opinion

Kicking Up Sales the Social Way

Ben Clark

As the owner of Webstream, I interact with a very diverse group of clients ranging from giant mainstream companies to individual adult entertainment webcam performers.

One of the few common denominators that they all share with one another is the significance of their own unique social media presence. Whether they are a giant automobile manufacturer, a massive paysite network or a single mom making some extra cash by doing cam shows from her home bedroom, the explosion of social media over the last few years has given virtually anyone a direct marketing method to reach customers on their own terms, and make use of the kinds of marketing cues they already expect to see online.

Strong social-networking campaigns do more than just bring you a new customer. They help turn customers into brand ambassadors and thought leaders within their own social circles.

In the advertising age that many now think of as the “Mad Men” era, brands paid top dollar to top-flight advertising execs for their ability to show off products in unexpected ways that drew attention to them. It used to all be about clever advertising and maximizing the number of people who saw whatever it is you were hoping to sell.

That game has changed quite a bit. In fact, “advertising” has become a dirty word replaced by the softer term “marketing,” and the main objective these days is to seamlessly fit your product into the lives of your potential customers without them even noticing that it wasn’t their own idea to contact you in the first place.

So, with a goal that subtle, how can you create ways for potential clients to find you on their own?

For starters you need to get to know your target audience on a personal level, and fortunately many people in that group are already flooding the Internet with what used to be considered personal information.

Watching someone’s Facebook page, following their Twitter feed, checking out what they like online or the way they behave on message boards gives you an extraordinary amount of information about a person who would otherwise be a total stranger. Turning that information into actionable business intelligence is where the real payoff usually begins.

Does your social media presence engage people by communicating with them, or are you just spamming everyone with a meaningless laundry list of marketing blurbs? If you communicate with potential customers and incorporate what you know about them into the tone and content of your messages, you can make meaningful strides toward improving your sales and retention ratios.

Keep in mind, I am not suggesting that you suddenly alter the entire ethos of your company to suit a particular tweet from someone else. If you hate hockey, there is no point trying to get over on your Canadian clients by acting like you suddenly can’t stand being more than a few meters away from an ice rink.

However, let’s say you know someone is a huge hockey fan. Your next communication with them might make use of a metaphor that a hockey fan would appreciate. “We need to stop acting like the Toronto Maple Leafs and get out of the rebuilding phase of this project once and for all if you want to starting gaining real momentum” is one simple example.

Once you know the kinds of interests your audience has, outside those that are key elements of your own product, you can put them to use in your social media presence with terrific results.

Cam girls who tweet about new video game high scores to fans who they know play the same game from seeing their social media output. You’ll see this from successful paysites that put an emphasis on auto racing, legal marijuana culture, bitcoin or any number of other aspects of their target audience’s interests.

The ability to access information, mold a marketing campaign to suit each audience and communicate about it with your fans changes the sales dynamic considerably. Instead of being some cold and distance corporate entity trying to fish money from their wallets, you subtly become their virtual friend, their online confidant — good guys that they now hope will succeed with their help and support.

It may sound like a lot of work but in reality it really isn’t because the work affects more than just one target as you gain momentum. Strong social networking campaigns do more than just bring you a new customer. They help turn customers into brand ambassadors and thought leaders within their own social circles.

Porn is no longer the sort of thing people are unwilling to openly discuss. Take a look at the board posts on a site like FreeOnes.com. Look through the comment sections of large tubes and other social platforms. You’ll find cue givers lauding certain brands over others and telling their friends to check out your products, which always results in a better sales ratio than if you stand in front of them self-servingly begging them to come have a look at the site or webcam profile you own.

Whenever I read an opinion piece like this one in XBIZ, I always ask myself, what this guy’s angle and why are they sharing these insights or what are they doing to act on their own advice. I think that’s a very useful exercise for anyone reading trade magazines to engage in, and in this case the answer is very simple.

Webstream is a terrific platform for direct marketing of live video content, but it isn’t a way to draw traffic so much as it is a way to monetize traffic by adding a single line of code to any website and connecting your webcam to the world.

Social media tools are all accessible from within Webstream because the direct interaction of social media marketing is part of our entire company’s DNA.

This article is intended to help our current and future clients to clarify the value of their own social presence because when you interact more successfully, your live shows are more successful and our strategic partnership provides even better mutual gains for us all.

Ben Clark is the CEO of U.K.-based Webstream, a do-it-yourself live cam, phone chat and video clip software platform that has received wide acclaim in the past year most notably with their first XBIZ Award nomination for Software Company of the Year. With a keen interest in empowering models and business owners to maximize earning potential, Clark is at the forefront of developing new solutions and marketing tools for the company’s clientele. Clark and his team can be reached at info@webstream.co.uk

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