Use Social Media Optimization to Understand Your Customer & Get Sales

Social media optimization is a known business necessity. Owners understand that for their venture to withstand the competition and survive, they need exposure. They need to be on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. They need to update fan pages, upload photos, and interact with their audience. After all, 3.48+ billion Internet users use social networks, according to Global Digital 2019 reports. Indeed no online marketing strategy is ever complete without it. But at the end of the day, its sales—not likes, retweets, or repins—that keep the business going. So the question now is…

“Do businesses actually get sales from social media?”

social media optimization
Photographer: Sara Kurfeß | Source: Unsplash

Social Media Optimization: Vast Network of Networks

Despite doubts clouding social’s power to keep the cash register ringing, business still believes in conducting marketing via social networks. In fact, 83% of marketers surveyed by Social Media Examiner consider social media as important for their business. The same source found that 59% of marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more each week.

As for which site is considered most critical to a business, 61% of marketers use Facebook. This in 2019 is down from 67% in 2018 according to the findings of Social Examiner.

Apart from Facebook, used by 94% of B2C marketers, Instagram is used by 73% and Twitter is used by 59%. Closely follows is LinkedIn which is used by 58%. Then, there’s YouTube at 54%, Pinterest at 28%, Messenger Bots at 14% and Snapchat at 6%.

For B2B Marketers Facebook again dominates at 91% with LinkedIn following at 80%. Then there is Twitter at 67%, Instagram at 66%, YouTube at 54%, Pinterest at 24%, Messenger Bots 15% and SnapChat 4%.

Social Media Ads

The ad platform most used by marketers is Facebook at 72%. This is followed by Instagram at 38%, LinkedIn at 14%, YouTube at 12%, Facebook Messenger 4% and Snapchat at 2%

So, Do Social Users Actually Buy?

Some 43% of social users actually do buy. The purchases happened after conducting some form of social action on the item, like sharing and favoriting, says global research provider Vision Critical. Broken down by site, Facebook appears to be the best platform to drive sales as 38% of its users have purchased an item after liking and sharing it. Pinterest ranks second with 29% of users saying they have purchased an item. Twitter was third with 22%. Social sites drive both online and offline sales, it was found.

What do they buy? Recent social-inspired purchases by users fall mostly under technology and electronics, with the category accounting for 34% of sales driven by Twitter and 25% by Facebook. As for Pinterest, 50% of millennials use Pinterest every month and 47% purchase something they interact with. Ad revenue in Pinterest alone is projected to surpass $1 billion by 2020.

Which type of retail store or site did they buy from? Facebook users mostly purchased from a discount retailer (43%) and supermarket (18%). Discount retailer also ranked first for Twitter (31%) and Pinterest (26%). Twitter users also bought from a department store (31%). Pinterest users purchased from a specialty retailer (21%).

The Social Buyer: Dissected & Analyzed

The social buyer exists and is mostly (51%) between the age of 18 and 34. The 35-54 age group represents 34% of social purchasers while the 55+ age group accounts for the remaining 15% or so. Divided by sex, 56% are male and 44% are female.

Introduce mobile in your social media optimization and the demographics change. The ratio between males and females further favors males, 69:31. The 18-34 age group grows to 68% of the total number of social purchasers using mobile. Facebook (43%) and Pinterest (38%) purchases are mostly not mobile but 35% of Twitter-driven purchases are purely mobile.

So what’s inside the mind of a social buyer? A whopping 70% of Twitter user-purchasers said they were “vaguely” thinking about purchasing the product at the time they bought it. Facebook (60%) and Pinterest (49%) users had the same mindset when they bought a product, adds Vision Critical. The difference surfaces in buyers who “had not thought about purchasing this product” when they bought it. Only 9% of Twitter user-purchasers fall under this group while the figure is 16% for Facebook. Pinterest appears to be the best site for unplanned purchases as 29% of their social buyers weren’t even thinking about buying such items when purchased it.

How to Appeal to Your Social Buyer

Use a Specific Network’s Purchasing Influence – Auto posting the same exact stuff on all your social accounts is not the best way to approach social media. If you want to get social-inspired sales, not all social networks are the same. You must understand how a particular network or social website influences a customer’s purchase decision. For example, 43% of Pinterest purchasers said they were influenced by the “additional information on the product,” according to Vision Critical. This means Pinterest is a great choice when providing product details, reviews, and recommendations, different models, etc.

For identifying where prospects can purchase the product, 38% of buyers used Twitter. When alerting to a sale or deal, 37% credited Facebook and 32% Twitter. Some 32% got reminders to purchase through Twitter. But when it comes to providing a coupon code, the battle is tight among Facebook (18%), Pinterest (14%), and Twitter (18%). Product discovery contests are also close: Facebook (31%), Pinterest (35%), and Twitter (35%).

Social Media Users Fall in 3 Categories

According to Vision Critical social media users fall into 3 categories. Lurkers are those that post on social networks once a week or less, Dabblers are those who post 2-4 times a week and Enthusiasts are those that post 5 x a week or more. What is revealing is that each group differs in what they buy. Furthermore what is expressed by the Enthusiasts doesn’t necessarily reflect the buying decisions of the other groups. The take away is that in order to most effective in your advertising one really needs to understand one’s customer.

Network Where Your Targets Are

– Leading data firm Statista estimates 79.5% of Pinterest users are female. According to Pinterest, the most popular Pinterest categories are as follows: food & drink; accessories watches and jewelry; and beauty products. Go to LinkedIn and you’ll find a healthy balance of professionals from both sexes.

The idea is to analyze which site best suits your target market’s profile and then start your social media optimization campaign in that network. This strategy not only gives your marketing direction some focus, but it also maximizes your resources.

Get Started in Focused Social Media Today

You can use social media optimization not just to get a legion of followers, but also to generate sales. That’s already proven. The best approach right now is to get started—if you haven’t already—and give it focus to ensure you influence social buyers to purchase your products and avail of your services.

For more information visit to learn how you may attract social purchasers and generate more sales from social networks today.

About Les

As a principle of, a full service internet marketing agency, we assist business professionals and companies of all sizes use search engine optimization and social media marketing to boost their online visibility, attract new customers and increase their bottom line.

With The Right Message Move The World