Social media marketers, you might want to listen up. It looks like there really is no such thing as bad publicity. Businesses that actively promote their products and services on Facebook, Twitter, and other similar platforms might want to pay attention to the findings of a study published in the January 2016 issue of the Journal of Marketing. In the paper entitled “From Social to Sale: The Effects of Firm-Generated Content in Social Media on Customer Behavior,” it is shown how engagement trumps all other factors when it comes to impacting customer spending. In short, viral social media postings produce the highest level of marketing sway.
Even among respondents who claim that their buying decisions have not been impacted by information they read on social media, the study has demonstrated that the popularity of a social media posting still presents the highest level of influence on customer spending. A social media posting’s popularity is reflected by the number of likes, retweets, shares, and comments received by the post. This means that even if the nature of the social media posting is neutral or generative of negative sentiments, it still has the tendency to produce positive impact on sales as long as customer engagement is high.
Another notable finding of the study should do with cross buying, which happens when a customer buys more products or pays for more services from the same company. Cross buying increases by 0.84 percent and customer spending improves by 1.03 percent when social media marketing is mixed with traditional advertising efforts on television. Meanwhile, a 1.22-percent increase on cross buying and a 2.02-percent in customer spending can result from combining social media marketing and email marketing.
Marketing to the digitally connected world is becoming increasingly competitive. So, whenever you post on social media to promote your business and your brand, consider asking yourself: how do I emotionally connect with my target audience? Try infusing your various postings with wit and creativity, and you just might have a viral runaway winner.