A few weeks ago, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban commented that Facebook is a “time waster”.
He said that Facebook seems reluctant to recognize that its main purpose as an entity is to be a “huge time suck platform” saying we primarily use it to connect with friends and things we find fascinating.
Furthermore, Cuban thinks that Facebook is “over-thinking” the purpose of this whole social network.
He questions why the Facebook algorithm ranks some content higher, like a baby picture a former coworker who one may not be working with anymore has posted the other day.
Cuban says that if the Facebook news feed was unfiltered and “perfect” each and every post by each and every connection one has in the social network will get attention in the news feed of a particular person.
No content should be kept from entering the news feed and the account holder just needs to look for posts if he or she wanted to because everything gets a fair shot.
This is a result of Facebook actually favoring certain content to post on timelines of people. What it also means is that marketing efforts like that from advertisers are negatively affected.
This is why marketers and businesses need to buy “promoted posts” from Facebook if they want to reach more people.
However, is it really worth the marketer’s money and time to advertise through Facebook?
Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day in the history of the US with a spend of $1.465 billion, according to data from comScore.
That is an increase of 17 percent from Cyber Monday spending in 2011 which tallied $1.251 billion. There is more and more spending online on Cyber Monday than ever before.
Online sales also increased during Black Friday.
According to IBM, an onslaught of promos before the actual holiday boosted online sales by 17.4 percent in Thanksgiving 2012. Black Friday online sales was likewise boosted by 20.7 percent due to early promos.
As such, these days serve as great avenues to analyze if social media platforms like Facebook have worth in online shopping.
However, this data from IBM paints a bleak picture as to what social platforms contributed to this Cyber Monday success.
From that report comes this fact: people who bought items online and who came from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube were responsible for only 0.34 percent of the whole of online sales during Black Friday. That is a dive of over 35 percent compared to levels last year.
Another set of data from IBM, this time for Cyber Monday, says this: people coming from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube were responsible for only 0.41 percent of the whole of online sales during Cyber Monday. That is a cut of over 26 percent compared to levels in 2011.
So for Black Friday, sales referrals from social networks were just a little over a third of 1 percent of all sales. For Cyber Monday, sales referrals from social networks were less than half of 1 percent of all sales.
What is more, these figures are a steep decline from figures for 2011.
So, you might say that this can also be explained by the inability of advertisers to leverage the tools social media platforms like Facebook give them to drive sales. If that was the case, are those tools really that effective?
Furthermore, that’s akin to saying many marketers during the previous Black Friday to Cyber Monday shopping season were suddenly at a loss as to what to do to drive sales using social media.
However, this can also be explained based on the foremost function of social media platforms which is to socialize.
I think it is safe to assume that almost nobody ever logs into their Facebook account with the intent to buy something. You log into your Amazon or eBay account with the intent to purchase stuff but you do not log in to Facebook with that same mindset.
Tell me I’m wrong the day you find yourself going on Facebook to look at what you can buy for the day.
Author Bio:- Aaron Elliott is a Social Media and Search enthusiast. He founded Socialbarrel.com in 2010 to deliver the latest Social media news and tips.