I guess I didn't make one of my points clear enough and that's my fault. When I brought up the issue of tracking, I wasn't trying to say it was non-existant, but rather inadequately implemented, not being able to properly handle knowing when a sale came from facebook or twitter, versus a PPC or other on-line ad campaign, which would be easier to track.
However, when you say that "at least that's what they say" was sarcastic, there is no way of telling that from the printed (or in this case typed) words on the page, we can't "hear" the sarcasm in your voice as we would be able to in person.
Also, the article didn't appear (at least to me) to clear up this misconception, as this article does
"The definitive guide to social marketing" http://pages2.marketo.com/dg2-social-marketing.html?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRolvK7Pe%2B%2FhmjTEU5z16OQrUaK1lMI%2F0ER3fOvrPUfGjI4DRcRkM6%2BNFAAgAZVnyRQFF%2BGHd4VU9fcP
Which clears up 3 false myths of social marketing, one of which is;
"Social channels are only relevant to marketers, not sales"
I think there is a lot of confusion going on in the comments about this article, and I agree that the premise of the article is flawed - here's why.
First, to say that only "2% of sales is coming from social media", does not really tell the whole point, and yet that seems to be the only supportive evidence behind the "at least that's what people say". Well, "people" say a lot of things, I would like to hear facts and figures, and not just numbers either, but what do those numbers mean?
In other words, saying that only 2% of sales comes from social media is really insignificant without other factors being considered, such as
- How much of a a budget does social media receive compared to other marketing avenues?
- Tracking! In other words, is the social media channel being properly monitired? You can use Google Analytics or many other marketing tracking tools to determine how many visitors are unique, or how often repeat visitors come back, how long they stay on your site, and any number of other things, in fact, the amount of things you can track is only limited by how much you can dream up to track (within reasonable parameters of course, tracking cookies can only go so far, and not cross outside of domains not owned by the site that created the tracking cookie)
One big confusion that I see in this commenting thread, in regards to the whole social media and sales issue is whether or not the social media channel is actually handling the transaction - taking the Credit Card info, asking the customer how many and which products they are buying. These all take place at the Ecommerce level, so what does it actually mean that 2% of sales are coming from social media?
One last comment I would like to make is that social media is not just a tool to raise brand awareness and customer service, just look at Amazon, more specifically Amazon Associates, where they actually pay a finders fee for people to post a review on their blog of products sold on their site(s). You might say that is raising brand/product awareness, but the act of placing a link on a blog, or even an email message, with the proper Associate tracking ID is leading *directly* to the sale of the product.