The Triple Bottom Line of Social CommercePosted: January 6, 2010
If you are part of the effort at your company to build a scalable, sustainable and ultimately profitable social strategy, we would like to introduce you to a framework called The Triple Bottom Line of Social CommerceSM that we use for thinking about how to measure your success and ultimately help you stay focused on what matters most. Just by using the term Triple Bottom Line of Social Commerce we will immediately reveal several biases that color our thinking. First, we are results driven. In fact, a member of our team here at Viewpoints remembers asking his 8th grade teacher to "just give me the bottom line!" Not only are we results driven but we are also broad minded and think about solving problems in a sustainable and scalable way. This leads us to believe that the right social strategy can drive more than just short term revenue and profits. It can also drive long-term customer insights and brand loyalty. Which…you guessed it, are critical to long-term sustainable profits. We humbly submit The Triple Bottom Line framework to you as a tool to guide your social strategy.
The Triple Bottom Line is a concept borrowed from the corporate social responsibility movement. Users of the term attempt to broaden the definition of corporate success to include profits, people and the planet. It is a way to force businesses to ask questions about at what price their profits come to the environment and their community. Our use of the Triple Bottom Line as it relates to Social Commerce is meant to broaden but still quantify the benefits of Social Commerce. While we believe that any Social Commerce strategy should be justified based on direct contributions to revenue and profits, we also strongly believe that there are longer term benefits in the actionable customer insights and opportunities to build brand loyalty and customer advocacy derived.
The three pillars of The Triple Bottom Line of Social Commerce are:
- Incremental traffic and sales attributable to your social strategy –see post
- Actionable customer insights gained from your social strategy;
- Improvements in brand loyalty and customer advocacy attributable to your social strategy.
In future posts we will tackle each one of these pillars and talk about ways to measure your progress and develop winning strategies.