A whitepaper by cloud-based customer intelligence platform Vision Critical addresses how social drives sales.
The data — based on 6,000 responses to questions about social purchasing behavior — provides business insight into the relationship between social media and customer purchases.
Main findings from the report include the following:
- Social media accounts for roughly half of all online and in-store purchases.
- Four in ten social media users have purchased an item online or in-store after favoriting or sharing on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
- Half of those purchases took place within one week of sharing or favoriting.
- 68 percent of Facebook users are “lurkers” who rarely post, which means social media analytics cannot measure the influence of social on lurkers’ purchasing decisions.
- Pinterest drives spontaneous purchasing more than any other network.
- Social media-related purchases that come from Twitter and Facebook are made by users who are already interested in a particular product.
- Facebook is the network most likely to generate purchases; nearly one in three users have purchased an item after liking, sharing or commenting on it.
The report makes the following recommendations for businesses:
- Develop a strategy for using social to drive in-store purchasing.
- Combine social media and transactional data with customer surveys that illuminate the social path-to-purchase for your products.
- Focus social outreach on customers whose sharing indicates they are actively researching products in your category.
- Prompt customers to take a survey on their smartphones while in-store.
- Target your social media outreach to the window when sharers are most likely to purchase (i.e. one to three weeks after liking or tweeting).