Proof that Social Media Drives Sales! [Research]

6 Social Media Marketing Tips To Generate Sales

Free Social Media Iconsby Dawghouse Design Studio Social media drives sales. This isn’t a finger in the air, “I think social media contributes to our business,” concept that’s difficult to quantify. Sales and customers are metrics you can readily track.

Social media generates 14% of all leads and 13% of all customers, and customers translate to sales, according to Hubspot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing whitepaper, based on their online survey of marketing and business professionals between January 31 and February 14, 2013. These aren’t elusive metrics such as branding influence that require a survey to calculate. Rather sales and customers are readily measurable by your finance or analytics department.

Specifically, the following six social media platforms enabled businesses, both B2B and B2C, to acquire a customer.  Hubspot 2013 State of Inbound Marketing-Lead Generated via Social Media

  • 52% of marketers acquired a customer using Facebook. As the largest social media platform with 1.1 billion monthly active users, where consumers spend almost a quarter of their time online, it’s no surprise that Facebook tops the list. While most participants spend their time engaging with family and friends, Facebook’s sheer size and ability to micro-target audiences yield more profitable customers. Smart marketers will incorporate Syncapse’s Facebook findings into their strategies, namely that it’s your raving fans that promote you and contribute to building your presence. Actionable Social Media Marketing Tip: Leverage the power of your sales receipts and post purchase communications to get customers to engage with you on Facebook.
  • 43% of marketers acquired a customer using LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the professional social media platform. LinkedIn is like putting your Rolodex on steroids so it’s no surprise it supports customer acquisition. Additionally, LinkedIn is powerful for acquiring new talent. It tops small businesses’ list of social media platforms for this reason. Led by former Fortune editor Dan Roth, this professional powerhouse’s growing content offering shouldn’t be ignored. Actionable Social Media Marketing Tip: Ensure that your firm has a full presence on LinkedIn. Remember that it’s not only prospects that check your profile but also it’s your future employees and business partners. don’t forget to consider the power of your former alumni.
  • 43% of marketers acquired a customer using a blog. Your blog is your social media home base in the words of Chris Brogan. Use it to provide the information your prospects are looking for, whether it’s answering their questions or showing them how to use your products. Actionable Social Media Marketing Tip: Publish quality content on a consistent basis; while daily is best, do what you can maintain even during your busy period, at least two to three times a week.
  • 36% of marketers acquired a customer using Twitter. On Twitter, it’s critical to make every tweet count since your communications may not stand out in a large stream of messages. Provide a mix of curated content via Twitter so you’re not viewed as just being self-promotional. Alternatively, offer customer service via Twitter to answer prospect questions when they have them (rather than when you’re main business hours are.) Actionable Social Media Marketing Tip: Maximize your Twitter customer acquisition and sales by creating a “Deal of the Day” where appropriate. This provides you with a way to promote on social media without pissing off your followers since they know that you’ll only tweet one promotion a day.
  • 15% of marketers acquired a customer using Google+. Many marketers consider Google+ a must due to its relationships with the search engine. Still it’s surprising that one-in-six marketers acquire customers via Google+ since it’s a secondary platform for many users. Actionable Social Media Marketing Tip: Stake your turf on Google+ and post regularly at a minimum. Also, don’t forget to claim your authorship to ensure that the content you create is associated with your Google+ ID.
  • 9% of marketers acquired a customer using Pinterest. Given the focus of Pinterest users, it’s a good bet that most of the customers are consumers seeking a handful of product types. With Pinterest’s recent growth, expect this visually oriented site to support great customer acquisition and sales especially since there’s research that shows Pinterest generates sales. Actionable Social Media Marketing Tip: Link your Pinterest images to the appropriate product pages on your website and include a social media call-to-action.

Social media does drive both customer acquisitions and sales. To make your social media more effective at achieving these goals, create content and communications for these platforms that engage your target audience, has a social media call-to-action, and links to the appropriate products on your website.

Have you been able to track customer acquisition and sales back to your social media presence? If so, how did you accomplish this?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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  • http://www.sproutspire.com/blog Carlie Hamilton

    Great post! It is great to see what other’s are getting as results, especially to a new business like myself. Of course it is important to measure our own ROI, but it is great to see that it is possible.

  • Jon

    Thanks for the post!

    2013 is still young. Is there research on 2012 ROI? I know the power of social media but am skeptical of four months of data.

    • heidicohen

      Jon–

      I suggest you check the original research. I believe that it’s based on a 2013 survey not cumulative data in which case you’d be right.

      Happy marketing,
      Heidi Cohen

  • http://twitter.com/CrystalClearC18 dan

    Social Media is perhaps the best way of acquiring customers, it is probably the way you go about it that you will have to make perfect,there are numerous ways on how to engage a new customer and also numerous products which shows you how to achieve this,again some research will not damage your business but poor engagement with customers will…

  • Uvika @ AppsMav

    Social media can help make your products and services accessible to a massive audience. It’s important to engage with both new and existing customers by offering them special deals, discounts, running contests and more – and all this can be done via their Facebook page with the help of Facebook applications.

    Our team at Apps Mav has created such Facebook apps for businesses and these are free to use during Beta. More details can be found on the AppsMav site. I hope your readers benefit from this offer!

    Best,
    Uvika W.
    sales@appsmav.com

  • http://twitter.com/sheehanniganz Alexandra Sheehan

    As a freelancer, I’ve acquired many leads and eventually customers via social media, especially LinkedIn. I’ve also created relationships on social media that have fostered new client relationships for me down the road. It’s so nice to see a breakdown like this, especially because the gray area for social media and its relationship to ROI is so huge.

  • http://www.providentpartners.net/blog Albert_Maruggi

    are these new customers? In other words, you never heard of the company before and you made a purchase?

  • Derek Fischer

    The proactive use of social media is something that too few businesses do well. Just asking your customers to follow you on Facebook or Twitter can be an excellent way of generating repeat business but very few businesses include links to their social media pages with receipts or even encourage their customers to become connected while they have them at the point of sale. These customers represent a pool of social proof that is being overlooked.

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  • http://johnfschuster.com/ John Schuster

    Good article Heidi. I think Facebook is a great source of leads but it seems to be getting more expensive.

  • ninos

    social media is nothing but hype that makes MR mark richer , sheep follow sheep some dumb sheep may follow other dumber sheep and some smart sheep will follow other smarter sheep , the bottom line is no one has yet to prove that social media works , if this is the case then please close down all your own websites and have just social media as the front face of your company .

    i would not spend one cent on social media , promote my own website instead of have multiple
    and confusing sites to locate one company , yes it is good to spread but spreading too wide is also bad . and no you will never find me on T D I G or F .