Twitter accounted for exactly 0.00% of Black Friday traffic

Twitter accounted for ZERO percent of Black Friday sales

Yeah, seriously. That’s a real stat. From IBM, no less.

Now, clearly, something’s gone wrong with IBM’s system (reminds us of a laptop we once had) – there’s absolutely no way in the world that Twitter didn’t generate a single sales conversion on the biggest US shopping day of the year. But it does raise a very important point:

Twitter is not a direct sales channel.

Nor is Facebook, or Pinterest, or LinkedIn, or Google Plus, or Myspace, or Friends Reunited, or Orkut, or Friendster or ICQ or… you get the idea.

You don’t just post a product to a social network and expect anyone to buy. You post to a social network and expect people to share. And, if you give people good enough reasons to do that sharing, people will buy. But what do you need to ensure that a) the sharing happens and b) that all this sharing actually leads to real sales and cold, hard ROI?

Incentives, challenges and goals.

Take our flagship product, the Price Drop Co-Buy. When a brand launches a Co-buy on their Facebook Page or website, they’re incentivising their customers to share because the more people who join the Co-buy, the better the eventual price for everyone who takes part. They’re challenging their customers because the person who brings in the most friends gets their product for free. And they’re setting a goal for their customers because the Co-buy will close when it either times out or sells out.

Everything’s carefully designed and interwoven with gamification to stimulate as much sharing and transactions as possible – all in a highly controlled, tactical environment.

That’s better than just tweeting: ‘We’ve got some deckchairs for sale. Who fancies a quick bit of rearranging?” isn’t it?

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