Every single week retailers and brands blow between £20,000 to £40,000 on social media which give little, if any, return.

Every single week retailers and brands blow between £20,000 to £40,000 on social media which give little, if any, return.

Seriously as a former retailer turned blogger my inbox is filled with social media “experiments” which are a complete waste of money. However, all the tools and people are there to turn your pounds into thousands of pounds and build brand awareness if you just look at what and where you are spending your money.

Imagine in every town and city there are a whole host of people who are your biggest fans and they wax lyrical about your products, shoes, dresses, food and they do it because they love your brand. That’s not a dream, but a reality -  they are called bloggers.

But for some strange reason when retailers try and harness this wonderful power they treat these people like performing poodles and alienate them to such an extent they are turned off and silently slope away with all this goodwill evaporating.

Well as a northerner I will speak bluntly.  All blogs are different ; they are real labours of love and there is no right or wrong way of blogging.  All are written with passion and it’s this passion you want to lock into, so when you’re about to embark on a social media campaign it would be great if you as the retailer or brand read some blogs not just hand it over to an outside source .

You should look at who has mentioned you on Facebook , Twitter or when you search your brand name on the internet.

Technorati, the famous decade-old blog search engine and blog portal, has released its 2013 Digital Influence Report and one of their finding is blogs influence purchases on the web more than Facebook (30.8%), YouTube (27%) or Twitter (only 8%).  So how do you channel all this love and affection into money in your till and deepen the bloggers love for you?

Sadly it’s not through a mass email which asks the blogger to add badges to their blog, write posts and do Pinterest boards.  As blogs are individual, retailers’ approaches to monetising them have to equally as tailored. This will pay off in the long term as you’ll have a deeper relationship and the blogger can give you lots of insight on what is happening with brands adjacent to yours.

So no badges, no “special words”, no Pinterest boards and no offers to pay them with vouchers from another brand – ask the blogger how they would like to work with you, they might surprise you with their creativity and also they know their reader and what will make them want to buy your brand.

Finally a badge or some hash tags or “special words” will not show you the long term effectiveness of a blogger campaign. Tracking links will give you more feedback than a badge ever will as you’ll see the long tail effect of a post and also where the reader is coming from which is a far more valuable data for your company.