To date, social media has not been about brands driving sales. Instead, it’s about building awareness, engagement and connecting with consumers in a “soft sell” medium.
But as brands look to determine the ROI of their social media activity, it is inevitable its impact on sales will be thrust into the spotlight.
The focus on social sales was apparent in an opinion piece in yesterday’s New York Times by Stephen Baker, who talked about how it is still challenging for brands to measure their success on social media.
While Baker danced around the notion that sales should be a key element of a brand’s social media activity, his piece is food for thought about the role of social media.
In particular, it should spark conversation about whether sales should be part of the social mix. Rather than the focus on engagement and conversations, maybe sales should be front and centre.
In other words, let’s not be shy about why brands use social media.
Instead, maybe the success of social media should be determined by its impact – direct or indirect – on sales and profits.
Another way of thinking about social sales is it’s part of social media evolution. Many brands started with having a presence, then moved to engagement and content. And now it may be time for sales to move into the spotlight.