In a recent study by Custora, which measured the purchasing habits of 72 million online shoppers, it was discovered that customers who find an online retailer via organic search spent more money and shopped more frequently than customers who originate from other channels, such as Twitter or Facebook. In fact, in 2013, less than one percent of customer acquisitions came from Facebook and Twitter.
However, this doesn’t mean you should give up on your social media marketing efforts. The customers measured by this study aren’t considered your “best” customers. They are the “average” shopper.” Your best customers will most likely originate through social media.
What this does mean is that you need to rebalance your activities for your online/social media marketing strategy to maximize your returns. According to Custora, a Twitter lead results in only 75 percent of the value that a Facebook lead results in. In addition, a Twitter lead is only half of the value of an organic search lead. So, instead of focusing as much effort on Twitter, shift your efforts to Facebook and other platforms. Now, if you’re one of those companies who actually gets more solid conversions from Twitter, keep up what you’re doing.
Even though the Custora report gives great insight, the results are not complete because the company measured a customer’s last-touch before a purchase. Social Media is rarely a customer’s last touch. Customers typically hear about a brand on a social network and then search for that brand online. This can lead to a search being credited for finding the customer, when in fact, social media found the customer.
Good brand marketers blend all these channels. This is why the content on your company’s blogs is so important. Your blog can lead to search leads while helping to engage and convert prospects on social media. In addition, social media can help draw customers to your blog and create conversations about your brand. There are very few brands that can effectively pursue the one channel strategy.
Moreover, social media is a major influencer in how customers search. Before a customer searches, he may have seen references to a product or service by friends, colleagues, and other influencers. This is why the major search engines weigh relevance, authenticity and trust when they deliver search results. Social media channels provide a significant measure of these factors. When your content is shared on social media, the sharing reflects relevance, authenticity, and trust. This increases the visibility of your content on search.
This is evidenced more clearly when you use Google’s search engine. Google uses the information it finds on Google+ and search results are based on a user’s social graph and the authority of the content author.
It’s not surprising that search delivers more customers who buy more often. But, it’s because people are more likely to buy products and services recommended by their friends. Focusing on search and your social strategies is even more relevant and important today, because the two methods are converging.