Study Reveals Where Top Retailers Source Traffic

Scott Lambert

A new study looking at the online social activity of 900 top-rated retail companies over 2013 has found that Facebook is their number one choice for paid advertising. Attracting more than twice as many investors as runner-up YouTube, Facebook emerged as the platform that 58% of these companies think has the most potential to drive sales. It also appears to be the most popular social media option for users trying to find out about new products.

Despite this, it is Pinterest that is most likely to have its button incorporated into these companies’ websites in an attempt to get recommendations. Pinterest also comes just 2% behind Facebook as the social media marketing platform of choice for sharing products, with Twitter following closely behind.

It is possible that the pattern will look different in a few months, as Facebook's plans to change the way the news feed works (again) has some marketers worried. As this will decrease the organic visibility of posts made by businesses, it may decrease the visibility of Facebook as a marketing tool. Those who want to make an impression there will have to pay for it, and some will inevitably choose to focus on other platforms instead. Pinterest is still underused in terms of its marketing potential, and its distinctive angle as America’s favorite picture sharing network makes it particularly useful for visually-appealing products.

Meanwhile, the rise in popularity of online video means that YouTube is going strong and may well increase its market share over the coming year. Facebook, characteristically, has responded by making it easier to embed YouTube videos in its own spaces, as have Google+ and Twitter. Other interactions between the big social media players, such as Google and Microsoft’s joint involvement in challenging NSA snooping, suggest that 2014 is going to be notable for the way that companies collaborate rather than the way they compete. This could be good news for marketers, who will have a richer tool set, and for consumers, who will no longer have to make as many compromises.

The popularity of Facebook for researching new products illustrates the importance most people attach to personal recommendations in this situation, with the particular context of conversation giving it the edge over indicators such as repins or retweets. It is the race to find the perfect model for combining conversation that is likely to define this year’s figures.

Scott Lambert

Written by Scott Lambert

For 35 years, Scott has been at the forefront of digital transformation and how it is effectively applied in businesses and organizations to market, sell, and support customers and members more successfully and cost effectively. Scott is President and Co-Founder of Xcellimark, an award-winning digital marketing agency serving clients throughout the U.S., Canada, Central America, and Germany. Xcellimark helps businesses succeed through the implementation of its unique digital marketing and sales approach specifically designed to meet their specific goals and objectives. Scott’s marketing, sales, and operations experience have included key management positions at industry leaders including AT&T, iXL (now SapientRazorfish), eSchool Solutions (now TalentED), and BellSouth, where he led the product development, marketing efforts, and market launch of, the second public ISP developed in the U.S. Scott is the author of articles highlighted on leading online publishers such as LinkedIn, Business 2 Community, and he was recently featured by LinkedIn in the Entrepreneur magazine article on “No Time for Marketing? Hire a Freelancer.” His engaging personality and wealth of real-world and business experience make Scott a frequently requested speaker. Some of his engagements include being the featured speaker in a series of Orlando Business Journal seminars on Digital Marketing, speaking at the WSI London conference, and at international conferences in Belize. Scott has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s of Science in the Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Scott has been active in global mission efforts and is a board member of Global Teams, a Christian outreach organization. He lives in Winter Springs, FL with his wife Nancy and dog Sadie.

Topics: Social Media

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