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Get ROI Using Social Media

Social media. Don’t go rolling your eyes and hitting the back button just yet.

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I’m going to show you how easy it is to get big ROI from little budget and no tools. We’re talking about Pretzel Day style of ROI…

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Before we dive into the tactics and strategies let’s get real and talk about the why.

Why do social media?

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Believe it or not, social media is, and can be, a huge asset to your company's bottom line. Before building your profile and finding friends, think about your business goals and how social media plan can help you achieve those. I came up with a few, but there are much more that can be achieved using social, they are:

  • Make money
  • Build brand awareness
  • Build business relationships
  • Create business growth opportunities
  • Connect and cultivate a community of influencers and customers

The rest of this post is going through a real-life example of what I did to hit those business goals through building an organic Instagram influencer team, creating business relationships with symbiotic companies, monster brand awareness from giveaways, and new business opportunities with user-generated product development. All of these tactics can be easily implemented for any brand in any niche. If you ever have questions about any of these tactics feel free to ask me anything @JonnyHam_

Fresh out of college I started out as the “social media” guy at an organic food company. The company had no online store, no digital marketing strategy, a website and social media profiles built to the old brand and company name. I was given no budget but to rebrand the existing website and grow the social media channels. So after doing a social media audit (Hootsuite and Buffer have great resources for this) and getting the website branding correct (a tale for another time), I went about building an influencer “street team” that I could start promoting our brand and growing our social footprint.

Here’s how I built that influencer team:

  1. Created our companies buyer persona’s (Actually sketched them out and gave them names, likes/dislikes, etc.) If you have access to more data I recommend checking out Cinthia’s post on Facebook Audiences.
  2. Search relevant hashtags in each of your buyer's persona and identify influencers in each niche who:
    1. Have a small to medium size following (5 - 75k)
    2. Lots of engagement in pictures (people can buy likes and followers) so look for real engagement.
  3. Outreach, OUTreach, OUTREACH!

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    1. Message them in the social media channel that they are most often using. Here’s the exact message I always used:
    1. For influencers with 5 - 75k followers give them a free product or free use of your business service.
    2. 75k followers and up usually you had to create an agreement something along the lines of 1 - free product/service plus fee or 2 - Custom URL if selling online (5 - 10% of each order) to give a referral percentage to the influencer.
    3. Build a “Black Book” of all your contacts:Social Media | 97th Floor
    4. Send them the product/service your business offers and watch…the posts, notifications, followers, and more will follow!
    5. Repurpose Content:
      1. Social Media
      2. Blogs
      3. Email
      4. PDF’s/ebook’s
      5. Traditional Advertising
      6. B2B presentations

The cool thing is, using the exact same process above, you can create business relationships with symbiotic companies. Simply search companies that complement your business in your different buyer persona niches. Sending a message within their most popular social media channel seems to have the best response rate, and gets you in touch with their social media team who — if they are anything like you — are proactively trying to grow their business as well. Once you have connections with complementary brands, the world really is your oyster. From giveaways to product recaps, there are some awesome ways that companies are helping each other grow. I think Kodiak Cakes does a great job of this, working with Influencers and other companies to give their users fun ways to interact with the brands and other customers.

One way Kodiak Cakes and other companies can see a real boost in their social footprint is through giveaways. Check each social media platforms guidelines as they differ, but one example of a giveaway I ran involved 12 days of new recipes using health products my company sells, with over 24 influencers creating the recipe. Both our company’s account and the influencer account posted the recipe with simple ways (tag a friend, or share this post) to win the products and other prizes being featured. This 12-day giveaway campaign cost the company only the product to be sent to the influencer and resulted in 24 unique pieces of content and over 1 million impressions to our target audiences.

The last tactic I’ll cover (certainly not the last to ever try) is creating new business opportunities with user-generated product development. We ran a social media campaign asking our followers and influencer street team to help us the company create a new baking product. We enlisted the help of 5 big time influencers (paid for their involvement) and about 50 smaller influencers (sent them a few of our company's products) to get the snowball running. The rules were too simply created a new recipe using our products and whoever gets the most social engagement, best taste, and our CEO’s choice won the grand prize of getting their name and recipe featured on our newest product packaging. The results were incredible. We had over 100 posts for the campaign resulting in 2.5 million+ impressions with a total budget spend of $1000 and free product sent to the influencers.

This campaign alone got our new product into a nationwide store, huge ROI success and created trust with our influencers and customers.

From all of these different efforts, our accounts went from almost nothing to assist in growing our numbers to these:

Social Media | 97th Floor

But even better than just numbers, during outside research by a branding agency for the company found:

“Besides in-store discovery, the number one way consumers found out about BBF was through social media”

This trumped traditional advertising (tv, radio, print, PR), in-store promotion coupons, word of mouth, sales associates, etc. We were able to secure several store contracts with our products in regional and nationwide stores and created a vibrant social community.

Social media can be a huge asset to your company's bottom line. Start with the “Why do social media,” create goals based on business objectives, and get going. If you need help, hit me up @JonnyHam_  

Jon Hammond

Jon is an Enterprise Digital Marketer, who loves taking big ideas and conveying them through story on marketing channels.

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