What is a decent bonus for social media sales?
January 27, 2012 5:00 PM   Subscribe

I just got a job working as the head of social media marketing for a startup company--exciting! There's only one problem: my new boss wants to incentivize the position through bonuses. I have no idea what to pitch in return.

The position would require not only recruiting on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and the like, but to engage forums and bloggers to get people to review and buy the product. Is there any sort of established pay ($x for 1,000 new followers, x% of online purchases) that could be looked at? I'd like to not take advantage of the employer in any way.

For the record: the position would be salaried, and these bonuses would be the supplement.
posted by Hot Like Your 12V Wire to Work & Money (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Does this company sell a product or service? You could track conversions from Facebook and Twitter into payIng customers.
posted by OLechat at 6:44 PM on January 27, 2012

This sounds like an awesome way of incentivizing the company's bottom line through never giving you a bonus. How about every six months you get 1.5% of the net of the company's online sales? Seriously, tie the incentive to money in some way or you will never see a dime.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 6:48 PM on January 27, 2012 [4 favorites]

Isn't the standard way to incentivize startup employees giving them stock options?
posted by zxcv at 7:54 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Building online communities is very tough, very labor-intensive, and very time-consuming. In the short term, measuring performance - and this includes incentives - to the number of followers or conversions sounds like a very bad idea.

Does the company have a good product? Does it have a good brand? Does the company have the ability to be responsive in the face of customer criticisms? Does your prospective boss have a high EQ?

There are so many questions to ask.

I like the idea mentioned above of evaluating performance according to conversions, because that's what ultimately matters. However, in my experience, information about traffic, clicks and conversions are often not shared with the social media folks.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:00 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Stocks and stock options seem much better - you have a much stronger interest in the health of the new company generally, instead of being focused on some arbitrary metric.
posted by Pants! at 8:35 PM on January 27, 2012

You might measure by % increase in the number of interactions your posts get.

On Twitter an interaction might be a ReTweet, a mention, a reply, etc
On Facebook it would be comments, likes, and shares.
posted by jander03 at 8:41 PM on January 27, 2012

Have you read the book Drive, by Daniel Pink? Here's his TED talk. He suggests that monetary incentives don't work, and gives a number of reasons made more compelling with research-based as well as real-life examples (financial incentives make people dumb, by causing us to focus on the money-driven goal which is often short-term, at the expense of the bigger picture).

Not to say that money isn't important. His contention is this: pay people equitably within an organization, and if possible pay them slightly above market wrt your competitors. Next, make sure people have the autonomy to do their work in the way that suits them, and sit back and let them work.

I recommend it to anyone who is interested in a modern look a human motivation.
posted by lulu68 at 8:52 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Which is a tangential way of saying, as has been mentioned above, maybe you could suggest a better way for your new boss to motivate you than cash. Say, by giving you the creative freedom to come up with madcap, interesting ideas and schemes to do your job effectively and creatively thus allowing you to focus on the big picture, which is good for you - and for the company.
posted by lulu68 at 9:24 PM on January 27, 2012

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