Current university study wants to prove success of social media: 5 percent more sales?

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A study from Aalto University, the University at Buffalo and Texas AundM University celebrates the scientific evidence that social media binds to the higher Company and leads to higher sales. Finally the breakthrough for social media marketing? Hardly likely!


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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Dull feeling or scientific proof?

In the case of social media, the ghosts are still divorced: for some, it is a time-consuming gimmick and a lot of hot air, for the others the marketing and communication tool of the future.

The press release, which I got this morning, did at least as if the last, for many social media enthusiasts only a dull feeling, can now be scientifically proven.

Data for the first time at people level?

So far there has been no data on the person level, which linked the activity of a customer on the pages of a company in the social media with the buying behavior of this customer.

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I do not doubt that such data have yet been collected - but perhaps I am only confused by the sheer unmanageable mass of social media studies.

Social Media brings 5% more sales?

"Now there is evidence that customers using social networks become one Company Keep in touch, generate more sales than other customers, ”was then Dr. Ashish Kumar, assistant professor of marketing at Aalto University quotes.

And further: “Our study showed that engagement in social media strengthens the bond between the customer and the company. Customers who use a company's social media sites spend 5,6% more money and visit the store about 5% more than other customers. ”

Breakthrough or tired smile?

Well, this is after all a great news, whole 5,6% sales increase! However, I'm not sure if this 5,6% will trigger any company that is currently not active in social media behind the stove.

Or whether the 5,6% would not make the skeptics smile tired after the motto: "We always knew ..."

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How were the data collected?

This study was published in a special edition on the topic of 'Social Media and Business Transformation' in the journal Information Systems Research and can be downloaded here - and only for a fee.

Unfortunately, there is no information about the data set of the study, ie the number of participants surveyed. It is not at all clear how the data was measured at all. But that would be necessary to be able to classify the meaningfulness of these numbers correctly BEFORE you buy the study.

Clicks or indirect success measurement?

For example, were the clicks counted? And perhaps the indirect commitment rate, that is, those who are informed themselves in social media, but then did not click the same, but rather buy something later, somehow raised?

Because in my opinion the measurability of such “stragglers”, which is difficult to measure, is the big problem in social media marketing, because it can only be recorded “emotionally” - and therefore social media is suspect for many marketing managers.

Further Information

After all, there are other contact information:

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The study was conducted by Ashish Kumar (Aalto University) in collaboration with Rishika Rishika and Ramkumar Janakiraman (Texas AundM University) and Ram Bezawada (University at Buffalo, New York).


Dr. Ashish Kumar, Assistant Professor of Marketing Aalto University, School of Business Tel. +358 50 4311813

Johanna Lassy Aalto University Communications Tel. + 358-50-590 7207

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