eCommerce Insiders

Flash Survey: Social Network Focus for Ecommerce Retailers

We recently conducted the following Flash Survey among users of our real-time conversion optimization software. We asked online retailers the following question:

What Social Networks Are You Focusing Your Efforts On?

The results aren’t surprising to any retailer involved much in social media marketing. As of mid-2012, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest made up the big three, with Facebook the clear winner. While a distant 4th, Google+ surprisingly holds a respectable 30% of the focus.

Twitter continues to be a staple of social media marketing for ecommerce professionals. While often not leading directly to sales, it can be helpful for keeping customers happy and driving brand loyalty.

Despite some poor press recently around its advertising platform, Facebook continues to be the center of attention for most ecommerce social media campaigns. This is as expected considering the nearly one billion users on Facebook.

It may come as no surprise to people that ecommerce professionals are paying lots of attention to Pinterest these days. It embodies social shopping much more than the other popular social networks available today. Companies are seeing great success when they have products that customers love, and those customers share their love on Pinterest.

Google+ is so far struggling to get user adoption, and it seems that ecommerce marketers and professionals realize this, and are not spending as much effort targeting Google+ users at this time. The time and focus that is being spent on Google Plus is likely because of the potential SEO impact that +1’ing can have.

The remaining 8% are centered on social media channels specific to each retailer. These may include social networks such as LinkedIn, music-related sites, or engaging a community on relevant blogs.

Social media is about engagement before it concerns itself with response, but it’s nevertheless critical to track the results of your efforts. Although the ROI of social media is sometimes difficult to attribute, tracking the source of every conversion will enable you to make the case for increasing your social media marketing resources.

Here’s a secret to convert lurkers into customers: set up rules to reward visitors from social networks with the highest engagement. Whether this takes the form of an explicitly advertised promotion or a real-time offer based on user visit history, you want to incentivize visitors to take the next step in their relationship with your brand. Even better when you give them tools to boast about you to their friends.

Shannon Bauman

Shannon Bauman is co-founder and Product Manager at Spring Metrics, an eCommerce-focused company that provides conversion optimization software to convert more visitors into buyers while they’re on the site. He’s a data driven product guy who’s into everything from coding, to wireframing, to marketing.

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