Content Marketing Blog

How social media can improve chances of a sale by 60% [STUDY]

One of the strongest arguments for investing in an ongoing social media strategy is the correlation between the brands people follow on their favourite social networks and how likely they are to buy from those brands.

The awareness and affinity that social media interactions help build can be key factors when it comes to deciding where dollars get spent.

As well as adding fans and followers, brands with truly successful social media marketing strategies also create engaging and useful content to drive both organic and paid growth across the most relevant networks.

The aim is often to find the influencers in your particular space that can really help expand your social footprint.

But according to a new study, those influencers could be closer and more commonplace than you might have thought.

Power of regular social media users

Research published in the Journal Management Science revealed that social media connections and other online relationships can have a significant impact on how likely people are to buy a product or service.

In fact, peer influence can increase the chances of someone making a purchase by up to 60 per cent.

“While the received wisdom focusses on using influential users to spread ideas and behaviour in social networks, our research establishes that even the average ‘John Doe’ type users exert influence on their friends to pay for premium subscriptions,” the study’s authors said.

The researchers looked at the music sharing site, Last.fm, which uses a freemium model. They found that the small number of premium users who provided most of the company’s revenue were significantly more likely to be connected to one another.

They also discovered that people with a small number of online friends were more likely to be influenced by their spending habits than people with larger social networks.

Tapping your customers’ social networks

A key takeaway from this new research is that brands can benefit from tapping into the social networks of their existing customers.

People who have bought your products or services can be extremely useful in helping you sell to their peers.

If you can create genuinely shareable content or provide some incentives you might be able to get your customers talking about you on their chosen social media sites, which in turn puts your brand in front of more of the right people.

This comes as brands face growing competition for attention. Social networks, just like search results, are getting more and more crowded, making it increasingly difficult for organic campaigns to reach their intended audience.

Research published earlier this year revealed just how challenging organic campaigns have become on Facebook, the world’s largest social network. The study suggested brands could expect only around 2 per cent of their followers to even see each post.

Facebook has made life difficult for branded content that relies on organic promotion, which often makes its paid ads essential for getting your content in front of the right people.

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Adam Barber
Adam Barber About the author

Adam is one of Castleford's founders and remains actively involved in the day-to-day running of the business. He started out as a writer and still contributes regularly to our blog, covering SEO, CRO, social media and digital strategy.

Read more of Adam's articles