Social Media’s Issue: Does It Drive Sales?

Web de Oscar de la Renta

NEW YORK — Call it the Facebook backlash.

By Rachel Strugatz of Women’s Wear Daily, recogida en el Boletín Electronico de la CEDE–Oscar de la Renta’s disappointing initial public offering has increased scrutiny throughout the social media space, including in the fashion world. Brands now are analyzing their social media efforts more than ever and asking a key question: What’s the return?

“The next 12 months are the make or break time for social media, but I do think the investments have been there. People have sizable communities and want to make them ROI [return on investment] positive. We will really see if the metrics prove one way or another,” said Maureen Mullen, New York University think tank Luxury Lab, or L2, director of research and advisory.

At this point, observers say, few brands, if any, are seeing significant sales result from their postings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other sites. Social media hasn’t been about driving transactions; it has been about building brand awareness and a “community” that will be devoted to a brand and, thus, buy it. Social media isn’t about sales today; it’s about driving sales in five, 10 or 15 years as the Internet-mad generation of twentysomethings matures.

Every leading company with a good to great social media presence is on the requisite platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube with e-commerce, a blog and elaborate editorial content on their own digital flagships. Burberry, Christian Dior, Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton all having fan bases on the platform that surpass 5 million. The more money brands pump in to their social media efforts, though, the greater the pressure for them to begin showing a return on the investment.

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