A report covered exclusively in Marketing Week shows the link between social media activity and purchasing and how it affects the products that people buy. The study reveals that more than four in 10 social media users buy products they like or share on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.
What is really interesting in the research however, is knowing what the different social channels are for and this is clearly shown by the product categories that are shared and subsequently purchased on each site.
The insights from Vision Critical show that 34 per cent of the people sharing tech and electronics comment and links on Twitter bought products in that category. This figure is 25 per cent for Facebook and just six per cent on Pinterest.
It also shows that 24 per cent of people bought food and drink products and 21 per cent went on to buy art and photography after sharing them on Pinterest. These figures were much lower for those categories when shared on Facebook and Twitter.
I pulled those stats out from the many shown in the research because it illustrates that brands can cleverly target by knowing what categories people share on what social media site. Being on social media doesn’t just mean setting up on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and posting similar content on each, it’s about knowing which site the brand fits in with and if it does at all.
It’s also important for a brand to know what outcome it wants from social media activity. There is no point in condemning social media as not producing any return on investment if it was never built into the social media strategy in the first place.
Brands that are using Snapchat and Vine know what those particular media apps are for, mainly exposure, but if the brand wanted more interaction it was built into the activity using insights they got back from the channel itself.
For example, O2 recently trialled Snapchat via a competition. The brand told fans via Twitter that it would Snapchat fans who add them and sent those people a close up of a product – and those who guessed what it was first, won prizes. Being a photo-sharing site where the image disappears after a number of seconds is what made the competition work.
The point is that by trialling Snapchat, O2 was able to find out how many of its existing fans already use the app and how fast word travelled about the competition. It made the activity interactive rather than pushing messages out and O2 was able to get some insight out of it. That is smart.