New Study Ties Tweets to Offline Sales

Offline Purchase

In 2013, the primary goals of social media marketing have shifted from a strict sales-based focus to more abstract (but equally important) measures such as consumer engagement and brand lift. That doesn’t mean sales are irrelevant, though. A new study from Twitter and Datalogix looks at the impact that tweets — both promoted and organic — have on offline sales. Why the focus offline sales? Online sales may be the wave of the future, but as the study points out, a staggering 94% of retail activity still happens at physical stores rather than on the Internet.

The study looked at the impact of promoted and organic tweets for 35 separate CPG brands.

Finding: promoted tweets boost offline sales

According to the study, users who engaged with a brand’s promoted tweets purchased more from that brand than a statistically identical control group that was not exposed to promoted tweets. There was a 12% sales lift among the group that engaged with promoted tweets.

Engagement isn’t necessarily required for results, though. Brands also experienced a 2% sales lift thanks to promoted tweets that users saw but did not engage with.


Finding: organic tweets also boost offline sales

The same study found that users exposed to a brand’s organic tweets bought more from that brand than those who did not have the organic tweets in their timeline. This resulted an 8% lift in sales for the brand.

It should also be noted that quantity had a significant impact here; the sales lift was three times greater for users who saw five or more organic tweets.


What can brands learn from this study’s findings? Twitter activity can affect in stores sales, and the best way to boost that momentum is by supporting Twitter activity with paid promotion and consistency.