Out of all of the stories that have come out about social media being successful at driving sales and traffic, I think the most impressive has come from the travel industry. From Jet Blue’s All You Can Jet promotion to Travelzoo and Fly.com’s Real Time Flight Deals, there is tangible and proven way to make serious sales from micro-blogging.
I think there’s a lot that other companies can learn from this, but you also need to be prepared.
- Be ready- The scary thing about viral messages is that they can have a lot of impact in a very short amount of time. You are hoping for a great deal of interest, so make sure that your organization and online channels have the capacity to take on a heavy burst of activity. If there’s distribution or marketing dollars on the line, think about how you would react if your social media initiative has legs… or even wings.
- Be selective – Not every deal needs to be advertised, so only send out deals that are going to generate A LOT of buzz. You don’t want to be the boy who cried wolf for every little thing that your company does, otherwise you will surely see a drop-off in interest. But at the same time, keep your audience engaged by sending out deals regularly so that they remember to watch for specials.
- Be proactive – Don’t wait until everyone else in your industry is sending out deals through Twitter. This is the time to show a little innovation and leadership. Think of new ways to engage your customers and followers so that you are the one leading the conversation.
This is permission marketing at its best. Your company’s fans and customers have given you permission to give them great deals, and their friends in turn have given them permission to send through ideas and information that they think is valuable. But it could be a lot, so it’s not just a random exercise in new media marketing. This is the new way to market. They have asked for the sale, so now it simply up to you and organization to close it.