Debunk Social Media Retail and Sales

post10aSince joining RadioShack 1 year ago today, I’ve been fortunate to work with amazing and hard-working talent that truly embodies the American spirit. As a Social Media practice, we’ve had some great success over the past year and modestly beginning to see our efforts bare fruit. Which leads me to some fundamental success metrics that I’ve championed since joining here at RadioShack.

When I was at an agency and then a brand like Samsung Mobile, I didn’t have the luxury of being able to directly attribute some basic e-commerce success metrics in order to tell the sales effectiveness of Social Media. I had some formulas and was able to proxy sales results, but I wasn’t convinced it was telling the exact story. I was reserved to what the client told me as the final results or reporting of brand metrics and market-share big sky numbers.

Within our Social Media Practice at RadioShack we began setting up a weekly reporting cadence where we looked at always-on metrics such as our Social Channel Health metrics around growth, engagement, click-thru’s, SOV, sentiment, etc. However, what we have been working hard on is understanding how Social Media directly impacts the unicorn of driving direct traffic and sales.

Granted, Social Media at it’s core is not a push, push, sell, sell. It is a long term meaningful relationship that you build with your fans, advocates, and customers. However, those fans and customers follow us because they have either purchased something from us in-store, online or will do so. Therefore, at appropriate times we’ve tested being able to provide offers and discounts that directly help us attribute sales and traffic for our Social Media efforts. So we are driving to make Social Media a money maker and not a money spender.

Make Social Media a money maker and not a money spender.

According to a recent study by Monetate, social is far behind in traditional website traffic vs. conversion numbers, I think it’s the wrong angle to view success.

Traffic Source Data Q4 2012


Conversion Rate Data Q4 2012


I saw it as the wrong angle because the above charts showcases social through the lens of traditional e-commerce where social media success is scored based on source of traffic vs action from that source of traffic. I challenge why do we need to drive directly to a website when the reward of an offer, discount, or meaningful product is available within the source itself?

In other words traffic should be driven directly to  a social media platform source. We see the conversion rates increasing to nearly 1% in Q4 2012.

A Social Offer You Cannot Refuse


We tested this approach by leveraging an ad product from Facebook called Facebook Offers. By having the offer available around the correct context for our fans, the offers were seen as rewards and therefore we saw an enormous success in claims of the offer, in-store redemption  and more importantly the average ticket price significantly increased because we had created that relationship with the social fan and the right moment arrived to shop with us.

This is just one tactic that we’ve seen great success with over the course of the past few months that I wanted to share in order to begin to crack the myth that Social Media + Retail + Sales attribution is hard to demonstrate.

Let’s break it down:

  1. Focus on Relationships to Earn the Trust

Over the course of the past year we focused on growing our social fan base and building relationships with our fans by daily listening, engaging, and monitoring needs that we saw based on their feedback of store experience, products purchased, service inquires, etc. Our fans knew that when they engaged with us we were listening.

  1. Focus on Content to Build Long Term Attention

During a span of a few months as a brand we overhauled our content that was shared on our Facebook timeline. We were very strategic in the content that was posted to find a right balance between what is needed by the business, culturally relevant moments that fans could rally behind and some fun content that was easy to engage with. Majority of our content was planned well ahead of posting to ensure it was posted at the right day and right time for maximum visibility. It sounds like Social Media 101, but honestly I’m always surprised at how many companies both large and small still don’t plan their content out in this way.

  1. Find the Right Offer

The question in the beginning was; “what kind of offer should we provide that would resonate”? We studied previous offers that we shared within digital and in other marketing channels and we tested a few options and saw our $10 off $40 as a great long term reward for our fans. The sales ticket value was large enough to allow them to truly experience the large assortment of products that RadioShack provides. We continue to look at our performance data to understand the duration of the offer and at what points in time should the offer be available.

  1. Reward Fans with a Reason To Shop

We saw a significant increase in the average ticket sale due to the fact that when the moment came to ask our fans to come into our stores and shop with us, it was a moment of reward. The offer was exclusive to our Facebook fans. You needed to be our fan and you received an exclusive code only for you. We wanted to give a special gift not only to our fans but being a friend of RadioShack. Real friends invest more in a relationship.

Real friends invest more in a relationship.

All in all is that this process continues to be a learning experience for us and  each brand will need to understand their customer and shopping behaviors not only traditionally but via social before fully going all-in. The end result is that we are beginning to debunk the fact that Social Media not only is it an immense opportunity to build long lasting relationship and engagement with your customers and fans, but it is a money maker.

Is there a social media sales success story that you have?

Leave A Comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that. Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.