Quit Twitter & Improve your Marketing ROI

For the past two years I have been conducting some extensive testing with a number of my clients in various fields – software, consulting services, academics, non-profits, entertainment, and self improvement – and here’s what I came up with at the end of the study. I’m interested in one metric – conversion to sales.


Conversion to Sales

Website: 29.5% of sales
Facebook: 4% of sales
Twitter: 1.5% of sales
Print: 2% of sales
Book: 9% of sales
E-book: 7% of sales
Email newsletter and blog combined: 42% of sales
Seminars: 5%

The old rules of online marketing beat social media by a mile, period.

See you later, FB and Twitter… 

6 Replies to “Quit Twitter & Improve your Marketing ROI”

  1. Hi Christian,
    Interesting numbers.. I’m probably as skeptical as you are when it comes to Social Media and it’s purpose for direct sales..
    Nevertheless I have to doubt your numbers as well.. I think it is very clear that the Customer’s decision journey is a messy one. One that can take any route alongside any channel at any point in time. One thing is for sure: it’s the combination of experiences in all these channels and touch points in the Customer’s journey that will eventually lead to a decision.. And yes, the final station does have high impact..
    At this point in time it is probably the sales agent (personal sales, either at POS/phone etc; not part of your list btw) followed by the web that are most successful in the end-play.. but that doesn’t mean the other channels did not play a (very important) role..
    Maybe you can extend your research into understanding at what stage of the decision journey which channel is the most dominant/decisive..
    Let me know what you think.

  2. You’re missing a massive piece of information here, which renders your entire little experiment obsolete.
    Twitter and Facebook are both fundamental parts in: branding, link building, and SEO.
    By stopping to use twitter and Facebook the ROI of your website will begin to drop. By ignoring the 2% slice you’re putting the biggest piece at risk. Not exactly the greatest marketing plan.

  3. As a counterpoint to your data, let me share about my Team Gorilla website. In terms of ad revenue from site traffic the community I’ve established on Facebook is the top referrer that brings traffic to the site, substantially higher than the other referring links in the top ten, and, insofar as I’m able to track it, apparel sales of Team Gorilla clothing is driven primarily by Facebook links, both my own, and the ones posted by fans on their own walls.
    On the other hand, I’m with you on Twitter, little if any conversion to either apparel sales or site traffic.

  4. Thank you. I have never ran into an instance of twitter converting to a sale. I may have to do it for business but I decided I was not going to spend much of my time tweeting.
    The only question I have is whether or not it is effective as brand advertising.

  5. Hi Christian, very interested on knowing how you got to that conclusion. We’re actually re-thinking our approach toward marketing in social networks and we also have data arguing that blogs are the most efficient way to capture people (and convert that capturing into money). Still, twitter users are the population with more education and twitter is being used more and more for quick data learning: facts, quotes, traffic status, etc. Do you believe said learning mode may be used favorably in sales conversions?

  6. Javier, the single biggest reason why advertising companies and PR companies use social media is because the results supposedly cannot be measured. Unaccountability like this, in the age of analytics, is simply irresponsible.
    I’m not saying that social media is useless. What I’m saying is that if you have limited funds, spend it on what works the best. And well developed, sustainable, thought-leadership campaigns, in my experience, always work better than the industry’s in-your-face, flashy super-bowl, adrenalin-driven, cool ads.
    Everything can and should be measured. What I was measuring is engagement traffic which results in actual sales. The result was not a shock to me, but it does tell us something about old-fashioned online marketing: a good email, blog, and website will do the job far more effectively than FB and Twitter.
    Here’s an interesting article:
    (the value is in the comments section)

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