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Products sold via social media links

Operating an online shop is hard work. To get products moving you’ll have to do a bit better than competing stores. Especially in the marketing department.

You’ll have to throw some money at Adwords, Facebook ads and the many other advertising platforms. You’ll also have to invest a lot of time in marketing on social network. But with little time on hand, on which social networks should you invest most of your time? The answer might surprise you.

Shopify, the online shopping cart service, looked at 37 million visits that came to their hosted stores via social media platforms. It’s no surprise that 63% (23.3 million) visits came through Facebook. 13% of visits came through Pinterest, 10.5% through Twitter and the rest through others such as Linkedin, YouTube, Reddit, Google+, etc.

The majority of sales – 85% – came through Facebook links:

Majority of orders from social media commerce - Shopify

But here’s the surprise: Facebook did not dominate all the product categories. For instance, antiques and collectables sold better through Pinterest while digital products, services and automobiles sold better via YouTube.

Here’s another surprise: Twitter did well in categories such as Home & Garden and Home and Furnishings.

Commerce industries not dominated by Facebook - re Shopify

Top products on social media

Fashion products seem to do well on social media, perhaps because of the perceived status value by sharing them: after all, sharing a link – to a product or otherwise – is a reflection of your preferences and thus your personality.

Top products via social media - re Shopify

Note the line at the bottom of the above infographic: “Be careful launching a product on the weekend – social orders drop by 10 – 15%.”

Conversion rates

The conversion rates are no surprise either; they are more-or-less (if not less, depending on the research methods) the same as for most other below-the-line and direct marketing campaigns: between 0.5% and 2.5%.

The above data comes from Shopify: Which social media platforms drive the most sales?

Things to consider for your marketing campaign

It should be noted that the above stats may differ from other marketing platforms such as Amazon, eBay, self-hosted solutions, etc. but since Shopify is a leader in online merchant services the data supplied is very handy in a number of ways.

Firstly, it highlights which product categories do best on the different social media platforms.

The data also put the effectiveness of social media marketing campaigns in perspective when compared to other forms of marketing. In short, if you’ve thrown your entire budget marketing at social media services you’ve been duped by their promises. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

You absolutely have to research carefully and deeply to find the best cost-per-click and cost-per-view solutions to make every dollar count, whatever your budget. Be careful not to fall for “social all” or “everything mobile” marketing jargon; social media platforms and mobile are very important marketing vehicles but they still have a long to go to match the effectiveness of promoting your products on local knock-and-drop newspapers, radio and television, the keyword being local.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Real marketing gurus advise a synergized (multi-channel integration) campaign: spread your budget across platforms, if possible using above-the-line and below-the-line platforms.

… and work hard

“Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.” – Thomas Edison.

Best of luck!

05/04/2017. Category: Media. Topic: .

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