percent increase in engagement on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  They recommend that content creators with limited resources should focus on publishing on these days since it will provide the biggest bang for the buck.

The ideal time of day to post varies from industry to industry. People who follow the financial industry know the times of days to expect reports to be released and when the most important numbers come out.

One of the keys to engagement is knowing the best times for your industry. Just being a few hours or day behind can make a post irrelevant for sharing, since the information has already been out there.

Time of day also affects what kind of content should be published. The AddThis report cited earlier found that people were more likely to read long-form content during work hours. Website viewers were 20 percent more likely to scroll through content on weekdays from 9 am – 5 pm.

Use metrics and traffic analysis tools to discover the times your audience is most likely to engage with content. Though it may seem otherwise, the times when people engage with content are not random.


Business owners who want to use a blog to promote their services and engage fans need to understand that it is a long-term endeavor. In order to see the SEO and conversion rate optimization benefits from blogging, it takes consistent and regular posting.

For SEO, more posts means more links to index and more ways to keywords that can be targeted. It’s not a direct correlation. More pages does not mean higher rank. But having more content gives a site more chances to rank and more overall links, which does boost SEO.

Lead Generation#6

The Track Maven study cited earlier found that engagement was linked to the output of a blog.

Improving SEO is related to increased engagement because it means more of the content’s target audience will find the content in search. And more viewers mean more people who will want comment.

It’s important to remember that only a tiny fraction of the people who view content engage with it by sharing or commenting (and liking when applicable). Usually, less than 10 percent of the viewers of any piece of content will engage by sharing, commenting or liking.

This means that increases in the number of people who visit a website will eventually create more of the engagement you want to see. And the engagement often snowballs. People start commenting when they see other people commenting.

Regularly posting content also encourages engagement from the people who read the content. People want to comment on content they find when the community and the authors are active. If there are weeks between each post, readers don’t know if anyone will ever see their comment.

Another benefit of regularly posting content is that it more clearly defines the scope and tone of a website or blog. This is important because it will encourage people interested in a subject matter to treat the site as a place to discuss the things they care about.


As was mentioned earlier, successful content marketing requires a subtle touch. People don’t want to have advertising slogans shouted at them in blog posts or social media, but they do expect some useful product information to be a part of the content they get from a company.

Mastering this balancing act is essential for generating leads through content marketing. A roofing company that has a post about how to prevent leaks would be remiss if they didn’t mention things such as their warranty or why their product is less likely to leak.

Value propositions are necessary. You don’t want people to reach the end of the blog post and wonder if they will experience an issue if they were to use the product or service from the company that wrote the blog.

It’s also a good idea to insert useful links and product ads on the blog page, such as on the sidebar. If there’s a main graphic on the homepage that is used to bring people to a main attraction for the site, there should be a smaller version in the sidebar.

People who come to a site from a link to a blog post may not go to the homepage. So it’s important to make it easy for people who come for the blog to see the other things the site has to offer. The lead generating content and content for the blog can not be separate. Otherwise, there will be a lot of missed opportunities.

Turning blog readers into paying customers may seem a bit like turning lead into gold, but this is alchemy that business owners can do on their own. Any business that is willing to invest in creating content can turn that investment into useful business leads.

Granted, Hubspot is somewhat biased source, but their data shows that inbound marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to see positive return on investment than those who do not.

Statistically speaking, generating leads amongst all the people that come to a blog post or other piece of content is rare. But that doesn’t matter in the age of the internet. Even if the response rate for leads is only 0.5 percent, it’s not too hard to get content seen by 1,000 people, thus generating 5 leads.

Of course, business owners should hope for a higher conversion rate than that. One way to do this is to use analytics to find what’s work best for your audience. TruConversion has all-in-one software to help businesses fine tune their website for maximum effectiveness. Take a look and see how it can help you generate more leads from your content marketing.

Does your company have a strategy for lead generation? Do you tips using social media sound smart to you?

27 surprising stats how social media is changing healthcare 0

Posted on November 01, 2015 by Rob Petersen


Healthcare is a heavy regulated industry so many healthcare organizations avoid the use of social media. But patients, healthcare professionals and hospitals don’t.

Consumers use social media to research and to make health decisions. Patients consider themselves part of a tribe trusting others on social media more than other sources. Physicians use social media to network professionally with colleagues and peers and participate in forums, sharing medical knowledge within their community.

Social media is a platform where the public, patients and healthcare professionals can communicate about health issues and possibly improve health outcomes.

