To keep up with the ever evolving marketing trends, companies and individuals have taken to marketing through social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Compared to the traditional marketing methods, social media marketing has the advantage of connecting and interacting with its users on a more personalized level which attracts them to visit the company’s fan page or website and make a purchase.
Social commerce, i.e., a subset of Ecommerce, unites the act of sharing and socializing via social media networks with the act of buying and selling products and services online. Therefore, breaking the general rules of commerce, social commerce creates a fusion of social promotion and trading transactions within a single platform.
Social Media Optimization
Individuals and companies aim to derive the optimal benefit from their social media campaign. Social media optimization is a mechanism of attracting new visitors to a fan page or website through a user’s social media activity such as sharing a link on Facebook. In other words, social media optimization is a method of viral marketing which uses social networks to increase brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives through viral processes. Therefore, marketing objectives are achieved not through word-of-mouth but through viral promotions in the form of video clips, interactive games, photos, activities which may be shared with others via Facebook.
Sharing – Can it be measured?
We can safely conclude that social media networks are all about sharing! However, an important question still remains unanswered – how can sharing links on Facebook be measured?
The answer to this question was revealed in a report, “Social Commerce: A First Look at the Numbers” by Tamara Mendelsohn, Director of Marketing at Eventbrite which discloses tangible data to quantify the value and impact of social media networks on ecommerce. In simpler terms, it measures what social media sharing is worth in terms of real money.
Eventbrite is an event ticketing company which provides a web-based service to publish events and sell tickets online. People purchasing tickets for an event share this with their friends within their social network such as Facebook or Twitter, which in turn leads to publicity and wide spread exposure for the event.
A summary of the findings of Tamara Mendelsohn’s report indicates that:
- when a user shares an event with their friends through social media, one share on Facebook equals $2.52 whereas a share on Twitter equals $0.43 and a share on LinkedIn equals $0.90.
- Facebook is the No. 1 referring site for traffic to the Eventbrite’s site, surpassing Google as people discover events that their friends are sharing and they click through to find out more.
- On average each Facebook share results in 11 visits back to Eventbrite.com
The dollars per share is calculated by taking the total dollar amount of ticket sales that was driven by each sharing mechanism divided by the total number of shares through that mechanism, such as a Facebook “Like” or a Twitter “tweet”.
Facebook versus Twitter
Facebook is clearly the more popular social network with Twitter following close behind. Twitter with its limited functionality, has a smaller user base whereas Facebook appeals more to users who have an unquenchable thirst to stay connected with friends and make new acquaintances. The increased use of Facebook has reduced the use of online communication through email and IM.
Whether measuring your value on social media networks will benefit Ecommerce?
Sharing via social media networks would definitely increase business exposure and revenue, however, the rate or value of that increase would depend on the product or service that is being shared in order to be potentially sold. Individuals and companies who wish to increase their exposure and sales should start tracking revenue per social share and see how effective their social media campaign really is in monetary terms.
The phenomenon of measuring your value in terms of real money via social medial networks still has its teething problems as some social media experts believe that social media should not just be measured in a quantative manner but in essence should also take into consideration its quality. Consumers prefer having a more personal connection with companies than just being a figure from which monetary worth is calculated.
As said by Jason Falls – Social Media Explorer:
“The problem with trying to determine Return on Investment for social media is you are trying to put numeric quantities around human interactions and conversations which are not quantifiable”