Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Study Questions Social Media As A Traffic Source For E-Retailers

Social media's budgets and expenses have raised fast those past few years. As social media gained exposure , companies tried to leverage these new media in order to raise sales, especially by reaching customers in a brand new way. Hence, a lot of market studies and professional articles discussed about how an appropriate social media strategy helped companies to trigger sales, and raise revenues.

Nevertheless, it seems that the real potential of social media as a revenue generator is still questioned. A recent study showed that social media is already lagging as a direct traffic source for e-merchants

"Social media represented just 1.55 percent of all ecommerce traffic, way behind search (31.43 percent) and trailing email (2.82 percent). And social media traffic numbers were down from Q1, 2012, when they were 2.36 percent. The data lead to the question: Should brands change their approach to social marketing?"

I have always been an early user of social media, but also an evangelist. Despite these facts, I have also studied a lot how to use social media like Facebook, Twitter among others in order to generate more business, and in general to improve customer relationship management. And as I have become an expert of the question, I still wonder sometimes how to use these tools in order to have concrete business results.

By the nature of social media, even though they are set with a large amount of customer data available (what people calls "big data"), it is difficult to link one sales to one action on social media. 

What is for sure is that companies that have invested important budgets in social media most of the time are the ones who thrives the most on their market. This study is for sure very interesting because it sets two facts we should never forget:
  • Social media remains small compared to other mass media like TV, radios, or even newspapers
  • Social media return on investment is not that easy to measure. 
I believe that social media is here to stay, and that there is a lot of room for improvement in order to have better results with their usages.