Jim’s note: Originally written for All About ROI Magazine (formerly Catalog Success)
“Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges!!!”
Quick, somebody tell me what movie that line came from?
In internet speak, “badges” are small icons with social media logos that can be put on your website to drive traffic to those same social media sites. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. Places where you can extend your brand.
In the fourth part of my “you lost me there” series, I’ll discuss the value of brand interaction, a largely intangible but very valuable asset. (For part 1, click here; for part 2, click here; and for part 3, click here.)
By extending your brand, I mean having your customers and prospects spend more time interacting with your company. In turn, they become more engaged in your company “culture” and more likely to buy and recommend your products to others.
We measure success today not only by cost per acquisition and lifetime value (LTV), but also by time spent interacting with your brand. While not necessarily tangible, or even easily measurable, time spent with your brand in a positive way will gain you new customers and prospects in the future. Although many people are admittedly having a difficult time quantifying social media, in today’s marketplace it’s 100 percent necessary.
Think of it this way: The more time someone spends in your “store,” the more likely that person is to buy. Now include your store, website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed, and you have someone who’s more committed to your brand than other prospect/customer segments are. This bodes well for customer LTV, too.
I worry less about measuring social media than I do making sure that my clients’ brands are represented in all forms of social media, and even more about getting customers and prospects alike engaged.
So My Question to You Is This …
Where are your stinking badges? On many multichannel and direct merchant websites, I don’t see them. This is a significant opportunity for you. At the very least you should have a blog, Facebook page and Twitter account. You also should consider using video (e.g., testimonials, product demonstrations), LinkedIn, message boards, Plaxo, Ning and more. Your key employees should be blogging and tweeting. You also should look to adopt other web technologies like online chat.
We’re going to take a deep dive into adoption of social media over the next few weeks. If your company has a “model” website with all the social media bits in the right places, please contact me offline. I’m looking to present some case studies in the near future as well.