Here are 27 surprising stats how social media is changing healthcare.

  1. 90% of Millennials say they would trust medical information shared by others on their social media networks (source: Search Engine Watch)
  2. 81% of hospitals said service lines expressed an interest in participating in the hospital’s social media strategy (source: AFIA)
  3. 66% of doctors use social media for professional purposes, often preferring an open forum as opposed to a physician-only online community (source: EMR Thoughts)
  4. 60% of doctors say social media improves the quality of care delivered to patients (source: Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group)
  5. 60% of consumers say they trust doctors’ posts versus 36% who trust posts from a pharma firm (source: MDDI)
  6. 60% of physicians most popular activities on social are following what colleagues are sharing and discussing (source: Health Care Communication)
  7. 54% of patients are very comfortable with their providers seeking advice from online communities to better treat their conditions (source: Mediabistro)
  8. 50% of healthcare apps available to consumers can be downloaded for free and are produced by a variety of types of developer (source: IMS Institute)
  9. 49% of those polled expect to hear from their doctor when requesting an appointment or follow-up discussion via social media within a few hours. (source: HealthCare Finance News)
  10. 41% of people said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility (source: Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group)
  11. 40% of people polled said information found on social media affects how someone coped with a chronic condition, their view of diet and exercise and their selection of a physician (source: HealthCare Finance News)
  12. 40% of consumers say that information found via social media affects the way they deal with their health.(source: Mediabistro)
  13. 31% of health care professionals use social media for professional networking (source: Mediabistro)
  14. 31% of health care organizations have specific social media guidelines in writing (source: Institute for Health)
  15. 30% of adults are likely to share information about their health on social media sites with other patients, 47% with doctors, 43% with hospitals, 38% with a health insurance company and 32% with a drug company. (source: Fluency Media)
  16. 28% of health-related conversations on Facebook are supporting health-related causes, followed by 27% of people commenting about health experiences or updates (source: Infographics Archive)
  17. 27% of patients comment or post status updates based on health-related experiences (source: MDDI)
  18. 26% of all hospitals in the US participate in social media (source: Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group)
  19. 23% of drug companies have not addressed security and privacy in terms of social media (source: Mediabistro)
  20. 19% of smartphone owners have at least one health app on their phone. Exercise, diet, and weight apps are the most popular types (source: Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group)
  21. 12% of apps accounted for 90% of all downloads (source: iMedicalApps)
  22. 18 to 24 year olds are more than 2x as likely than 45 to 54 year olds to use social media for health-related discussions (source: Mediabistro)
  23. YouTube traffic to hospital sites has increased 119% year-over-year (source: Google’s Think Insights)
  24. The Mayo Clinic’s podcast listeners rose by 76,000 after the clinic started using social media (source: Infographics Archive)
  25. Among the 165,000 health & medical apps now on the market, nearly two thirds are focused on general wellness issues like fitness, lifestyle & stress, and diet. The remainder is made up by apps focused on specific health conditions (9%), medication info & reminders (6%), and women’s health & pregnancy (7%). Mental health apps led among disease specific apps, followed by diabetes (source: iMedicalApps)
  26. $392,000,000 is the revenue from mobile healthcare apps in 2015 (source: Northern Kentucky University)
  27. Of more than 1,500 hospitals nationwide who have an online presence, Facebook is most popular (source: WHPRMS)

Below are three infographics that also deliver statistics on the impact social media is having on healthcare.

Do these facts align with your healthcare behaviors. Do you believe social media is changing healthcare?


10 big ways social media participation raises search ranking 0

Posted on July 06, 2015 by Rob Petersen



social media and search ranking

  • 54% of people find a website from natural search results (source: Forrester)
  • 33% choose the website in the #1 position on the first search page (source: Chitika)
  • 32% find a website from social network sites (source: Forrester)

The numbers say high search ranking and strong social media presence give a website the best chances of being found.

But a website has an even better chance if social media and search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, the strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high search engine ranking, work together.

Here are 10 real ways social media participation raises search ranking.

