Social Media Marketing

The Power of Propensity: Social Sharing

By Bob Johnson, VP & Principal Analyst 

Connecting Social Media to Revenue Starts with Sharing

Marketers are asking the obvious question, “how can we connect our social media investments to generating revenue?” The answer is one that is not as black and white as you might hope given there are so many factors that influence the ultimate sale. But you need to move away from using just simplistic metrics such as views, comments or likes. These tell you about interest but not about what helps drive revenue most – momentum.

Connecting social media efforts to revenue impact should start with a look at sharing activity. That is:

  • How frequently conversations and content are shared with others
  • Who your social media content is shared with
  • What social media platforms and communities are most influential

IDG Connect research reveals the impact of sharing around content types. For example, buying team members state that they share a white paper they download 30 percent of the time and when they do within enterprise organizations it goes out to an average of seven people. What about your conversations?

Monitor and measure the frequency that your microblogs are retweeted to others. See how often your blogs are linked to in addition to comment activity. The impact is not just on building awareness but can also play a major role in how buying teams consider and evaluate your offerings relative to competitors. The average corporate buying team for a significant technology purchase has between ten and twelve members.  If you are able to track with some detail who is on the receiving end of sharing you can use it to identify how sharing helps internal selling within an organization.

One of the key elements to build sharing over time is to track what topics, needs and value areas are most popular. This indicates what to emphasize in future communication perhaps through a series of blog entries. If you can be specific in certain communications about the buying stage your insight covers, that's even better. That reveals how far along the buying cycle a particular organization is, which is an indicator to apply additional resources such as inside or field sales or channel partners.

Remember, buyers are moving themselves further through the process prior to engaging with vendors. They represent a selling channel for you to help raise awareness and educate other stakeholders. And given the continued importance of peer opinion and recommendations to justify and make an investment, the performance of your social media activities in how what you say is shared with others provides an important metric of how those efforts ultimately drive revenue.


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Bob Johnson

VP & Principal Analyst, IDG Connect

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