Check it Out: The Value of Social Currency
I have to be honest, every time someone mentions "social currency," I immediately wonder what the catch is. Yes, social media is a powerful marketing channel for brands and a great way to engage with consumers, but retailers know all too well that a slew of Facebook Likes or #mentions on Twitter doesn't always yield a strong return on investment. So, what's a mere 140 characters really worth to a brand? Apparently, around $20 bucks.
In a report by SumAll, a New York-based analytics startup, it was revealed that a single business tweet is worth $25.62 and a retweet is worth $20.37. The data analyzed was from the social efforts of over 900 of SumAll's customers, and included reviewing the connections between tweets and web traffic sales.
The amount of word-of-mouth publicity and brand advocacy gained from using social currency is considered priceless. Here are three creative ways retailers are using social currency:
Marc Jacobs: During February's Fashion Week, Marc Jacobs hosted a pop-up tweet shop featuring exclusive items for the brand's Daisy perfume. The tweet shop included a lounge, Wi-Fi, photo booth and interactive booths featuring user-generated content. When a customer posted to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #MJDaisyChain, a hostess would offer them products from the Daisy line in exchange.
The effort yielded more than 13,500 Twitter mentions of Marc Jacobs, 4,300 shout-outs and posts on Instagram, and more than 770,000 likes on the brand's Facebook page, according to a company press release. Daisy by Marc Jacobs has always had a strong brand presence on social media, but due to the overwhelming success of the pop-up shop, the company has increased its word-of-mouth publicity and number of brand advocates.
Adidas: Since its launch in 2012, social commerce company Chirpify has helped retailers such as Estee Lauder, Forever 21 and most recently Adidas increase their number of brand advocates through marketing on Twitter. The sports apparel and equipment retailer wanted to reach out to its millennial customers while leveraging real-time interactions with its social fans. During March Madness, Adidas launched a bracket-style social campaign for high school football players on Twitter and Facebook. The winner of the contest received Adidas’ Adizero football cleats for their entire team.
During the month-long contest, Adidas saw more than 2,300 total tweets using the #vote, #nominate and #adizero16 hashtags; earned 822 completed nominations, including 435 different high schools nominated; and was able to engage users in a timely experience and make brand advocates out of new customer acquisitions, according to a Chirpify press release.
"What we know is that if we provide them something they're interested in, they'll become PR machines in their areas," said Jeremy Darlow, Adidas’ senior brand and digital marketing manager, in the Chirpify press release. "They spread the word to a degree that we never can do."
eBay: In March, eBay announced that it had filed a patent for "smart hashtags." Here's how they work: When eBay shoppers use the shareable widget on product pages, listings and guides, the e-commerce site displays a pop-up window containing a social post with a sharable link and one to three smart hashtags. The post then shares what the product's price is, what it's tagged as and if it's available to purchase.
eBay's Social Strategist Corrine Sherman said in a company press release that she would like to leverage social data in an innovative way to enhance what people were sharing, while at the same time enabling customers to easily discover products they're interested in.
"Smart hashtags also align to eBay's goals and the company's desire to create a more relevant and personalized experience for our customers," Sherman said. "It capitalizes on consumer behavior and leads us toward a new path I like to call social network optimization."