March 23, 2015 Chad Richards

Social Media Impressions Are Generating More Sales Than You Think

social media impressions

Social media impressions often don’t get the respect they deserve in a world full of brands more exited by audience growth, engagement, and conversions. But this “lowly” metric is doing more for your brand than you think.

How Social Media Impressions Generate Sales

A friend recently tweeted a selfie of her holding a Starbucks coffee with the following caption: “There is just no iced coffee with sugar and cream that compares to @Starbucks.”

I had sworn off Starbucks in a resolution to be more frugal this year, but after a busy morning of spring cleaning, I was hot and sweaty and that iced coffee just looked so good. Ten minutes later, I was walking into my neighborhood Starbucks to grab myself an iced coffee with sugar and cream.

But not even Starbucks, with all of its social media savvy and corporate-sized budgets for sophisticated social media monitoring tools can track that sale to Twitter. They just can’t. And neither can you.


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I didn’t click a trackable link, claim an offer, download a coupon or use a promo code. I wasn’t motivated by a discount. I didn’t see one of Starbucks’ own photos think say “man, I gotta have that!”

I was triggered by a friend’s photo. It looked good and I wanted one—done.

Social media impressions matter because people are impressionable

We work with a lot of food and restaurant brands and when publishing photos of menu items or recipes, their audiences frequently respond with “Well, now I know what I’m having for dinner tonight!” Of course there are also those who didn’t comment that will still swing by for dinner.

If we don’t post a coupon or promo code, there’s little chance we can directly attribute that night’s dinner special sales to the Instagram post or tweet.

But we still frequently hear from clients that dinner special sales are up, despite not using any other methods to promote them other than what we’re posting on social media.


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Impressions are often looked at as an old-fashioned metric, a metric from days when traditional media was king. And that’s true to some extent—they’re not as concrete or telling as engagement or conversions metrics.

But impressions do still matter for the simple fact that human beings are—always have been, always will be—impressionable.

And until people are uploading their brains to the internet (and brands get access to that data) social media impressions will never get the proper credit they deserve for generating sales.

Do you need help increasing your brand visibility and sales on social media? Firebelly is here for you. Call us at 317-557-4460, email us at hello@firebellymarketing.com or fill out our contact form.

Chad Richards

VP, Social Media Services at Firebelly
Fun Fact: Chad was named "Most Influential Up & Comer" at the inaugural Social Media Summit. He's been with Firebelly since 2007.
Chad Richards

About the Author

Chad Richards Fun Fact: Chad was named "Most Influential Up & Comer" at the inaugural Social Media Summit. He's been with Firebelly since 2007.

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