Social Commerce: Which Social Media Platforms Drive the Most Sales?

Business owners often wonder about the “ROI of social media”. Is my Facebook page actually driving sales? Is all this tweeting really doing anything for my bottom line? Should I be on Pinterest and Instagram?

Well it turns out, when it comes to ecommerce, being social matters.

To better understand how social media is impacting the ecommerce industry, Shopify analyzed data from 37 million social media visits that led to 529,000 orders.

Here’s some interesting data points they uncovered:

  • Facebook dominates as a source of social traffic and sales. Nearly two thirds of all social media visits to Shopify stores come from Facebook. Plus, an average of 85% of all orders from social media come from Facebook.
  • Orders from Reddit increased 152% in 2013.
  • Perhaps most interesting and surprising was community style site Polyvore which is generating the highest average order value ahead of Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Also noteworthly in this category is Instagram which is also generating higher average orders than those same sites. This is especially impressive considering the only clickable links in Instagram are those in profile bio’s.
  • Facebook has the highest conversion rate for all social media ecommerce traffic at 1.85%

In addition to these stats, they’ve also analyzed specific industries to determine which platforms are performing better. You can check out all the findings in the infographic below.

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[Source: Shopify]

The State of Social Marketing and Advertising 2014

Discover The State of Social Marketing 2014, as told by your fellow marketers. Where does your social media marketing strategy stand?

Socialbakers conducted a social media pulse check across 82 countries and 20 industries to discover what marketers are focusing on, and more importantly, what they’re not. Did you know that 86% consider competitive social analysis important, but only 1/3 use paid tools to conduct said analysis! Imagine a lawyer who says a strong defense is important and then turns to Wikipedia to build a case. No thanks, I’ll Google the Constitution myself. Here’s what over 500 of your peers had to say about the state of social media marketing.Data Point TwoThis means nearly 70% of marketers aren’t willing to put their money where their mouth is! Marketers who fly blind without the support of benchmarking data are at a huge disadvantage. Knowing what your competitors are doing on social and how your brand compares is critical for setting and reaching relevant KPIs. Free analytics tools have a place in marketing, but not for those who want a true competitive advantage.Data Point One62% say customer acquisitions via social marketing is a “very important” goal for 2014, but only 29% say the same about social customer care. As brands mature on social media, so do their goals. Remember the days when “likes” seemed to be the only thing that mattered? While social ROI is a smart goal, brands must not neglect the importance of social customer support. As our Socially Devoted initiative highlights – if you don’t support customers on social, they’ll be less likely to support you with their voices or wallets.

Data Point ThreeIt’s no surprise that 80% of marketers, regardless of company size, say Facebook is a high priority. What’s surprising is that only 14% will give Google+ a high priority in 2014 and 23% will not consider the platform at all! This data supports the trend to continue treating Google+ as an SEO tool, not a popping social network.Data Point FourFor those of us with start-up experience we know how many hats a CEO can wear, including the social media one. Support for social marketing is diversified with company growth to include other supporters such as Head of Digital, roles most likely created from said growth. While the benefits of a data-driven social media strategy seem obvious to most marketers, even some big companies struggle to create a company culture that supports social.Data Point FiveWith so many advancements in publishing tools it’s surprising that 41% exclusively publish and manage content directly to native platforms. This means zero support for reporting team performance, organized collaboration, easy scheduling, and managed post approval. This tactic waves a huge red flag for large teams looking to streamline social efforts and avoid confusing communication. We of course recommend using publishing tools.

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Supporting organic reach with paid advertising is the new normal in social media marketing. No matter how targeted or engaging your content is, the fact remains, the social party is crowded and you have to pay for a soapbox. But 14% of companies with more than 5,000 employees reported a $0 social ad budget for 2014. Their content stands alone to fight the noise and competition increasingly present in users’ News Feeds, both from personal connections and competing brands.

However, most companies who know how valuable a well-optimized social strategy can be understand that social advertising is a must. Furthermore, it’s money well spent for brands who optimize and measure their social ad performance.

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It’s not shocking that marketers say News Feed (native) ads are more effective than other placement options. But when you look closely at specified News Feed placements (desktop News Feed vs mobile News Feed vs desktop/mobile News Feed) it becomes clear that marketers aren’t able to distinguish between the three placement types. This points to the fact that marketers are still evolving and learning to fully leverage improved ad targeting provided by leading social networks. The majority have yet to discover the benefit of creating mobile specific content and CTAs.

However, if we compare similar data from a survey conducted in January 2013, we can see that marketers are getting smarter. Then, 81% of Facebook ads used “Facebook All” placement. As of December 2013, that number has been reduced to 42% and News Feed ads lead the way for effective social advertising by a landslide. Right-hand side ads were so 2009.

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The fact that brands are not flocking to Twitter’s adver­tising platform may not speak directly to the platforms’ ability to offer something of value, but rather, to marketers’ inability to effectively adapt to this new form of social advertising.

Twitter launched promoted posts and promoted tweets in March 2012 to a select number of small business and has cautiously expanded this select group to include beverages, athletic apparel, and even a certain Commander-in-chief. Despite Twitter advertisings’ unique appeal, advanced targeting, and proven ROI for a number of brands and verticals, most brands have been quicker to adapt to social advertising on LinkedIn, YouTube, and the Mother of Platform Monetization, Facebook.

