$ocial Media

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Social media generates revenue, that is a fact.  I think so many brands cannot get their head around that and are almost looking to prove the opposite to be true.  The same people who tell me how they know they need a social media strategy, constantly say things like it is “a lot of fluff that doesn’t really move the needle.” (an actual quote). They downplay the value of the efforts and think it is all about a bunch millennials in hoodies taking selfies all day.  It is like they need to be in it, just because their competition is, but not because it actually makes money.  Ludicrous!

Now it might be that they are employing a very myopic view of social media.  If they are trying to track how their Facebook post on February 2nd directly lead to a sale, then they are going about it all wrong.  It is much bigger than that. Not only is it a function of a much deeper Facebook strategy, but Facebook (and other social networks for that matter) are just a part of the ecosystem. They need to be looking at onsite content, emails, search, retargeting, display, Ads (of various kinds) and social monitoring and messaging when assessing if their social strategy works. Too many companies have different departments, often with conflicting agendas overseeing these efforts and/or are using different partners for these services.  This silo approach sets them up to fail.

We recommend you have them all “under one roof” and working in sync to glean the most value and results from all of it.  Each little step is part of a bigger journey and it works best when you don’t have too many different agendas and personalities involved.  You need to make a threshold decision to win online, create a roadmap and then get to work.

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Here is a screenshot from an actual report we provided to a client today.  In June of ’15 they fired their AdWords Agency and their “SEO guy” and they turned over all of the social/digital efforts to us.  We handle content creation and strategic distribution through social, email, retargeting and social advertising and we actually paused AdWords efforts (other than a minor spend on their brand name). Not that AdWords don’t work (they do) but because they just weren’t right for them, at least for now.  We worked hard to generate website traffic (check out their sessions) and then convert that traffic through a smart and streamlined follow up strategy, employing all of the tools at our disposal.

The results: we doubled monthly revenue, from $60,000 to $127,000.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

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Why Are Your Website Revenues Not Higher?

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Why are your website revenues not higher you ask?  For many brands, it might not be a traffic issue, but rather a conversion problem. So many companies think you can create a website with a “set it and forget it” mentality, but that just isn’t true. If you want to make money via your website (who doesn’t right?) then you need to be listening and paying attention to how people navigate your site. Furthermore, you need to be prepared to take action when you see something that is clearly not working. This practice is referred to as conversion optimization, and you should be in the game.

We have talked about the need for Google Analytics and custom dashboards here on this blog and the next question should be, then what?  If you are tracking behaviors like bounce rate, duration and page flow, then you will start to see areas that need fixing. There will be negative, actionable information like: Why do so many people go to this category page and leave right away?  Why do they get to the cart and abandon so frequently?  And conversely there will be positives such as: Why do people spend 3+ minutes on this page and why did this particular blog post garner so many views?  If you start asking these questions and diving into the pages, you will find opportunities to remedy and/or double down on the good. You must be doing this on a monthly basis.

Imagery, copy, colors, positioning and clear calls to action, are just some of the things you need to consider as you mold your site to be a better engine for business.  Having a partner to help you both strategize and implement the changes is very important.  Most brands don’t have someone on staff to make the calls and even fewer have a solid webmaster relationship in place to make updates in a cost (financial and opportunity) efficient manner.  As such, they often just don’t do anything, and that is a huge mistake.

Website revenue is a game changer for a business in any vertical, because the margins are typically higher AND you have a one-to-one relationship with the buyer. This should lead to increased frequency of purchases and a greater life time value from that user if you are doing things right. So the question isn’t why aren’t your revenues higher, the question should be – are you doing anything about it?

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