What's New With Media

Emerging media effects on integrated marketing communication

Social Sales vs Selling Social



A recent study published at Social Times highlights the surprising fact that Millennials are not shopping on social media. The study looks at why users access various social media channels, which is not for shopping, but rather to be social with friends and family, keep up with the news, and to follow celebrities. The most interesting statistics state:

  • 99% of respondents indicated that they had never made a purchase on Snapchat.
  • 94% of Pinterest users have never made a purchase via Pinterest.
  • 91% of Instagram users have never purchased from Instagram.
  • 60% of respondents skipped ads if given the choice.


As depressiiphone-1451614_1280ng as all of this may sound, the good news is that it doesn’t mean that Millennials aren’t engaging with brands on social media – they just want more from them sales pitches. Millennial shoppers look for brand authenticity, loyalty programs and discounts via social media.

They also take to social channels to conduct research before making a purchasing decision. According to the study, “40% of global consumers ages 16 to 24 use social media to research products. And 30% of the general population uses these platforms for product research before they buy,” and they are doing this overwhelming from their smartphones (89%).


So as a marketer, don’t throw out your social media efforts, just adjust them to focus on building a lasting relationship with your target audience. Social media is called social for a reason. Take advantage of the medium’s strengths by getting to know your consumer. You may not have immediate sales conversions, but your patience will be rewarded with long term conversions over time.




2 thoughts on “Social Sales vs Selling Social

  1. Thanks for sharing this interesting information. Research suggests that while these social platforms are not ideal for making purchases, they are great for referrals. One article suggests that “when it comes to things like conversion rates, referral traffic, social signals, and lead generation, social media knocks it out of the park,” and Facebook is the leader in that arena.

    Have you ever made a purchase from one of the social platforms you mentioned? Why/why not?


  2. Interesting news for those involved in e-commerce! I truly believe that to create competitive advantage one has to really develop a robust SEO in accordance to what the competition is doing. As you mention, Millennial shoppers (and younger) are increasingly researching the products that they will purchase before they buy, so a way to tackle this is to properly word what your product is about and create pricing methods that psychologically attract consumers, such as: market penetration or economy pricing, free shipping, and using the number 9 instead of 4 at the end. Some of these are mentioned in this article:


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