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13.5: that’s the average number of social media pages managed by marketers in our survey. That’s more than 13 different pages (potentially of various countries, languages, and products) that all need to publish and promote content at the right time, to the right audience. But even so, the majority of marketers replied that they manage their social advertising via native platforms!

While many social networks, such as Facebook, have made leaps and bounds to improve their advertising platforms, this approach does not provide any efficiencies for managing multiple pages across multiple social networks. Using a 3rd party application for social advertising simplifies the experience giving marketers more time to do what they do best – create amazing and engaging content for their audience.

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One might conclude that along with company growth and expanded resources, something like social media – a function so close to the heart and soul of brand’s identity – would be reigned-in and managed in-house. This data, however, paints a different picture of social media outsourcing: the bigger the company, the more social media work is outsourced. But if you take a closer look at the data, something changes when it comes to post boosting. When compared to ad management and performance reporting, many brands that prefer to outsource social marketing elements chose to keep post boosting in-house. Perhaps this speaks to the holistic approach of boosting “good” content. When marketers see something going well, they know it, and want to support it with ad spend immediately.

Who Did We Ask?

When we say global, we mean global. 82 countries are represented in this survey reflecting a variety of industries including Education (13%), E-commerce (9%), Software (9%), Travel (9%), Nonprofit (9%), and Retail (7%). Company size doesn’t matter when it comes to social media presence so we asked the Davids (less than 50 employees) and the Goliaths (over 5,000 employees). We owe a great debt to the 500+ marketing professionals who contributed to this report. As a thank you, they received the complete survey results in advance of this release. So, don’t miss out next time and take part in our upcoming surveys.

 

[Source: The State of Social Marketing 2014 and The State of Social Advertising 2014 - SocialBakers]

The Selfie phenomenon: a brand new research and how a selfie just become the most-retweeted tweet of all time

Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year is also one of the most fascinating movements in social is that of the selfie. Part vanity, part communication, part fun, and part absurdity, selfies represent a new generation of #selfieexpression cum egotistical emoticons…but not necessarily in a bad way. Nevertheless, the psychology and science behind selfies are strangely fascinating and therefore I continue to study and report on its evolution.

Selfiecity, a new research project, studies Instagram data from five cities around the world including Bangkok, Berlin, Moscow, New York, and Sao Paulo. Wired initially reported on Selfiecity’s initial findings. I didn’t want to be selfie’ish with the information so, I’m sharing the highlights with you here.

Right now, there are more than 79 million pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #selfie. You can add another 7 million for #selfies and 1 million for #selfienation. Not counted though, are the number of selfies that don’t include a meta reference beyond the visual that you are indeed looking at a selfie.

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As you can see, selfies is a form of communication among the (early) twenty somethings.

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Specifically in NY, more women (61.6%) share selfies than men (36.7%). But then again, there are historically more women active on social media than men as well. The average age for selfie-made women in NY is 23.3 whereas the age skews slightly higher for men at 26.7.

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I know this is a burning issue for everyone concerned here. Selfiecity also tracked visual cues such as angle of head tilt. Women in Sao Paulo as you can see, were the most expressive with body position and tilt at 17-degrees compared to 10.6-degrees in Bangkok and 11-degrees in New York.

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But wait, that’s not all Selfiecity is tracking. You can learn more about poses, the state of eye contact, how many people where glasses, and whether or not people open or close their eyes and mouth in selfies.

In summary:

#noglasses

and…

Eyes wide open…mouth wide shut.

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I found this part particularly interesting. Selfiecity is also tracking the mood in each selfie. For the most part, people are happy, which hopefully conveys a positive sense of selfie-esteem or selfie-confidence ;)

In short, women are clearly smiling more than men. I guess that says something…

Additionally the team at Selfiecity learned…

On average, women tend to take more selfies than men. In Moscow, women account for 80% of the selfies. Yet, as people get older, this trend reverses. At or after age 40, men are more likely to take and post selfies than women.

At 150%, women are more likely to tilt their heads in photos over men.

According to Selfiecity’s mood analysis, people in Bangkok and Sao Paulo appear to be happier than people in Moscow. Perhaps it’s just that they’re more selfie-satisfied.

Truth is, yesterday we witnessed a new chapter in selfie’s history as Ellen Degeneres took an amazing shot during Oscar’s night and shared it on Twitter asking the world to make it the “most retweeted selfie” ever.

And she made it in almos no time: the retweets quickly added up. Within 30 minutes it was nearing Barack Obama’s record of 778,800.

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Then, a few minutes later, it happened. Within the hour, the tweet would go on to surpass one million retweets, making it far and beyond the most-retweeted tweet of all time.

But, even though Samsung was all over this  (and the all Academy Awards), backstage, she’s using an Apple product. #EpicFail?

You’ll be telling your grandkids about this one, folks. At least until next year’s Oscars.

[Source: Brian Solis & Mashable]

Icons of the Web: the top million web sites for 2013

Icons of the Web from the open source Nmap Security Scanner Project (http://nmap.org)is an update to the hugely popular project from 2010. This update brings all new data, a n updated interactive viewer and printed posters available for sale through Kickstarter for a limited time (until January 17th!)

Icons of the Web

[Source: Icons of the Web]