Vision Critical’s recently published “From Social to Sale,” about how social media activity — particularly Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest — can drive transactions. (For a detailed discussion of this, see my earlier post “How Social Media Moves Consumers from ‘Sharing’ to ‘Purchase’” LINK.)
In an effort to drive discussion and real information in this critical area of research, the company has created a sample template to help companies conduct their own research — and to compare and contrast what they discover to Vision Critical’s findings.
Co-author and Vice-President of Social Media Alexandra Samuel says the product category and the demographics of your audience will make the results vary tremendously. “There are really interesting and very specific kinds of stories you can get from your own customers.” She suggests that the questions should be posed about ‘the most recent purchase’ as the respondents “will have a good recollection and they are not trying to generalize across ungeneralizable experiences.”
Samuel says they are seeing differences in how long a user has been on a particular social platform. “One of the things that is really useful when you are interviewing people about a social platform is to know how long they’ve been on it. Because the purchasing patterns of people who have been on Pinterest a short period of time, for example, “are quite different than those who have used it for a long period of time.”
And research can go stale quickly and usage patterns can change quickly. “If your product is skewed young or if it has a high frequency of purchasing, like the recording industry, I would look seriously doing a study every quarter,” she says. “For example, look at the relaunch of MySpace. That is a huge deal for this industry. So the reason you want to have a study in play every quarter is that when something like that comes along you already have a plan to field something and get answers pretty quick about how it is coming on stream.”
“I love looking at social media data from a year ago, it is really interesting, but it is like reading history books, “ Samuel added.