How to Monetize Social Media

March 28, 2011

By Grace Bello

A recent Mashable article noted the difficulty in monetizing social media. Specifically, "Cox Media group digital posted an opening Wednesday for a 'Social Monetization Manager (SMM) someone who will focus on a strategy and implementation that will drive revenue to the company's 100+ TV, radio, and newspaper properties."

Meanwhile, we  have seen several case studies in which a brand not only got the word out via social media but turned a profit.

Take the New York Jets, for example. Their Ultimate Fan Facebook app, launched in September 2010, "was the first revenue-generating Facebook app to be backed by an NFL team." How does the app work? Facebook fans playing the game can buy gifts with credits and specifically in this case, the Jets leveraged Facebook to capitalize on fans' passion for the team and willingness to share that fervor.

Another company, PETCO, "sent out a promo code to their customers on social media for $40 in free shipping. The person who shared their code with the most people won a $500 PETCO gift card. Forty percent of the sales that resulted from this push came from new customers." For PETCO's customers, saving a few bucks drove them to connect with the larger pet owner community and spread the word about this store.

Conclusion? Yes, you can monetize social media. In order to do so, you will  need a deep understanding of your audience, a creative vision, and a way to measure results in order to execute a successful campaign.

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