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Does Social Media Sell? Influencer Over Purchase & ROI

By Valerie Jennings, CEO of JSMM

Social media marketing can sell, but what about influence over purchase?  In this recent article about social media and sales, some brands still believe that social media shouldn’t be utilized for generating revenue.  What a conundrum for a CFO: spend more money on social media but don’t use it for sales?  JSMM disagrees.  Social media should be utilized for sales for B2C brands and B2B brands should still have a ROI strategy, even if it’s just SEO.

Find out how retailers are making money from social media and how to tap influence over purchasing power.

(Image Source: The Guider Group)

Why Fab proves that social media sells

With high profile brands such as Gap, Gamestop and, in the US, JCPenney, having opened and then subsequently closed Facebook stores (presumably because they weren’t delivering ROI) it would be easy to assume that social media is not suitable for sales – too easy, perhaps.

But those who dig a little deeper may find that opportunities abound if social media is leveraged in the right way.

“We haven’t tried to use social as a sales channel at all. It doesn’t suit our demographic and we’re not a discounter,” argues Andrew Curran, chairman at luxury homewares e-tailer Amara. “Having said that, there are examples – take Fab – of retailers for which social is a significant proportion of what they do and drives a large percentage of their business.”

He’s not wrong. E-commerce site Fab, which specialises in “everyday design” items, grew sales by nearly 300% in January 2013 over January 2012. In Europe alone, 50% of its members have come from social sharing and lead to 33% of revenue in the region. Its member base grew to 11m people, up from 1.5m at the start of last year. With social networking sites and mobile apps forming a significant part of its business model, the innovative company has won a raft of awards.

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