Social Networks Don’t Drive Sales, Study Finds

Posting on Facebook might help your brand image, but don’t expect it to actually increase sales, according to new research.

A new study by Forrester Research finds that less 1 percent of sales come from social channels. However, 48 percent of consumers did say that social media posts are a great way to discover new products, brands, trends, or retailers.

“We’ve known for a while that Facebook hasn’t been a direct sales channel for most companies and it never will be,” the report’s author, analyst Sucharita Mulpuru, told Internet Retailer. “Hopefully we can put that conversation to rest now. But there are interesting opportunities to leverage Facebook to amplify a brand or a product, or to drive traffic from image sharing sites like Pinterest.”

The study concluded that direct email is much better for actual sales. It found that 30 percent of online transactions by repeat customers start with an email from the retailer.

Also useful was paid search and organic search.

Forrester conducted the study with GSI Commerce. It examined 77,000 online consumer orders made over a period of 14 days in April.