Social media advertising still lags behind
Social media users are bombarded with non-stop adverts every day. Facebook is staking its future on its ability to sell products using targeted adverts, while celebrities have been known to sign expensive contracts to promote products to their many followers on Twitter.
Marketing consultants will tell you to get with the trend; the implication is that if you’re not using social media to sell your product, you probably aren’t selling your product at all.
However, research from the market researcher Custora has found that this may not be the case. After following 72 million shoppers on 86 different sites over four years, Custora now reveals that social media users may be too distracted by their friends’ constant status updates to clinch the deal.
According to Custora those who come to a site by organic search or so-called ‘cost-per-click’ links are likely to spend the most online. Paid-for advertising and search-engine-optimisation may therefore be a better investment than Twitter and Facebook, although in fairness both of these companies are new to the advertising game.
Why do these techniques still yield a higher-conversion ratio? The answer may be a lack of understanding of how Twitter and Facebook work. On these sites, adverts may register briefly with the user, but they are usually glimpsed for mere seconds before they disappear. That isn’t to say that they won’t come around – it may simply be a case of coming up with an innovative strategy for raising awareness.
One interesting finding from Custora’s report is that e-mailed links are the third most valuable source of customers for online retailers. This may be because customers are already loyal enough to sign up for newsletters, but it may also come down to the fact that when people browse their e-mails, they are much more susceptible to the promise of a little online shopping.