Anticipating Sales with Social Media

by Vianka McConville


Does posting to Facebook or sharing a tweet contribute to the bottom line? Let’s see…

A recent blog post from TrackMaven (a data company for marketing professionals) highlights a statement from J.Crew’s annual S.E.C filing:

“J.Crew customers who engage with us via our social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram) generally spend approximately 2x more than the average J.Crew customer.”

How did J.Crew track data to make such a statement? TrackMaven pointed out that products with direct links to buy online were included in posts, but these posts were not frequent, meaning there is another measure for sales from social media. Does a magical tracking system exist?

The S.E.C. filing goes on to note:

“We believe our success depends in substantial part on our ability to originate and define product and fashion trends as well as to timely anticipate, gauge and react to changing consumer demands.”

J.Crew’s methods in tracking data are not revealed – therefore we might never know if a magical system exists.  However, we are given a hint as the company alludes to mastering the ability to anticipate as a key component to sales. Perhaps the connection between social media and customer spend (at least some part) is that social media can create a great data mine for a much better understanding of what to anticipate, i.e., what product to mass produce for high revenue.

Social media can often be looked at through a lens of “likes” and “retweets,” but perhaps its real value is in the amount of data that it can reveal about current and potential customers.

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