Proof Positive: Social Media Increases Sales

Posted by ImageWorks Creative Team May 19, 2010

Dell’s ran a couple of social media studies. One claimed that over an 18-month period, Dell’s sales increased by $1 million. However, Bad Bob belittled this claim for various reasons, the main one being that Dell did not set a benchmark prior to measuring sales. While many believe Dell’s claim, it shows direct correlation between offering discounts on Twitter and increased sales, yet it’s not an ideal study. I decided to use it as an example of success, pending investigation. Call it a desirable outcome, a goal, or an example of social media’s capabilities.

My goal was to find recent proof that case studies, lacking other media support, used social media to increase sales or profits. It’s a fool’s errand; there’s much more to social media and advertising than increasing the bottom line. However, since Bad Bob set the parameter, that’s what I’ll use. While I’d like to deliver it to Bad Bob, it doesn’t matter; it’s something that I need to refute, if only for personal reasons.

After changing the search area from research reports to news, three examples of direct correlation follow.

They’re recent, written within the past 30 days, and the successful outcomes cannot be attributed to any other media efforts. The increased sales are a direct result of social media engagement...

Clearly, social media engagement is capable of influencing the bottom line. We can either debate the validity of current examples, waiting for better ones to emerge, or take the initiative and set up a social media-engagement strategy to determine our own results. Each day spent debating -- or waiting -- is another day of lost opportunity.

Read the full column over at Talent Zoo.

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