Both these organizations use their social media presence not only to generate direct and passive revenues but also to establish themselves as valuable brands in their own right – as leaders in their fields. The fact that they ARE leaders in their respective fields is an added bonus, but no doubt their social media strategy would be effective even were that not the case.
What they both do exceptionally well is offer value in every post. It makes it easy to share these posts, as I know they won’t be an imposition on other people’s feeds. And of course, every time I share, I’m essentially endorsing them.
Specifically, Marcelo Garcia Online offers a sampling of free technique videos, which get instantly and repeatedly shared by the grappling community across their own platforms, generating and sustaining interest in his website. They host a discussion forum whose members are knowledgeable and deeply invested in the sport. These and other strategies funnel his target audience to signing up for a $25/month membership, granting them further access. They seem to have found an appropriate price point for the monthly membership, and by all reports are making millions per year from people more than happy to sign up for monthly payments.
The Harvard Program on Negotiation site has a few more revenue streams, but follows a similar model: offer valuable free content, establish themselves as the experts in the field, and upsell memberships. They also sell course materials and offer executive training — a sales process that benefits from the brand they’re building through the free content.
A weak social media organization that comes to mind is one of the gyms where I teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Their social media is, at best, an afterthought. Students post from time to time, but it’s an echo chamber where they essentially talk to each other, with no focus on, or mechanism for, membership growth or retention. A good first step for them would be to highlight individual members in posts so as to begin to use social media to retain membership. Welcoming new students would also help with retention, and once students feel appreciated, they would be much more likely to participate in future promotional efforts.