With the number of social media users closing to the 2 billion mark and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) alone harboring 1.3 billion MAUs, there’s no surprise that why this platform has become the most preferred avenue for both B2B and B2C marketers for promotion and branding of their products. Therefore, for sustaining their customers, many enterprises are setting up corporate social accounts nowadays, which has led to the emergence of numerous social media marketing vendors seeking to help brands increase, improve and incur their customer interactions.
It’s easy for the companies with a social media presence to deduce the qualitative results such as number of followers or social interaction but the evaluation of its quantitative results like the impact on business of the social media consumption still seems a tedious task for them. Hence, to answer this million dollar question that what is the measurability of social media, particularly in terms of driving sales, shopper social media company Collective Bias and independent customer analytics company YetiData published a paper explaining how a large regional specialty retailer quantified the impact of their Facebook page on their customer’s path to purchase.
Facebook brand pages’ a better choice for customers than calling customer care
Facebook in present times hosts over 15 million brands and hence has become a lucrative platform for connecting, engaging and sharing information with customers and prospective customers. A like on their pages indicates that the customers really want to engage with their brand. Hence, social media network can act as an effective medium to build brand trust and enhance the customer experience. These are the first preference of the customers to gather knowledge about a product and with 84% of young shoppers getting influenced by the brand pages of Facebook, they have definitely proven to be a better option for one to one interaction than their customer care numbers. The more engaged consumers became with posting on Facebook, the more they bought.
Facebook customers are better spenders
YetiData and Collective Bias conducted a four year-long study of a major grocery store’s Facebook page (150,000 fans) and analysed that Facebook fans of the store on average bought 125 more items than a typical customer which was a substantial 35% rise. Conjointly, the Facebook fans who engaged with the page at least 10 times spent more than $1,000 annually than a typical customer which was whopping 95% higher. Also, the users who were engaged to these levels visited the store 40 more times annually than a typical customer.
Bob Loos, the Director of Analytics at Collective Bias talked about how key engagement is when trying to convert Facebook fans into paying customers:–
I think the general opinion is, “Why wait until you have them in the store to make them a buyer?” If you have very good content, then by the time they’ve engaged with this really great content, they’ve already, in their minds, used this product. You can convert before you have to win them in-store. … When you’re starting a new Facebook page, you need fans. But it doesn’t necessarily help to grow you fanbase if you’re not going to engage. You’re then throwing good money after bad. There’s a lot of test-and-learn that goes on when we post things on a page.”
The study revealed that the commitment of the brand pages to respond to the customer queries, concerns and kudos led to the formation of a consumer base that was more interested in shopping. Adding to it, the retailers have to also “lock in” the customer base once formed because over 75% of the profit for the endorser is from a mere 25% of customers who are Facebook fans and a Facebook fan of the business spent nearly 50 percent more than a non-fan over time. So just targeting the newer customers and loosing the grip of the old ones would progressively slice their profit.
Also, the study highlights that majority of the Facebook business audience is female which accounts for more than 60% of total fanbase hence they tend to buy more items. But on the contrary, male Facebook fans visited 20% more often the store as compared to women.
Omni-channel approach more viable for promotion
The marketers should maximize all efforts to lure in more customers, which should include analyzing both the social media and in-house tactics. Eliminating the void between the in-store and online consumer base is necessary for attracting customers on each index on the path of buying. They can’t just rely on one channel for their growth because both are interlinked-online updates can be used to drive customers to the in-store purchases and the in-store social updates would lead them to follow on the web. The combination of digital and physical platforms for attracting the customers will not only help the customers to enjoy a better and a unique shopping experience, but along with it they’ll also deluge a feeling of connectedness with the brand.