Amidst all the hubbub about social media being the cures to all business ills there are some numbers that paint the medium as less of a silver bullet and more like one with a lot of potential and a lot of room to grow.
ForeSee Results has conducted a survey of 10,000 online shoppers. The report is titled “Social Media Marketing: Do Retail Results Justify Investment?”. Although it is not advisable to draw broad stroke conclusions from any one piece of research, the findings here are interesting in that the more traditional online marketing and customer acquisition methods of e-mail and search had more impact on site visits (along with real old fashioned brand recognition).
The next chart shows the power of social media as an influencer. Search comes out as the mass acquisition leader but with lower conversion rates as compared to social media.
This points to why there is a desire on the part of businesses to get more people engaged in social media because they simply convert better. Think of social media as the long tail of Internet marketing and promotion in a study like this with less volume but more qualified leads. Also of note is the higher satisfaction numbers on those folks using social media.
Do you agree or disagree with the findings here? Have you seen social outperform search and e-mail or is it all part of an Internet marketing mosaic that needs to work together to be truly effective?