In recent weeks, Motista’s retail clients have asked us to help quantify and prove the business value of marketing through Facebook and Twitter.
Our retail clients continue to express “cautious optimism” when it comes to these vehicles. Of course, Facebook and Twitter represent huge audiences that are spending more and more time online. At minimum, our clients have established presences on Facebook and Twitter to support brand awareness and engagement. However, recent efforts to open Facebook storefronts (so-called “F-commerce”) by big retail brands have fizzled, with Nordstrom, J.C. Penney and The Gap opening and then quickly (and very publically) shuttering their Facebook storefronts. Our clients are just in the experimentation stage when it comes to Facebook advertising. In all cases, only a small portion of our clients’ marketing resources are devoted to Facebook and Twitter today.
Each of our retail clients has accumulated at least hundreds of thousands of followers and “likes,” but there are still many questions surrounding social media networks, such as, “What’s the business value of having followers and likes? How hard should we work to build our following on these platforms, and how much should we invest to grow followers and likes in the future?”
Using Motista’s Q4-2011 intelligence on retail brands, we compared consumers who follow their retailers through Facebook or Twitter with consumers who do not. Here’s what we found:
Social Media Followers Are More Emotionally Connected: Forty-six percent of social media followers feel shopping their retailers “reflects their personal lifestyles” vs. 21% of non-followers. Among social media followers, 53% choose their retailers when they want to “indulge” themselves vs. 28% of non-followers. And, 46% of social media followers feel their retailers add “joy and pleasure” to their lives vs. 20% of non-followers. Social media is an effective vehicle for building emotional connection. And stronger emotional connection leads to better business outcomes.
Higher Response Rates: Twenty-eight percent of social media followers have responded to recent promotions from their retailers sent via direct (snail) mail, vs. 10% of non-followers. The emotional connection formed through social media is translating into higher response rates.
More Shopping: Thirty-eight percent of social media followers have, in the past 30 days, added items to their shopping carts on their retailers’ websites. This compares to 9% of non-followers. While social media consumers may not be ready to buy through Facebook storefronts, they are shopping their retailers’ websites more often than their counterparts.
Pay Higher Prices: Twenty-four percent of social media followers say they would pay higher prices for comparable goods from their retailers, vs. 13% of non-followers. The emotional connection social media consumers form with their retailers translates into less price sensitivity.
More Advocacy: Seventy-three percent of social media followers have recently recommended their retail brand, vs. 40% of non-followers. We know deeper emotional connection and advocacy go hand-in-hand, and Facebook and Twitter are natural environments for brand advocacy. Additionally, social media followers write reviews more often: 32% have recently provided a positive review of their retailer online, vs. 4% of non-followers.
Consumers following their retailers on Facebook and Twitter are forming strong emotional connections, which lead to better financial results for retailers. Using Connection Intelligence from Motista, retailers are building unique emotional connections for their brands through Facebook and Twitter and effectively measuring the impact of these vehicles on their businesses.