How Effective is Social Media for Driving Sales?

The presence of social media in our daily lives cannot be ignored, but how effective is social media for driving sales? We looked at the numbers and want to share our insights with you!

2 in 3 US adults use social media on a weekly basis according to MarketingCharts. For businesses, it is important to understand the intent of social media users, so that you are better able to engage with your audience.

Most people use social media for entertainment purposes, not commerce purposes.

Effectiveness of Social Media for Driving Sales

A recent survey from SUMO Heavy Industry indicated that only 23% of participants used social media for learning about products and services. They also found that only 1 in 5 adults reported making a purchase directly from a social media platform.

There is still a large amount of anxiety around making a purchase directly from social media. Consumers still have concerns about the privacy, security, and legitimacy of the purchase if made through a social media platform.

However, another insight from their survey was that 4 in 10 respondents admitted they made a purchase based on something they saw through using social media.

Participants indicated that they were most exposed to new information through posts from friends and family. This includes product/service reviews and testimonials, and the sharing of news and videos.

Only a small amount of participants indicated sponsored posts (16%) and banner/display ads (12%) as likely to influence their purchases.

About the Data

One reason for these numbers could be the result of the current lack of acceptance of social media purchases.

However, as purchases through social media platforms become more normalized, social media users’ concerns will most likely decrease.

In the meantime, your brand should post content that is not only easily sharable such as short videos, company and product news, and testimonials. You also want to be sure your content encourages sharing among your audience.

 DBI Tip: Keep the content of your posts about company and product news, not specifically about selling a product. This will allow your brand to spread through digital word-of-mouth and allow others that might be outside your network to interact with your brand with their own content.

Pinterest Will Become More and More Important

However, not all social media platforms are equal for influencing purchase decisions and driving sales. Too little surprise, Facebook is the number one platform for influence.

What is surprising, however, is that Pinterest is the second most influential platform for purchasing.

As a platform where users actively search for, discover, and interact with products and retailers, Pinterest may overtake Facebook as the most influential for driving sales due to users’ commerce intent.

Do you have any tips for driving sales on social media? Please share!


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