Using Social Media For … Sales?

Using Social Media For ... Sales?

Businesses are using social media marketing to support a number of organizational goals, such as:

  1. Bringing traffic to their website
  2. Increasing brand awareness
  3. Building stronger customer relationships
  4. Lead generation
  5. Decreased Marketing Expenses

Despite the positive impact respondents report from using social media, about 1/2 of all firms feel using social media hasn’t increased sales!

And, that’s a big image problem for social media (and agencies like mine who earn our living off of providing social media marketing services).

So, what’s the problem??????

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Some clues come from this infographic based on Social Media Examiner’s annual survey of marketers using social media marketing. Take a look for yourself and I’ll be back to discuss what I think this means about the efficacy of using social media.

So, did you find out why so many marketing folks aren’t getting what they expect from using social media?

Shall I give you a few hints?

No, OK, let me share my notion of what’s going on here!

Why aren’t you getting sales from using social media?

1. You’re doing it wrong

Maybe not YOU personally, but lots of marketers just haven’t adapted to the paradigm shift in social media marketing. They’re still firmly planted in traditional media, where all they do is talk about themselves and their brand.


Social media is really a different type of communication, not just a different channel. Go back and review my post on the key differences between social media and traditional media.

2. Using social media takes time

Don’t expect overnight miracles. Using social media, it takes time to build a community of loyal followers who’ll amplify your message, defend your brand, and engage with you. Give it some time.

3. Wrong social media metrics

Social media analytics is still in its infancy and many firms aren’t measuring the right things, which mutes their perceived impact from using social media marketing.

Measuring vanity social media metrics, such as Facebook likes, won’t map well to sales.

Instead, firms need to have an analytical process in place to effectively assess the outcomes from using social media. As an example, firms need to monitor movement through their conversion funnel to truly measure the impact of using social media and identify where operational issues might interfere with potential customers reaching the bottom of the funnel (sales). Your social media marketing campaign may be bringing potential buyers to your website, but buyers run into problems navigating your site. Thus, the problem is not your social media marketing campaign, but your ecommerce website.

4. Understanding the hierarchy of effects

A desire to buy your brand doesn’t simply spring into the minds of consumers. Instead, it’s a notion planted in their brains (traditionally through advertising), nurtured by the needs of the consumer and his/her social and family groups, and finally harvested when their desire overcomes impediments, including having enough money and/or other resources.

When firms don’t understand the hierarchy of effects, they underestimate the benefits from using social media — or any other marketing tools.

Using social media advances potential buyers through the hierarchy of effects by:

  • Creating awareness of the product when friends share information about the brand. See, folks believe their friends, but they don’t believe your advertising
  • Generating interest in buying your brand, because they want to have things in common with their friends and other social reasons.
  • Providing information. Consumers like to investigate things before they buy and social media is a “fun” place to get information.

But, the benefits of using social media don’t stop there. Using social media moves folks into another hierarchy of effects that turns them into advocates for your brand — creating a cycle of exposure to new potential buyers.

Convinced about the benefits of using social media?

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