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State of the Media: The Social Media Report

Looking Back at 2012: The “State of the Media: The Social Media Report 2012” was jointly released by Nielsen and NM Incite, in December 2012 and breaks down new data on how social media is impacting consumer behavior, advertising, marketing, social TV, mobile, social care and more...

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Comment by Ralph Paglia on March 2, 2013 at 1:21pm

Good commentary and discussion... Attribution models of ALL TYPES have built in points of failure, redundancies and inconsistencies. One of the comments below points out the primary reason social media is not credited with enough purchase activity, perhaps rightly or wrongly depending on what you are trying to sell. If my daughter tweets that she is in the market for a car, and i respond to her tweets with my own recommending a dealer located close to her. She will go to the dealer's website and pick a car. When she buys that car, the dealer's website is credited with the sale attribution. When she is surveyed, she will respond that "Friends and Family" was her source of greatest influence. Neither of which credits Twitter with any attribution.

Comment by Alexander Lau on February 22, 2013 at 8:01am

Thanks Paul! I would imagine so, in terms of the digital download world, there are out-of-the-box tools that can pretty much track and calculate ROI exactly.

Ha, I just didn't want anyone to think I was that Alexander. :-)

Comment by P Chesher on February 22, 2013 at 7:35am

Some good pointsAlexander. I totally agree about Automotive being difficult to measure. I was in the Online Dating and Yellow Pages world for a few years - way easier to track and measure real ROI.


BTW, I didn't realize when I put in the @ it linked to Twitter.. Sorry about that.

Comment by Alexander Lau on February 22, 2013 at 7:14am

There are also technical reasons why social media may be undercounted including:

  • Social media may not be tracked from mobile and desktop apps and would show as “direct visits”
  • Users of social media will not necessarily click on the links within social media, but will search or to direct to the sites when interested in purchase
  • For a large brand a significant proportion of search traffic will be brand terms showing there is already existing awareness and preference for a brand. This may have been generated through social media and can also increase conversion rates.
  • Returning visitors with multiple visits, some of which may be referred by social media may not be tracked since cookies are deleted, the cookie tracking window is limited or they have visited on multiple devices.
Comment by Alexander Lau on February 22, 2013 at 7:12am


Yes, I agree there are many other factors and it's a very messy equation, just throwing that out there, that the article did not take that into consideration. Regardless of the tracking method they use, this has been heavily studied and those that crunch numbers are larger companies are still going to take that data into consideration.

The entire point of Forrester's research, social isn't driving sales. Direct visits, organic search, PPC, E-mail marketing, etc. are pushing it. Granted, the entire E-commerce approach is much different in the automotive retail industry and much more difficult to measure than a digital download (simple). Very few people go to a dealer website and actually purchase online. They look, detail their potential purchase and then come in to the dealership, so you're right, it's hard to quantify unless you have a decent CRM in place with contributing, cooperative sales people (indicating which marketing method brough the customer into the dealership for purchase).

BTW, you're linkback to my name was someone else. 

Comment by P Chesher on February 22, 2013 at 7:03am

@Alexander, in regards to your links. (Converting at less than 1%).

After reading these articles, I would suggest that this "study" is pretty much wrong. These guys are using "clickstream" data for these stats (meaning using cookies to track where a user was directly before making a purchase) - This is a problem because they do not look at the proper amount of data to really measure social media influence on purchasing.  For example, If @ralphpaglia told me his mobile phone was the best purchase he ever made and shared a pic on Twitter - I may decide to check it out and buy it for myself. However, I would (more than likely) visit Google, search for the phone and then visit the site where I would make the purchase. According to clickstream data, Google would have been the driving site behind my purchase, when in fact it was Twitter.  

Furthermore, I would suggest that these "researchers" needed to add a new metric to measure how the brands included in the study used social networking sites. Are they posting about a product, but not properly linking; are they ensuring that it is easy for their customers to make the leap directly from a social site to the business' product areas, etc. 

All in all, it's messy data and their findings are somewhat skewed to say the least. Just my two cents..

Comment by Alexander Lau on February 22, 2013 at 5:55am
Comment by Alexander Lau on February 22, 2013 at 5:37am

I should have included this piece of information in my post: Social Media ROI: 14 Formulas to Measure Social Media Benefits.

Comment by Alexander Lau on February 22, 2013 at 5:33am

I guess they skipped the part on Social Media converting at a clip of 1%. Although, I see their little form for their own lead purposes and sorting the pages pop-ups occur for sharing (yuck). I did find the toilet % data amusing.

  • Social tactics are not meaningful sales drivers. Forty-eight percent of consumers reported that social media posts are a great way to discover new products, brands, trends, or retailers, but less than 1% of transactions could be traced back to trackable social links.

  • "Social tactics are not meaningful sales drivers. While the hype around social networks as a driver of influence in eCommerce continues to capture the attention of online executives, the truth is that social continues to struggle and registers as a barely negligible source of sales for either new or repeat buyers. In fact, fewer than 1% of transactions for both new and repeat shoppers could be traced back to trackable social links."

Comment by Ralph Paglia on February 22, 2013 at 12:23am

There is so much data, facts and infographic style charts in this presentation that i recommend you click on the "Four Arrows" icon in the lower right of the player to go full screen... The larger view makes it a lot easier to read the numbers and descriptions of data presented.

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