To put things simply, what is the underlying reason for a company to use social media?
I am sure that most of you would agree that it is to make money, for a lack of a better word.
Believe it or not, most companies forget this underlying principal and only worry about vanity metrics.
In basic terms a vanity metric is something that adds meaningless value and in terms of social media can be things such as getting more likes on your Facebook page or getting more retweets on your last twitter update. Although these examples to provide brand awareness, they steer away the importance of return on investment.
Building an awesome Facebook page or trying to post the coolest picture on Instagram takes up what is most precious to us – TIME! And more time spent on improving these vanity metrics will result in less time being spent on making money and converting customers.
Now don’t get me wrong… I still believe that having a credible social media status along with a blog is crucial to building trust with an audience however my main belief is that companies should invest more time and money into returning their investment of social media into a profitable venture. There is one effective way to do this:
A Virtual Bribe:
A virtual bribe is defined as exchanging something with a visitor usually in the form of information. A classic example is to offer a discount coupon on your website when the end user signs up to the weekly newsletter. This has many benefits as the user gets a discount and the publisher gets the information of the user which could lead to a future sale.
One downfall of this is when the user ‘cheats’ the system by entering false information or simply blocking the content that the publisher sends them.
Derek Halpern of the popular social media/internet marketing blog Social Triggers quotes:
“If you’re not building an email list, you’re an idiot” – Derek Halpern
And he’s right because building an email list can mean future sales, repeated sales and is a great way to introduce new products to the right audience.
In essence, it is great for the long run!
Going back to the idea of a virtual bribe, these can also be incorporated into any kind of social media post.
Yes Facebook is a great platform to host a virtual bribe because of how many people use it and the amount of time people spend on it. To get an idea of how big Facebook is, refer to my earlier blog post here.
The main method to perform this bribe across Facebook is for a company to make a post and encourage people to share, like and/or comment for a chance to win something. When you think about it, when a close friend of yours is interested in something you tend to take notice and figure out if this would interest you also because your friend liked it. In terms of sharing on Facebook, when a close friend you know likes or shares something, it immediately sparks your interest because you trust their taste – this is what benefits companies through the ability to share content as they gain more awareness and chance of converting a customer.
Although this regularly does add to the concept of vanity metrics, it is great for brand awareness and the chance to define a target audience.
Instagram, Twitter and others?
Absoultely! These tactics work across popular platforms where there are chances to share content with your audience.
My Question for all of you:
Who have you seen perform a virtual bribe on social media before? Tell me what company did this and what platform it was on along with what their bribe was.
Please leave your answers or any other questions in the comments below and I will respond to each one personally!