Social Media: Listening Is Not Enough

Small businesses can gain tremendous branding and sales benefits from launching social media marketing programs—and it’s not even that hard or costly. After all, the first step to get in on the social media game is to launch a Facebook page and a Twitter account, and maybe a company blog, right? The only problem is, many small businesses stop there. They get on Facebook and Twitter, then monitor the conversations taking place either just by looking at the posts and tweets, or by using a free buzz tracking tool to get an overall picture of what customers think of their brand, products, or services.

But, unfortunately, to gain real value from the social channel, companies don’t just need to listen, but also to act. Use social media measurement tools to find out exactly what people are saying about your products and services, who is sharing this information with whom, and what impact this word-of-mouth traffic is having on bottom-line sales. You need to measure your social media marketing program with the same precision as you do your paid media programs—finding out with certainty which social media content is driving sales. Then, you can nurture those conversations, create new content, and target key influencers to drive a continued boost in sales.

Ben Straley CEO Meteor Solutions Seattle

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.