Who Delivers Online Consumers To Ecommerce Websites?
Search Versus Social Media Marketing
We have all been told how wonderful social media marketing can be for your business. However, the power of Google and other search engines is not to be underestimated; two in every five visits to ecommerce websites come from a search engine. However, as the other key drivers of traffic change, so must companies digital strategies if they are to harness the potential that online media has to offer.
There are thousands of social media networks on the Internet that attract an array of niche audiences, but it is impossible to ignore the size and scale of Facebook and Twitter.
Social Media's Extensive Reach
Facebook is the world's largest social networking website, with over 900 million users worldwide, but many companies struggle to understand the ROI of Facebook advertising despite the simple facts.
1. Facebook is one of the most visited social media websites every month.
2. Over 2.5bn hours are spent on Facebook every month
3. People spent an average time of 19 minutes on Facebook per day.
4. Facebook is the second biggest source of traffic to websites.
5. 'Facebook' is one of the most popular searches done on Google.
Is Facebook Really That Good?
We decided to do some anonymous research into the way that people engage with brands and social media networks, especially Facebook. We looked at the top 20 online retailers and benchmarked that against the number of fans those retailers had on their Facebook page.
Our research showed that the more fans a retailer had on Facebook, the more visits their ecommerce website received, to the extent that for every additional fan acquired a retailer could expect to see an additional 15 visits to their company website from Facebook over a 12 month period.
Of course, those visits don't all come from one fan. The viral nature of Facebook means that fans will recommend and share content with their network and ultimately help drive traffic to the retailer. As Facebook has evolved, it has become more than a source of traffic for ecommerce websites; in some cases it has also become the digital shop front.
New Social Media Commerce Frontier
While social media commerce is still very much in its infancy; 5% of the UK's Facebook population have purchased a product from a brand's Facebook page and this figure is set to rise.
Advertising is clearly not always about direct sales or conversions and social media marketing in particular offers companies an opportunity to expand their brand awareness, engage with consumers and influence their customers.
A recent poll showed that 5% of consumers have actively sought feedback on Facebook or Twitter on a purchase made in-store, while 25% of people would be positively influenced to buy a product after seeing an advert on Facebook. These kinds of engagement metrics need to be acted on as they have the ability to grow into future sales.
Social media remains one of the fastest expanding industries online and continues to grow as a key source of traffic for ecommerce websites. Social media not only has the power to influence customers, it can also lead to direct conversions and provide a clear ROI for brands.
Crucially, it is important to understand that social media marketing is not the 'holy grail' for ecommerce websites. Bringing together a blend of online marketing and print media marketing is the best way to ensure future success, whilst always remembering that at the heart of this success lays great online brand experiences for consumers.