  1. KEYWORDS SET GOALS: To get to a top rank, you have to start with the keywords you want to rank highly for. No software platform is a substitute for your own judgement. But Google Webmaster Tools can tell you what keywords people use who come to your website. Google Keyword Planner can tell what is the monthly search volume for those keywords and social monitoring tools like Topsy, Social Searcher and Radian 6 can tell your what people say about these keywords and your brand. Together, they give you a road map for the keywords on social network sites and your website that are likely to attract the most attention and interest.
  2. SOCIAL MEDIA IMPROVES LINK POTENTIAL FOR SEO: Social media activity helps increase awareness of a brand’s website content. This increased familiarity leads to links that signals to search engines your brand is an authority on your chosen topics. Tools like Alexa and Marketing Grader measure if social media is increasing links to your website.
  3. SOCIAL SHARES ARE THE NEW WAY TO BUILD LINKS: Because links raise search rank through authority, they have been manipulated in the past through black hat techniques such as invisible text and creating “fake” websites. Google now discredits these tactics. Instead, they have chosen to look at links through social signals like blog mentions, Tweets, Facebook Posts and+1s as a non-manipulated way of getting links and demonstrating authority.
  4. AUTHORSHIP SHOWS AUTHORITY: Google+ allows an author’s picture to appear next to search results of content they have created. With Google authorship, you can improve your search ranking and brand yourself as a thought leader in your field as well as add a face to your work.
  5. GOOGLE FAVORS GOOGLE+: Google+ may not be a great social network but Google has given their Plus button a big advantage when it comes to their own ranking factors. If you have a Google+ button on your website, sharing on Google+ can have a big effect on search ranking.
  6. SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES RANK IN SEARCH ENGINES: While social shares may or may not affect a webpage’s position in search listings, your social profiles definitely influence search results. In fact, social media profiles are often among the top results in search listings for brand names. They can double, triple and quadruple the number of times your brand is seen on a search engine page.
  7. SOCIAL NETWORKS ARE SEARCH ENGINES TOO: People don’t just go to Google or Bing to look up things. For example, YouTube is the #2 search engine. If your business is active on a particular social network, it’s likely people are going to find out about you there as well as search engines.
  8. GOOGLE AND TWITTER EQUAL STRONGER SEARCH: In February, Google and Twitter penned a deal giving Google access to the “fire hose” of Twitter’s public data, generated by its 300 million users. Now, all of Twitter’s profile information, Tweets, and other public data are immediately accessed and available on Google in real time.
  9. CONTENT LIVES IN TWO PLACES: Even with all these ways social media and SEO can work together, great content is still the primary ingredient that raises search ranking. Now, it can live and be distributed in two places – on your social networks and your website.
  10. IF YOU CAN’T MEASURE IT, YOU CAN’T MANAGE IT: Now, with a plan and process in plan, a measurement plan can help measure your progress and optimize results. Look at goals and track progress through metrics like keyword rank, website visits, Likes, Re-Tweets, Shares, Comments, Views and conversions. Make the measurement that are most important your Key Performance Indicators.

SEO doesn’t have to be technical or handled by technical people. In fact, if you are consistently putting out strong keyword-based content in a variety of places, you should see the impact of social media and SEO working together in short order.

Did these ways convince you that social media participation raises search engine ranking? Does your business need help making it happen?

Social media builds brand loyalty. 11 compelling case studies 1

Posted on June 28, 2015 by Rob Petersen




social media builds brand loyalty

  • 60% of Facebook fans and 79% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend those brands since becoming a fan or follower.
  • 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy the brands they follow or are fans.
  • Facebook users who ‘like’ a brand’s Facebook page are 33% more likely to buy a product, and 92% more likely to recommend a product to others. (source: Chadwick Martin Bailey)

These facts suggest social media builds brand loyalty. But does it and how?

See for yourself. Here are 11 compelling case studies that prove social media builds brand loyalty.

