How I generated £250,000 in social media services sales in 12 weeks

June 4, 2010

No, it’s not one of those ‘Try this e-course and get rich’ blog posts. There aren’t any magic answers or selling systems on the way.

Just a few nuggets of advice for those looking to actually create some cash from the burgeoning social media platforms in 2010.

Here’s what I did.

Back in the Autumn of 2009, I consulted a digital marketing agency up North, setting up and launching a social media services division for them. The idea being to then take this to their key corporate clients, a couple of whom had already been asking for advice and inputs on such areas as generating interest from Twitter and whether a corporate blog would be worthwhile in 2010.

The social media services division included, essentially:

Social media content

Social media monitoring

Online PR

Social media participation

Social media bookmarking

Core services revolving around the basic premise that content must be the driving force for successful social media activities. Within 4 weeks, the division had been launched, following an intensive overhaul of the agency’s social media engagement: this included getting the Team writing articles for online publishing, blogging to a set schedule, tweeting across core sectors and to target audiences, social bookmarking across the main platforms including Friendfeed, and inviting clients to take a closer look.

Weeks 4-12 were essentially about putting together killer presentations, getting pitch dates set and planned in, meeting marketing managers and delivering the ‘hook & hold’ element of the social media services. And the results?

Client 1:

A leading national insurance firm. Inputted on a range of services, including corporate blogging, online PR, social bookmarking, article placement, content development, protecting brand names on Twitter and overview strategic inputs for 2010. The client had contacted the agency directly regarding assistance on social media services. Prices and strategy delivered. First sale.

Client 2:

A global brand supplier of bottled gas to domestic and commercial markets. Pitched on online PR, social bookmarking, developing a range of corporate blogs, social media content, social media monitoring and promotions across Twitter. Integration of content across multiple platforms was a key consideration. Again, the client inquired regarding utilising social media services to win more online attention, drive higher traffic, and deliver greater sales. Prices and strategy delivered. Second sale.

Client 3:

A global brand name in heating solutions and hot water technologies. Required full service solutions, across the entire range of social media, including setting up and running a number of corporate blogs, Twitter promotions, online PR, social media bookmarking, social media monitoring, and production of a colossal amount of social media content during 2010 to engage new audiences during product promotions. The pitch came about from a conversation about blogging. Prices and strategy delivered. Third sale.

So, what’s the message here? How did a senior editorial guy with limited technical expertise manage to engage three very different corporate clients for an agency, to the point where £250,000 sales were returned to the agency within 3 months?

Simple answer.

Passion and belief in the fact that social media represents the best opportunity for companies, individuals, PRs on behalf of clients and anybody who finds online content valuable as a means of communicating key messages, to deliver and keep on delivering into and beyond 2010. Passion and belief that sales will result from killer content across social media platforms.

The days of standard marketing DM pieces to a database-driven audience offline? Gone.

The days of cold-calling new customers using call random centre staff from 6-7pm? Gone.

The days of broadcasting your selling messages in the hope of an ROI at some point? Gone.

Well, not necessarily gone, You can still use these methods of course. Chances are, however, your competitors will be online, in a faster, more cost-effective, engaging and profitable way, utilising the best commercial opportunity in 20 years. Social media, baby. I saw this commercial opportunity back in 2005, when I started managing corporate blogs for UK clients.

Sorry I can’t give you the Agency or corporates’ names – protecting their commercial anonymity is an essential part of the deal. I’d say it is an interesting recent consultancy project example which may well give a few marketers food for thought. Maybe.

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2 Responses to “How I generated £250,000 in social media services sales in 12 weeks”

  1. Roy Wells said

    Excellent post. Most importantly you are not selling a commodity that gets caught in the lowest common denominator of pricing. You are selling strategy and content, two things that require intellectual capital and skill. We are building a similar platform inside our company, I will let you know how it goes. Great Job, congratulations.

  2. bristoleditor said

    Hi Roy

    Many thanks for your inputs – much appreciated.

    I agree: the selling of strategy and content is based on something which should not be determined on price.

    Lowest-cost basis usually equals lower engagement.

    Best wishes

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