I made a purchase this week fueled completely by content and social media marketing. It was for a product that I didn’t know existed and didn’t know I wanted or dare I say needed; but then I did.
This is despite a report from Forrester (albeit from 2012) that less than 1% of transactions can be tracked back to social media – which doesn’t surprise me. After all, I discovered this amazing product on social media, then searched for more information and reviews, then went into a one shop to look at it, and then purchased it from a different ecommerce site. It seems pretty clear to me that social media is not getting its fair share of the attribution.
Search and discovery
There are two primary paths for learning about any product or service – search and discovery. If I know what I want or am looking for a solution to a specific problem, then I search. Often, however, we learn about products or services through serendipity when we see advertising or read a review or get a “word of mouth” recommendation from a friend or as in my case – read a blog that was shared on Twitter. Social media is increasingly replacing magazines and newspapers as a primary source for brand or product discovery and it is also amplifying “word of mouth” – and this is what makes it so powerful.
To the moon
For me, it all started when I read about a new camera (Nikon Coolpix P900) that could do this:
This video and many more has been shared all over social media and the blogosphere… and here’s what it could do according to one of the reviews I read:
Original images sourced from PhotographyLife.com
I don’t need a new camera.. but.. wow..
So here was my purchase path and you can quickly see why some many marketers have a problem with correctly attributing sales to social media:
- Saw the moon video shared by a couple of people on Twitter.
- Read about the camera and more zoom videos in a few of the blogs I follow on Feedly.
- Searched for more details about the Nikon P900 looking specifically for reviews and price.
- Went to a camera store in London to see it “in the flesh” (aka showrooming).. btw it was heavier and larger than I had expected.
- It appeared again in a few blogs the next day.
- Hooked.. I then searched for online suppliers with availiabilty and placed an order.
So for the supplier who ended up with my purchase, this was a search (SEO) conversion. They have absolutely no visibility of the social media influence, the offline visits or the additional searches that I made before making that final search and purchase. They really need to thank the Nikon marketing department for the content and social media marketing efforts that created this discovery for me and brought them my ultimate purchase.. but I will absolutely slap them if they ever say that social media marketing does not work.