Potential vs. actual benefits in social media
Imagine an industry with 1.5 billion potential consumers. An industry that, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, has the potential to add $900 trillion to $1.3 billion in value for companies, as well as influencing 1/3rd of all purchasing decisions. An industry that Booz and Co. estimates will reach $14 billion in social commerce sales by 2015 – a 1400% increase from 2011. This industry, with the potential to influence consumers and create enormous monetary and non-monetary value for companies, seems like any savvy brands’ dream.
Image 1: Social media has the potential to add ~$1 trillion in value to companies worldwide
Now imagine an industry where only 20% of marketers believe they saw measurable results. The other 80% pour money into a funnel with the hope that somehow, possibly as a result of the vast potential of this industry, their money is benefiting their company in some way.
Why the discrepancy?
Both descriptions above apply to social media. The large difference in potential versus actual social media returns is the result of brands struggling with how to effectively leverage the platform, and this uncertainty has led to unrealized value creation.
According to Lab 42, 82% of people believe Facebook pages are a good place to interact with brands. However, combined with eMarketer’s survey results that 80% of marketers could not attribute ROI to social media, the two findings suggest both that 8/10 marketers can’t effectively target customers using social media, and that 8/10 potential customers think of Facebook as a good place to interact with those brands.
This lack of success despite consumers’ apparent receptiveness to social media marketing is due to brands’ failure to create enough value for their customers. In order to effectively engage with fans and ultimately achieve measurable benefits from social media, companies need to create value for their customers using tactics such as exclusive product offerings, flash sales, coupon downloads, and pushing out valuable brand content. Our latest white paper, Top Social Engagement Lessons from JetBlue, Zappos, Fab.com, and Kirkland’s, covers a range of benefits possible from successful social marketing case studies. After downloading, read on for one prime example of successful value creation.
Kirkland’s social media success
Home décor retailer Kirkland’s operates approximately 300 stores in the U.S., and as social media has grown in recent years, Kirkland’s jumped on board. The retailer spent 2011 growing their social media following with a focus on Facebook: they now have over 580k Facebook ‘Likes’. Upon reaching their desired audience size and seeing higher traffic to and increased social spending on their site, Kirkland’s shifted their attention to cultivating their following by creating valuable content.
Embracing social commerce: Kirkland’s Dream Room Giveaway sweepstakes
Image 2: Kirkland’s Dream Room Giveaway offered value for both fans and the brand
Kirkland’s used the sweepstake entry-for-email transactional method to create great value for both fans and the company. Fans entered their basic information without ever leaving their Facebook page, combining Discovery (newsfeed), Interaction (promotion), Transaction (entry-for-email) and Endorsement (likes, comments and shares which spread the offer virally). Using this value-creation tactic, Kirkland was able to gather 16,400 fan emails, 2,269 of which were new to their database.
$0.66/new qualified email address and other quantifiable benefits
The Kirkland’s Dream Room Giveaway lead to over 2,000 qualified (qualifying a lead was based on the average spending for each email obtained through Facebook) new leads obtained at an average price of $0.66 ($1500 gift card / 2269 new emails). Compare that with the average cost for qualified leads, and Kirkland’s came out way ahead in terms of ROI on their Facebook campaign.
More than just lead generation, the Dream Home Giveaway campaign offered returns not directly linked to monetary gains, with an increase of 40% in new Facebook ‘Likes’ and 47% more people ‘Talking about’ Kirkland’s for the month of August. This allows for successful campaigns to create a positive feedback loop, where subsequent campaigns reach a larger, more receptive base audience, and therefore achieve greater success and increase the size of the potential audience even more.
The Positive Feedback Loop
Kirkland’s experienced a very high ROI on their summer sweepstakes campaign, and they leveraged that success with their Tailgate Time Giveaway October campaign. Along the lines of the Dream Room campaign, Kirkland’s used Moontoast’s Email-for-Download app to offer customers an instant coupon and entry into a sweepstakes for a Minden Grill in return for their email. Kirkland’s designed their new campaign to require monetary spending for fan’s to realize the full benefit; they received an instant $20 off $100 coupon in addition to entry into the Sweepstakes. We look forward to following Kirkland’s innovative social practices for the remainder of 2012 and beyond!
Image 3: Kirkland’s follow-up campaign built upon the success of their summer promotion
Have you had any particularly successful social media campaigns? What set those campaigns apart? Feel free to comment below, or connect with me on Twitter.