According to Ogilvy’s recent study,Ogilvy ChatThreads Social Media Sales Impact Study 2011, social media does indeed have a strong impact on sales as well as brand perception.
Integrated social media (social content + one or more channels) exposure is linked with significant increases in spend and consumption. For example, social media + PR exposure was associated with a 17% spend increase compared to the prior time period without these.
- Those exposed to social media + PR increased their spending by 17% over the previous time period.
- Those exposed to social media + TV were twice as likely to buy.
- Those exposed to social media were 7 times more likely to spend more.
- Social media + OOH exposure was linked to 1.5X higher likelihood of increase in spend.
- Exposure to multiple channels was most often associated with sales impact.
- Integration matters. Exposure to social content was most consistently effective when it was combined with exposure to other types of media channels.
Are you surprised by the results of the study? It was what we expected to see. Social media is no different than any other channel of communication. Social media works best when combined with other channels of communication. The two take aways for this study is that it validates what marketers know: 1) you need an integrated marketing strategy and 2) social media has a measurable impact on sales.