How Word-Of-Mouth On Facebook Can Boost Sales 433%

Almost everyone in marketing believes in the power of word-of-mouth marketing. But are you adequately harnessing Facebook’s sharing potential to increase your corporate revenues?

I interviewed Trevor Legwinski of Extole about a couple of its case studies demonstrating the effect sharing can have on your bottom line.

Extole offers a social marketing platform that leads to an average three to five times higher conversion rate compared to traditional online marketing channels, such as banner ads, email and paid search.

The customers acquired through customer referrals are more qualified and have a two to three times higher average order value and lifetime value than traditional channels.

“Additionally,” said Legwinski, “we are seeing that the referrals consumers post to Facebook and Twitter are helping brands increase their social search engine optimization.” These results underline the power of social referrals.

Extole’s reporting allows brands to tie true ROI to social media which has been very hard to do in the past. Said Legwinski, “We are able to tell brands which customers are their top influencers, and what channels (email, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, personal URL are driving the highest revenue per customer. The ultimate goal will be to empower brands to launch campaigns and promotions leveraging their advocates.”

Facebook Sharing Case Studies

Here are two case studies from Extole’s experience with leveraging Facebook shares to boost sales.

Folica Hair Care: 433 Percent Increase In Conversion Rate

  • Identified 6,000 advocates;
  • Each of those advocates has shared with an average of three friends;
  • Generated 20,500 social signals via email, Facebook and Twitter;
  • In just 30 days, Folica saw a 433 percent increase in conversion rate compared to the industry average.
  • Emails sent from the campaign generated an 93 percent open rate and 27 percent clickthrough rate.

J.Hilburn Custom Tailored Menswear: 600 New Sales

  • Over 1,000 brand advocates were identified;
  • Each advocated shared with an average of 12 friends;
  • The campaign generated more than 10,000+ social shares via Facebook, Twitter and Email;
  • Customer referrals drove more than 600 new transactions.

Takeaways

Regardless of whether you use Extole, or program your own sharing mechanism via Facebook’s programming interface, or do the entire thing manually, here are the lessons you can apply to your business.

  • Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective marketing channels for brands.
  • By encouraging consumers to become advocates, brands can increase awareness organically.
  • Don’t skip a step: Brands need to leverage their traditional owned media channels such as their website and email lists to drive successful social referral programs.
  • Tie back to return on investment. Make sure to have robust analytics in place to understand the relationship between social media and the purchasing power of consumers.

Brian Carter is author of the new book The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money With Facebook, and co-author of Facebook Marketing: Leveraging Facebook’s Features For Your Marketing Campaigns.

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