A recent study published in the Journal of Marketing Research found that each brand mention on a social media network results in coverage from traditional media sources, such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines.
The study examined the sales trend for one organization, Kiva, for 14 months and found that every mention in traditional or social media resulted in a boost of at least 90 additional sales from new customers and a minimum of 64 additional sales from returning ones. The study also found that social media mentions generated by the company resulted in more traditional media mentions.
"Conventional wisdom is that traditional earned media makes a large mass of people aware of something and then gets them talking," the authors explain, "However, our findings suggest that the reverse may be more likely than previously thought."
In addition, because social media brand mentions occur more frequently than mentions in traditional media, marketing efforts made on networking channels have a substantially larger impact than traditional earned media did.
Because social media encourages TV, radio and print coverage and ultimately boosts sales, the study suggests that an effective marketing strategy includes brand presence across different social networks.