Social media to sales – making the connection in 2014

social media to sales

Over recent years, brands and businesses have faced huge changes in the way they communicate with their customers, with the power shifting from big corporates and their large marketing budgets to consumers.

The first port of call for complaints is now online, where customers can vandalise a brand within seconds of a bad experience.  As traditional media further fragments and the new norm sees individuals leading multi-platform lives via a mix of tablets and smartphones, these challenges are set to increase, as are the opportunities for savvy marketeers.

2013 saw many marketeers become more sophisticated in their approach to and understanding of social media. Increasingly companies now understand how to optimise content and genuinely engage their audiences. Rather than simply broadcasting messages – they are interacting to develop deeper and richer relationships with customers using a mix of tactics. Images and video, for example have become the ‘go to’ viral tactics with a new breed of viral influencers having emerged online.

If 2013 was the year of engagement, where the focus was on building the number and quality of followers, likes, connections, and circles, 2014 will be the year of developing true brand advocates as networks stagnate in size. Energy will also be invested in making a stronger connection between social media and sales, with new technology and algorithms allowing improved measurement of social media interactions that lead to sales.

To report on conversions resulting from your social media initiatives you need to ensure you are correctly tracking the inbound links directing people to your website. From here you can use Google Analytics to report on your social media conversions and a campaign tagging method to split your paid and organic efforts when reporting.

We should all be reporting on the total conversions occurring onsite and the value of them. If you haven’t already established values for your conversions, then you will need to take the time to do this. This will allow you to report on the direct financial value of your social channels.