Connecting Social Media to Sales

Jay Baer, in Why Social Will Never Get The Credit It Deserves:

“It’s very, very difficult to fully account for the impact and the power of social media and its influence on our purchasing decisions.”

Frank V. Cespedes, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School, in Is Social Media Actually Helping Your Company’s Bottom Line?:

“Companies measure the market results of their sales investments. But few have measures or even have accountable managers in place for their social media investments, and only 7% say their organizations “understand the exact value at stake from digital.””

Peter Prodromou, president, Racepoint Global in The promise of measurement: Moving metrics to the bottom of the funnel:

“…although this is a big step in the right direction, we’re simply not there yet. The Holy Grail is still to produce hard numbers that directly link marketing to sales, giving us the seat at the table we’ve always wanted.”

Michael Preysman, founder, Everlane in Inside Everlane’s do-gooder social media strategy:

“This [social strategy] works for engagement. It’s hard to prove dollars for social. So we know our objective.”

Beth Reilly, director digital marketing strategy, Barilla in Brands: We still don’t know if our digital efforts are paying off:

“Frankly, I continue to see the biggest challenge in the digital and social space is getting accurate sales measurement data…Brand marketers will continue to ask ‘so we have shares and likes, but how does that translate to sales?’

There’s a lot of confusion out there, even from leaders in social media. Social media gurus are saying “don’t worry about revenue or ROI, social is all about engagement,” and many marketers, including sophisticated ones, don’t think it’s possible to effectively connect social to sales.

First, let’s be real, marketing needs to move the needle and that includes social marketing. Likes and follows are great, but as social becomes increasingly pay-to-play there needs to be more. And second, connecting social marketing to sales actually is possible.

Inside Social is leading the way in helping marketers’ evolve their understanding of social, going from engagement to conversion (including sales). We’re now able to help our customers see exactly how much revenue they’re driving from their social posts and social ads, as well as how much they’re driving when their fans post, tweet, pin, text, etc. to each other on social.

Peter Prodromou is right — connecting marketing to sales is the holy grail. It is the only way to truly prove social’s value within the organization. And it’s the only way for marketers to accurately evaluate their investment and properly allocate the marketing budget.

Brands can finally stop settling for impressions, likes, and follows when it comes to social. Finally, see how much value you’re actually driving…in dollars, and see how it greatly improves your marketing.