Can social media generate revenues? Five points to consider when adding social media to a Web site.
Recently, I moderated a panel for the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), with participants from established offline media outlets, well-known online brands, and newer user-generated sites. The central question was "Can social media generate revenues?" Social media usage has exploded over the last few years, but marketplace uncertainty still exists about how to best monetize this tremendous potential traffic source.
It's About the Audience
Whether starting a new site or adding new social media features to an existing media venue, you must think hard about your audience. The user is at the core of every social media site. Assess the following issues:
Allow participants to give you feedback about site functionality. This is particularly important during early stages of site development, when your participants can tell you what they want and need from your site as well as complain about what doesn't work.
Points to Consider When Adding Social Media
Different Revenue Models
Social media provides publishers with a variety of revenue models, including:
Measuring Social Media's Impact
Many marketers continue to use older metrics to assess a campaign's impact. In part, this is because they like having metrics that are consistent across campaigns and that they understand. But other, less traditional metrics are also important. Among the salient factors to consider:
While adding social media to your site can be a difficult decision, the most important step is starting. Social media features aren't a quick fix for a boring site. But many online marketers have found they're great tools for expanding reach, building involvement, learning from visitors, and, yes, even bringing in new revenues.
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Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.
Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.
Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.
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