Figuring out the real, dollars and cents value of social media is still a daunting challenge for most businesses. There are ROI calculators that deduct the cost of electronic self-service from the cost of sales. There are whitepapers and blog posts and whispered promises by sales people at the end of their fiscal quarter. But every once in a while you stumble across an real life example that provides the best and most vivid argument for a real, bottom-line value of social media interactions.
Devart is a maker of database management and development tools. While working on a social business intelligence project for a client I was investigating management consoles for MySQL. Through the course of evaluation, we selected Devart’s dbForge Studio for MySQL and that is when I noticed their “High Five” program. As you can see in the screen grab below, the company has put a very definite, measurable monetary value on social media recommendations of their tool from their user community.
The values range from discounts to free licenses to $100 Amazon gift card! Moreover, the Devart “High Five” program demonstrates a level of maturity that is rare. The easiest social interactions – a recommendation on twitter, facebook or linkedIn yield discounts. But even these are tiered to reflect the “amount” of engagement required by the end user.
Tweets, the easiest to perform, are rewarded with a 10% discount. Facebook posts get 15% . LinkedIn – the biggest B2B social network listed – gets the user a full 25% off a license cost. But Devart goes further. Put their corporate product badge on your blog and get 50% off , write a short review, get the product for free. Write a longer review, get the product for free and $50 for Amazon. Write 1000 words with links and get the free license and $100 bucks at Amazon.
What makes this a great example of how to calculate the value of a single social recommendation is that it rewards the user with a tangible “gift” with the same immediacy that the company is rewarded with a positive social media recommendation. It is not a mail-in-rebate. It’s not a coupon. It is a recognition that earned media, word-of-mouth recommendation and social channels have a positive impact on business.
A Devart license for the dbForge Studio runs only $200 bucks. So a free license plus $100 Amazon gift card is a net loss for the company. But they are able to calculate that one long review by a happy end user will drive at least 2 new transactions and thereby be a net revenue driver. It also allows the user to choose the level of engagement they desire – from easy to more involved – and be recognized appropriately.
It is a great example of how at least one company has calculated the value of a single social recommendation.
*This is not a recommendation or endorsement for any Devart product. Billy Cripe, BoomThink are not affiliated with Devart.