Home > Articles > Business & Management

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Social Media and Revenue

Over the last several years, social media has grown from novel curiosity to proven revenue generator. In 2008 and 2009, Dell made over $6.5 million additional revenue from its Twitter accounts.3 Zappos was a start-up whose marketing consisted almost entirely of social media (including hundreds of Zappos employee Twitter accounts) and was acquired by Amazon in 2009 for $928 million.4 Numerous small- and medium-sized businesses made money on Facebook in 2011.5

The business-to-consumer marketer took notice. Marketing budgets began to move toward social media. But what about businesses that sell to other businesses (B2B)? Does social media work for them, too? And are they using it?

In 2011, Accenture completed a study demonstrating the following:

  • Although five out of six business-to-business executives thought social media was very important, only 8% would say their company was “heavily leveraging” social media. They had started but weren’t at full steam.
  • Only 5% of B2B executives reported a strong formal link between their social media activities and their strategic customer initiatives—meaning social media had yet to be integrated with goal planning and tactics. Their social media activities were ad-hoc and not systematized.
  • Nearly one-fifth of these executives doubted their company’s ability to make the right social media investment decisions.6

Most businesses know social media is important and have begun some kind of social media marketing, but they are not using it to its full potential and aren’t sure they know the best way to do so.

Increased revenue is almost always the ultimate goal, but many steps need to happen along the way to that goal. If you increase awareness of your company and its solutions, you can get more leads for sales. Better thought-leadership and prospect education can increase how many leads decide to buy (making the sales force’s job easier) and how many customers you keep (making customer service’s job easier).

Sometimes you can prove that social media efforts create new sales, especially if you have sophisticated tracking in place. Does your sales CRM (customer relationship management software) show if the lead came from LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google? If not, you’ll have a tough time proving the true value of your Internet marketing. You sometimes hear from customers that they saw you on one website or another, but memory can be unreliable. We’re busy these days, and we consume more advertisements than we even remember. We may not know exactly how we first heard of something or even why we bought it; other times, we’re not capable of being honest with ourselves about why we make certain decisions. Good tracking removes some of these obstacles and can give us clear data about which marketing, advertising, and sales campaigns contribute to the final sale.

In situations where tracking is adequate, social marketers often report impressive results. But of course, it depends on how you’re doing your social media marketing. Slipshod or inconsistent efforts are unreliable. The best thing to do is to find the companies that have been successful and follow their process. These lessons can come from other LinkedIn marketers, social media marketing with Facebook and Twitter (because of the similarities between them), and even other types of online marketing, including Google, AdWords, and email. In Chapter 2, I cover some of the best practices in social and online marketing that can be applied to LinkedIn marketing. Later in the book, we look at tactics that have been proven successful, specifically on LinkedIn.

Even if you follow best practices, all social media marketing is relatively experimental, with LinkedIn marketing and sales even more so. Our understanding is immature and spread thin across many verticals. Metaphorically speaking, we’re at a point in the frontier life where some scouts have barely made it back to safety and others have followed routes that led to riches. Your journey doing advertising, marketing, and sales on LinkedIn will be an adventure and an experiment, but you can ensure that failing tests are quickly recognized and stopped whereas successes are maximized and repeated. The successes will more than make up for the failures.

This is the time. By starting now in social media, you create an advantage for yourself. In the online world, the early adopters gain the lion’s share of the spoils. This pattern has repeated itself over the last decade: New technological opportunities create new companies like Netflix and destroy or damage others like Blockbuster. If you’re one of the business people who put off creating a website, put off doing Google ads, and put off search engine optimization while your competitors began to eat away at your market share, you know what I mean. Those in business who take a few calculated risks are the ones who win big. Companies that wait are forced to play catch-up in a field of greater competition, more obstacles, and higher prices. The biggest profits are there to be captured now. I realize that often the bigger the company is, the more risk-averse it may be, but I believe the systems and processes taught in this book will help you maximize opportunity while minimizing risk.

Although this book is about LinkedIn, the same lessons can be applied to Facebook, and this pattern won’t change in the foreseeable future. Technology moves faster in the twenty-first century, so you don’t have a year or two to think about whether you should leverage these social platforms. In fact, they may no longer be a good idea in a couple of years. What if smartphone platforms such as the iPhone and Android release apps that do all this without Facebook and LinkedIn, and people switched to them? Yahoo! has had its peak time and is now, according to sites such as Google Trends and Alexa, half as popular as Facebook.

A number of clients I’ve worked with find Google AdWords competition and prices to be rising. Some no longer spend money on AdWords, and others have cut back to only the most profitable keywords. Some businesses cannot use AdWords because people aren’t aware of their products enough to search for them. A number of companies that use third-party pay-per-click optimization services are doing better than ever with AdWords, but these are companies that have enough money to spend both on agencies and their high-level tools.7 Search engine optimization also has become more and more competitive. Companies working on their natural search presence constantly improve their content and increase their inbound links, raising their rankings or solidifying their authority. Every day, a company just starting in the natural search game faces more of a challenge.

The marketing mix decision is different for every company, and your mileage will vary with each marketing and advertising channel. If AdWords is a model, then these opportunities become more expensive for years until third-party companies properly calibrate ways to make them more efficient. While those costs are increasing, you should get involved in LinkedIn and figure out how it can benefit your business. LinkedIn will only become more competitive, so the biggest opportunity is now.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020