Play.com, the online entertainment retailer, claims that its Facebook fans are worth 24% in direct sales than non-fans.
The online retailer, which is owned by Japanese digital firm Rakuten, also claims that it can directly attribute £2m worth of sales to Facebook in 2011. Direct sales through the social network have increased 80% in the past year.
Customers that made their first purchase with Play.com via a Facebook referral were found to spend 30% more than an average customer with the online retailer over the course of the year, which it says demonstrates the value in retailers using social media.
The news will be a fillip to Facebook as brands have long called for ways to quantify the value of social media to justify investment. Although others, such as Coca-Cola CMO Joseph Tripodi are more willing to “take a leap of faith” on social despite the lack of measurement tools.
Adam Stewart, Play.com’s marketing director, says: “We know that there is a lot of discussion at the moment about how to quantify the value of social fans. Our results show that through intelligent engagement, social fans, particularly on Facebook, are massively valuable to online retailers. In fact, Facebook fans can be more valuable to online retailers than those gained through paid-for channels.
“It’s not just about increasing sales through our Facebook fans; we see social channels as being a huge part of engaging and rewarding our fans.”
Heineken also recently claimed that its Bulmers cider brand has found that its Facebook fans are worth £3.82 more to the company in sales a week than non-fans. It attributes this to the integration of social to the rest of its marketing activity.
The retailer used social marketing platform EngageSciences to analyse the shopping behaviour of its Facebook fans. Play.com is using the platform to create “holistic profiles” of its fans and how they engage and share content so that it can develop “more compelling” online campaigns that better reward its biggest social promoters and advocates.
By doing so it claims to have increased the number of “actively engaged” from 2,000 to an average of 12,000 a day, rising to 40,000 for some activity.
Play.com in numbers
Number of social media follows has increased 370% in the last year
350,000 Facebook fans
40,000 Twitter followers
It claims a reach of 38 million, counting friends of fans
“Top tweets” can reach more than 1 million impressions