Joe Meloni

Market research firm comScore recently collaborated with Facebook and retailer Target to assess the value of social media marketing in driving sales. According to the study, consumers exposed to social content were more likely to convert than the average shopper, whether they were fans of the company on Facebook or not.

Target found 4 percent of its fans on Facebook made a purchase with the company within four weeks of exposure to social content. This figure represents a 0.7 percentage point increase from the 3.3 percent of the company’s broader fan base who went on to shop at Target.

Moreover, social marketing proved to build Target’s influence beyond its existing fan pool, as friends of fans demonstrated a marked increase in conversion following exposure to social content. According to comScore, 3 percent of the friends of Facebook fans who Like Target convert every four weeks with the company. However, when exposed to social content from the company, whether an ad or organic content, this figure rose to 3.8 percent, comScore found.

Sharing social media marketing content on Facebook has demonstrated value, and providing users with engaging blog posts, images or other content can drive interest and direct a consumer back to the company’s site.

As more companies integrate Facebook into their social marketing efforts, the network is working to develop more options for them. Brafton reported recently that Facebook is rumored to be developing a location-based mobile ad product, though marketers shouldn’t fail to invest in organic social posts as other data suggests 83 percent of users don’t click ads on the site.