The majority of businesses today have some sort of social media presence. In fact, 77% of Fortune 500 companies have active Twitter accounts (up from 73% in 2012) while 70% of the Fortune 500 are on Facebook (a 4% gain from 2012), according to a study by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Yet, despite the continued inroads that companies are making in social media, many continue to struggle to understand how the social content they share impacts customer buying decisions. Indeed, just one-third of companies in the Inc. 500 say they can adequately determine ROI for their social media spending, according to Relevanza.
Fortunately, there are several ways that marketers and other decision-makers can use big data analytics to understand the impacts that their organizations’ social strategies are having on business performance.
As a starting point, marketers can use analytics to identify which social media channels its highest-value customers prefer to use. Taking this a step further, marketers can then use analytics to dive deeper into customer behavior to determine the social media channels that are most likely to drive consumer purchasing decisions.
For example, a VisionCritical study reveals that 25% of Facebook users and 34% of Twitter users report buying tech tools or electronic devices after viewing recommendations or shares through these social networks.
In fact, the study demonstrates how certain types of social media channels are more widely used by consumers based on their product interests and ultimately have dramatic impacts on conversion rates.
For instance, while fewer than 10% of Facebook and Twitter users report making recent purchases for crafts or do it yourself (DIY) projects as a result of using those channels, 21% of Pinterest users did purchase craft or DIY-related products via Pinterest.
Analytics can also help marketers determine the types of social content that drives the highest rates of conversion in specific social channels. For its part, TRX, a maker of exercise and training equipment, was able to slash its average cost-per-conversion by 65% while driving 7% of its online sales through YouTube video ads.