Can Twitter really improve sales?

Recently, I was sitting in a meeting discussing a client's new website when they said: "We really don't want a Twitter account, they are time consuming to keep updated and no-one really interacts with us."

I am a figures person. I love research, percentages, statistics’

Recently, I was sitting in a meeting discussing a client’s new website when they said: “We really don’t want a Twitter account, they are time consuming to keep updated and no-one really interacts with us.”

To which we responded: “You need to be on Twitter, we highly recommend it – ignore it at your peril!”

We talked about brand building, promoting special offers, PR crisis management, customer service, but what they wanted was cold, hard hitting sales facts!

The client then asked: “Can you send me a business case to prove that having a Twitter feed will help increase our sales?”

I was then determined to find out the real ROI of Twitter; can a Twitter feed really improve sales? I needed to prove to them that it wasn’t just a news medium; it can really connect to their customers and can ultimately generate sales for their brand.

I began my fact finding mission at Marketing Week Live last month, where the first speaker at the event was Dara Nasr, Head of Agency Sales at Twitter. I thought, he must have a stat or two for me – he certainly had some amusing anecdotes!

My personal favourites, which you have no doubt seen included:

Labour Press team @LabourPress: Send out a search party – @LibDemPress haven’t tweeted since July 13th.

LibDem Press Team @LibDemPress: Sorry, we’ve been busy running the country. #Coalicious

Labour Press Team @LabourPress: yes, that’s going well. Keep up the good work!

And David Whitehouse @d_whitehouse: Lance Armstrong should be applauded for being able to ride a bike so well on drugs. I tried it once. Hit a dog and fell into a canal. 10,496 RETWEETS!!

Following the seminar I was convinced of all the benefits Twitter has to offer; with its fast response to PR crisis management, brand building, promotional benefits and facilitating the ever deepening connection between brands and their consumers. 10 million people use Twitter! Did you know that?! I was however, still craving hard facts’.

I then stumbled upon an article in Marketing Magazine, which satisfied my fact and figure hunger.

A recent study by the Internet Advertising Bureau into FMCG brands shows for every £1 spent on social media, a potential value of £3.34 can be generated!

Furthermore, research carried out on consumers discovered four out of five would be more inclined to buy a brand after being exposed to social media presence, and, a whopping 83% of consumers exposed to social media said they would trial a brand’s product!

The stats for Heinz revealed that over an eight-week period there had been a 22% uplift in sentiment, when consumers were exposed to the brand’s social media presence.

Not only is Twitter the best way to connect customers with the products they love, it has a proven, positive impact on sales generation.

Sources: Marketing Week Live (2013), Marketing Magazine.

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