It's that Valentine's-y time of year but, instead of surprising your Finance Director with a bunch of red roses (we're pretty sure that kind of thing's frowned upon these days), why not give them the gift of cold, hard ROI?
Here's five simple ways you can use Social Commerce to get real, measurable results from your marketing activity.
1) Introduce an entirely new KPI to your marketing reports: revenue. There's nothing a CFO or FD wants to see more than dollars and cents on a spreadsheet. Sales figures are like Shakespearean sonnets to those folk, and rightly so: revenue pays wages, keeps roofs over heads, facilitates expansion - all that good stuff you go into business to achieve.
2) Make absolutely sure that a certain percentage of your social media marketing activity results in direct revenue. Prove that you're focused on real achievables, and that your audience is prepared to shop with you, that they're more than just 'fans' and 'followers'. Converting your fans into shoppers proves that the community you've invested in contains super-customers, people who spend money with you and urge their friends to spend money with you, too.
3) Demonstrate that social media marketing isn't just the art of getting people talking, it's also the art of getting people buying. Remember, some of the most powerful marketing campaigns of all time were centred around landmark retail 'events'. "There is only one sale" anyone? By staging an exciting, time-specific transactional campaign in your social channels, you can exploit the snowballing effect of online W.O.M. and peer-recommendation to whip up a storm of spending.
4) Convert your social audience into a full CRM database. That means being able to collect usable data for your fans, so you can segment them, email them, text them and advertise to them in a targeted, ongoing way. You can't do that with 'Likes' but, once you get them buying, you can do all kinds of cool things with the data you capture. Remember: businesses (including yours!) put a distinct monetary value on every email address collected, but a 'Like' is essentially worthless.
5) Even if your business has never sold direct to consumers before ("we're a chocolate bar manufacturer - people don't shop online with us!"), use Social Commerce to stage tactical experiments. Your audience may not want to buy a candy bar online, but they'd probably love to buy exclusive, branded memorabilia or merchandise. Alternatively, if you're right in the thick of retail, try using Social Commerce to expand your inventory and offer exclusive stock or experiences, rewarding your fans. Exclusive opening hours, special pre-sales, resurrected discontinued lines - all perfect ways you can monetise your social audience, without treading on the feet of your ops team.
Any one of the above should get your Finance Director's heart pounding. All of them together? That might just get you a kiss. Or more budget next quarter. Whichever you prefer!