  1. CARS.COM. Encouraged rating, reviews and sharing (versus no ratings, reviews and sharing) and it showed that pages that had ratings and reviews had a 16% higher rate of conversion and a 100% higher rate of traffic through to dealer’s sites.
  2. DOVE: As women love to sing in shower, Dove launched a campaign titled “Showeroke”. The campaign “Showeroke”was designed to see the influence of music in the lives of younger women. And the brand preference for Dove because they connected with this value. Videos were posted on YouTube. Dove created a microsite called the “Shower Remixer” where users customized their shower experience selecting different fixtures, floor designs, shelves and window scenes and as they remixed the shower experience. The music changed along with it. Dove Bar annual penetration went up from 13.7% to 18.4%. Dove Body wash loyalty went up from 24% to 27.6%.
  3. FOLICA: A well-known retailer of health and beauty products, noticed they had many referrals to their website, but no way of tracking and identifying these referrals. By engaging their customers and encouraging them to share the secrets of great hair by Facebook, Twitter, email and personalized URL’s. There was a reward for both the referrer and the referee. Each party would receive $10. After 30 days of running the new Social Referral Program 6,000 brand advocates were identified. The average number of shares per advocate was four. 21,000 shares had been generated via Facebook, Twitter and email and a 16% conversion rate was driven by the program.
  4. GENERAL MILLS: on French Toast Crunch, wanted to get the brand into the hands of the company’s best and most socially connected consumers. A tweet was sent from the French Toast Crunch brand, basically saying, “Hey, who wants this?” The brand’s Twitter followers were urged to retweet to their followers and use the hashtags #sample or #MoreFTC to receive a free sample of French Toast Crunch in the mail. The popup window collected an email address and a physical address for delivery of the cereal. Once that social media attention died down, a follow-up email was also sent to the freebie recipients, giving them a coupon for 50 cents off a box of French Toast Crunch in-store as a reward for their social media engagement. Nearly 40% of those who received the 50-cent-off coupon opened the email. About 20% of those who received the email redeemed the coupon, 4X higher than the industry norm.
  5. J. HILBURN: A retail, apparel brand for men was receiving many referrals from existing satisfied customers. J. Hilburn wanted to identify their most valuable customers and reward them for their ‘word of mouth’ recommendations. By offering customers $50 for each friend referred and encouraging the advocates to share the offer using social media, they identified and rewarded brand advocates. Any referred customer who spent over $100 received a $50 discount on their purchase. Once again, a two sided offer for the referrer and the referee. After 45 days, 1,000 customers had made referrals. Averaging 12 shares per advocate, the referral program produced 10,000 social shares via Facebook, Twitter and email. The bottom line result was 600 transactions which created over $250,000 in sales.
  6. SENDGRID: An email delivery and transactional service company, created an offer for existing customers which could be shared socially. Customers received $20 cash and the referred customer would also receive a 25% discount on their first three months of service. By giving the existing customer a gift and the new customer a discount, a “Captive Offer” had been created. The share could be made using email, Facebook or Twitter. SendGrid achieved a 111% return on investment after the first six months of running the newly implemented referral program.
  7. SEPHORA: Tiers are one of the most effective ways a loyalty program can motivate a desired behavior. The tiers that Sephora has set ($350 for VIB and $1,000 for Rouge) have effectively segmented shoppers. The Rouge status is tough to reach, but obtainable, which leads to the most effective form of motivation. The tier rewards like exclusive events, access to the beauty studio, and early access to products and sales align perfectly with what Sephora stands for. These rewards create a sense of luxury and assign an exclusive status to members in the upper tiers. The rewards are announced on Sephora’s social media sites to build greater brand loyalty and let their already loyal customer know of special events and offers.
  8. STARBUCKS: Since 2008, has been advocate-driven idea tank where Starbucks drinkers submit ideas for new products and coffee concoctions. It has worked as a hub for all Starbucks customers to share all their ideas, suggestion and even their frustration.  “We used to launch a new product and it cost millions of dollars. Now, when we launch a new product, we already have millions of fans,” say Chris Bruzzo, Vice President Brand, Content and Online at Starbucks.
  9. SUBWAY: Sponsored the “Slim Down Challenge,”  a live speaking event consisting of some of America’s hottest speakers and celebrities. Its mission was to travel from city to city across America delivering powerhouse information that challenged your mind, heart, and waistline. They used social technologies and promotion apps to raise awareness of the Slim Down Challenge and recruit speakers. The strategy included a social competition. This was part of a full marketing strategy for the campaign. They found that 71% of site traffic that went to the registration page, came directly from Facebook.
  10. TREK: Offered customers a Trek Care loyalty and warranty package when they buy a new Trek bike, but cyclists can take coverage to the next level by purchasing the Trek Care Plus package. Trek used social media giving away free repairs for a widely read post to make customers aware of the Trek Care Plus Package. By tying in benefits with social media usage, Trek was at the forefront of consumers’ minds.
  11. US AUTO PARTS: Decided to shift marketing investment from customer acquisition to customer retention for its loyalty program, APW Rewards. Working with 500friends’ customer success team, U.S. Auto Parts began to leverage capabilities such as increased rewards for high-margin products, personalized post-purchase enrollment offers, a status tier, and triggered email campaigns based off of a person’s repurchase history to maximize customer lifetime value.  U.S. Auto parts increased its spend per member by 20%, its repurchase rate by 14%, and its enrollment rate by 45% after updating the loyalty program of its flagship brand,

Do these case studies convince use social media builds brand loyalty? Is one your favorite? Are you using social media to build brand loyalty for your business?

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