Social Media Is More Social Than You Think

With more and more social platforms opening themselves up to selling advertising space, you would think that the field is ripe to increase online purchase sales. However, social media may not be as well paired to ads you think. Instead, it’s better for what its name indicates: being social. And this calls for a different social media marketing strategy.

As social networking platforms become more prominent in our daily lives, marketers see a bountiful opportunity to solicit more purchases. However, as far as direct purchases from advertisements go, they may be barking up the wrong digital tree.

IBM measured the success of social media on online Black Friday sales, and the results weren’t as positive as they thought they’d be. While overall online sales increased by over 20%, the effect of social media on these sales dropped. “Traffic to online shopping sites from social networks dropped 12% […] and accounted for eight-tenths of 1% of traffic,” according to the report. Referrals from Facebook only accounted for two-thirds of 1% of traffic, despite Facebook’s user base increasing 35%. Twitter barely made a noticeable mark on traffic registering at two one-hundredths of 1%.

The truth is, less than 1% of transactions can be traced back to social links, and even sites ripe for linking consumers to online-shopping like Pinterest don’t earn high numbers.

The good news is that social media isn’t completely irrelevant to advertisers, on the contrary, it’s an invaluable tool. The focus on how to market has simply shifted.

Marketers now need to shift their considerations for a brand. Users look to social media for access to a brand such as feedback, sharing, special deals, promotions and events. In short, it’s about building a relationship and loyalty rather than looking for a quick purchase. Built right, this relationship will lead to more purchases than one single ad blitz.

Sagon-Phior focuses on each particular brand’s target to find out how they use social media and engage them in ways relevant to them. Tips:

  • Research the strengths of each platform and utilize it without wasting unnecessary ad space, energy or money
  • Brands need to focus on building their relationship with consumers – the social aspect – rather than just pushing traffic
  • Brands should encourage users to engage in the platform’s page and make them feel like they’re not being mass solicited such as:
    • Engaging questions that users can answer
    • Sending submissions like their own pictures to the page are two
    • Offering special deals exclusively for followers

Users simply do not want to be overly solicited when they’re on a social platform and not necessarily looking to shop. They don’t want to feel pressured or bombarded by discounts and ads. Instead they want to feel like they have an exclusive bond with a brand they enjoy who is more concerned about them as a person than as a consumer.

Sources: Forrester & McKinsey


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