Three Powerful Ways to Monetize with Social Media

Monday, August 6th, 2012
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We all know that social media is huge. In recent years, social media jobs & budgets have blossomed, apps have exploded, fan bases and followers have grown, etc. Most companies know that on social media outlets, they should NOT be self-promoting, but rather be creatively providing value, having two-way communication with customers, and deepening their relationship with their fan bases. So, if you shouldn’t promote in this forum… how can you monetize from these customer-rich mediums? And how can you track the success of your efforts?

Here’s one answer: You don’t do the work. Instead, we argue that your best tactic is to make it easy and attractive for your customers to promote for you on their social media networks. You provide them with the incentive and tools, and use track-able mechanisms. Following are three traffic driving, revenue generating, social media monetization methods available to Nexternal merchants, as well as corresponding tracking capabilities:

Facebook Like & Save

The Like & Save feature helps your shoppers introduce your store to hundreds of their Facebook friends, and drive customers back to your store. Nexternal merchants can offer immediate incentive to shoppers to promote them on Facebook. When the shopper likes a product in the merchant’s online store, the “Like” gets automatically posted onto the shopper’s Facebook Wall and in their friends’ newsfeeds with a picture and short description of the product. The merchant then automatically gives the shopper an instant discount for purchasing that product. It is extremely easy then for the shopper’s friends to see the post, click the link, and learn about and purchase a product or store that their trusted friend liked, with that pre-attached seal of social proof.

How to track: In your Order Management System, go to Orders / Reports (select date range) / Profit Report. See “Sharing Discounts” listed by order number and customer name, as well as the total for this date range. It may also be valuable to view data in Google Analytics, where there is a Social Media tab, so you can see leads from various social media outlets.

Start A Customer Referral Program

The ReferralCandy App in our App Marketplace facilitates a new customer referral program with double-sided incentive.  It arms your customers with simple promotional tools, like email templates and personalized links, and gives them credit for referring new business to you. Customers who already enjoy buying from you are happy to share with their friends and earn cash, discounts, free products, or charitable donations for doing so.  This is also one of the most track-able methods, and the cost of the program is directly proportionate to its success.  Read more here.

How to track:

The ReferralCandy dashboard offers detailed analytics on the campaign level (number of invitations sent and read, clicks to your online store through referrals, new sales generated through referrals, social network on which your referrals are being most shared, etc.) and customer level (number of friends shared with, which friends purchased, etc.)

Activate Coupon Sharing

Groupon knows best, that customers love deals! And when people are able to grab a good deal, they often like to boast and share their good fortune with friends. Coupon sharing allows them to do so easily, by allowing customers to “Like” a coupon. The like gets posted to their Facebook wall, with a corresponding message that the merchant can customize.

How to track:

You’ll need to identify newly created customers, and customers who have used this coupon, and cross check the list. In your Order Management System, go to Customers / Advanced Search/Sort. Search by Created Date to find your new customers. Export this list. Then go to Orders / Advanced Search / Sort. Search Orders for use of that coupon. Then Export the results of this search. Cross-check your two lists for overlap using the VLOOKUP feature in Excel.

With 845 million monthly active users, and an average use time of 20 minutes per visit, you can’t afford to miss out!


Lanette Willis is a Senior Account Manager at Nexternal. Before joining Nexternal she spent nearly a decade working in market research and professional services marketing, before running her own successful eCommerce apparel business. Lanette is passionate about helping people and businesses thrive.