I think the biggest shift in marketing over the last five years has been the realization that what other people say about your brand is more important than what you say about yourself. The top down communication approach has been obliterated by social media. Now every brand is increasing investment in social media. What’s interesting is that tracking ROI is still the number one challenge for social media managers. Even linking traffic to social media is tough. Business Insider Intelligence just came out with a report that shows social media actually accounts for a very small percentage of total ecomm traffic (just 1.5%!). See full article at Business Insider Intelligence - It's Time for Retailers to Start Paying Close Attention to Social Media.
When I was the VP of Global Marketing at the North Face and a VP of Marketing at Levi’s I remember sitting with my e-commerce counterparts and looking at similar numbers. Your first reaction takes you down a path of, “What could I post to social media that would drive more traffic? Offers? Coupons?” But this is the wrong response. The positive halo generated through social media engagement rubs off on a brand in complex ways. People who are shopping look at a variety of different sources and are bouncing between recommendations their friends have made on Facebook, to reviewing product comments on Amazon, to looking at brand sites, and checking pricing at dealer sites. It’s rarely a straight line from social media to purchase but social media plays an incredibly influential role. The important thing is to make sure you have a constant stream of relevant brand content that your customers are engaging with.
In my past roles I had access to in-depth media mix modeling done by MMA that showed a direct relationship and a strong synergistic relationship between social media and sales. In other words when we invested in social media programs we saw sales increase disproportionately to other types of marketing investments. So while the numbers in e-commerce traffic reports sometimes don’t show it, I can assure you that social media has a significant impact on ecommerce purchase decisions. The good news is that better social media ROI tools are being developed and Hubnami is working on a new methodology we believe will revolutionize the way we track social media ROI. Stay tuned!
All the best,
Chief Customer Officer Hubnami