Harnessing the Growing Link Between Passion and ROI

Posted by: in Communication Strategy, executive insights, Pre-Commerce, W2O Group on April 11, 2014

* Published in the February 10, 2014 issue of PRNews

Passion and sales have been linked since the beginning of time. If we are passionate about a brand or a topic, we are driven to learn more about it, we will ask our friends for more information and, if our passion and the brand match, we will do our best to buy it. Awareness and passion are not as closely linked as we have all assumed for many years in our industry. We have grown up in a communications industry that measures impressions or website visits to judge if we are reaching people.

However, as it turns out, these types of metrics tell us very little about the success of a campaign. Imagine awareness as “empty calories” and you’re on the right track.

When we are looking to monetize social media, our attention should turn to how we measure passion and its resulting impact. Here are five key ways to know if passion is likely to lead to ROI.

1. The 1,9,90 Model. We’ve tracked hundreds of brands since the dawn of social media. In all industries and countries, a simple model is at work called “1,9,90.”

When you look at the social media marketplace for a brand, less than 1% of people will be content creators. Approximately 9% will be sharers of content and 90% will lurk and learn, benefitting from the 1 and the 9. Most metrics today measure conversations, so we are tracking the 1% and some of the 9%.

However, the most impactful actions that sharers make are often without conversation. They share content with friends, like a story that their friends see, retweet or take other actions to expand the reach of your story.

If you know who is sharing your story, you know who has passion to penetrate your market. Who are your 9%?

2. Reviews + Peer Sharing = Sales. Reviews of brands by individuals are powerful. They will be a part of e-commerce for many years. However, which reviews are most important to your customers who are likely to buy? The easiest way to do this is to look at all of the reviews completed for your brand and look at which reviews are shared or recommended to peers.

It is peer sharing of reviews that leads to sales. Think of yourself. If you are going to buy a new car, do you listen to your friend who is a car expert, who shares his favorite reviews with you?

You probably do. So both the original review and the peer-share of the review, together, link passion and action. In the future, we’ll have a new version of a net promoter score.

3. Improving your intuition. Our customers know if we know them. They don’t articulate this, but they can tell if we “get who they are.” The easiest ways to do this are quite simple, on their surface, but require an intensity of focus to get right. Here are three key ways:

a) Timing of your story: What time of day is the peak time for your customers to speak each day of the week? Do you time your information to reach them effectively?

b) Right channel: Which social channels are most important for each target audience? Are you aware of the priority channels by brand, topic or subtopic? Facebook may be great for one topic, while Twitter is best for the same brand, but with a different topic.

c) Right images: Which photos resonate with the target audience you are trying to reach? If you put a wide range of images on your Facebook page, for example, but you are trying to reach a specific target group, you will desensitize the audience.

Without saying, the audience knows “they don’t get us” because you are sharing images that appeal to 18-30 year old men and you are trying to reach 18-30 year old women.

4. How to find your brand’s story: When your customer is passionate to learn more, they will search, often multiple times, to find what they need. All we need to do is make sure the right aspect of our brand’s story is available at a moment’s notice.

To get there, we need to imagine every search query that our customers, present or future, would use, look at what is on that first screen and then start using keywords correctly to ensure our story matches up with each query.

Think of it this way. What are the trending searches related to your brand? Are you using the right keywords and are you making it possible for your highest information seeking future customers (those who search) to find your story (right keywords), so that they can be empowered to learn more.

5. Measuring share of conversation: Don’t continue to measure impressions, page views and other awareness metrics, then declare victory. Start measuring share of conversation. If you told me you have 10% market share, you would then share a detailed plan on how you will get to 15% market share by the end of the year.

What is your share of the online conversation for the brand category of importance to you? How will you go from 10% to 15%?

The short answer is you won’t accomplish your goals by simply putting more content into the market. You will succeed if you are enabling your customers to share their passion with their friends. Define the online market you want to reach and measure your presence.

In summary, find ways to reach the right customers, enable them to tell your brand’s story and watch how passion drives share of conversation and sales for your company. Your new sales force is waiting.

All the best, Bob

By: Bob Pearson

Bob is the President of W2O Group, an independent network of digital communications and marketing companies. He is an author, frequent speaker and instructor for Rutgers center for management development. After the success of his book Pre-Commerce, Bob is currently working on a new book on the future of media titled Storytizing that will be available in 2014. Prior to W2O Group, Bob worked as VP of Communities and Conversations at Dell to develop the Fortune 500’s first global social media function -- an industry-leading approach to the use of social media, as highlighted in the best seller, GroundSwell. Before Dell, Bob was Head of Global Corporate Communications and Head of Global Pharma Communications at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Basel, Switzerland, where he served on the Pharma Executive Committee. He also serves on a variety of Boards in health and technology. Highlights include serving as an original member of the P&G digital advisory board and being appointed by the Governor of Texas to serve as chair and vice chair of the emerging technology fund for the State of Texas.

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Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on Amazon.com! http://amzn.to/bAmvFN. Join the conversation #precommerce.

One Response

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  1. Anonymous said

    Love the 1-9-90 model; My experience in Shanghai recently showed that once you get people to share your brand/skills/content, doors fly open in places you wouldn’t expect. Shanghai is such a networking (long chains of connections and sharing and introductions) city, though, that it adds another layer to your model, like 1-2-6-90.

    I also like the idea of measuring one’s current market share and coming up with a plan to increase it by a fair increment. Time to draft a business brief announcement to the paper, then Monday get some business cards in the hands of physicians….

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