Social technology company 8th Bridge released its third-annual Social Commerce IQ report, which looks at nearly 900 online retail brands – including nearly all brands in the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide – their social adoption and subsequent results.
What it found was a close race in terms of social network adoption amongst Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and Vine; however, one network shined most in the area of referral traffic and perceived value: Facebook.
But it's not organic traffic that's winning there, said 8th Bridge. This traffic was paid for via the Facebook Exchange, and top retailers are spending money to get it because they believe it's the most viable social advertising platform.
"Traﬃc from Twitter and Instagram is non-existent for most retailers," 8th Bridge said in its report. "Only 85 retailers are getting traﬃc from Twitter and only 55 retailers are getting traﬃc from Instagram."
When it came to integrating those social networks into retailers' product pages, most websites covered the social media bases; but coming in just ahead of the others in terms of integration was Pinterest's "pin it" button at 62 percent, versus Twitter's "tweet" button at 61 percent, and Facebook's "like" button at 59 percent.
And even though you may think Pinterest would be the favorite for product sharing, customer survey data from the report showed people most frequently shared products on Facebook over Pinterest and Twitter – but not by much.
Thirteen percent of those who shared products on social did so on on Facebook, 11 percent on Pinterest, and 9 percent on Twitter.
Those surveyed also said posts from friends on Facebook were the most effective method for learning about new products with a score of 2.73 on a scale of 1 to 5. This method of discovering new products beat finding them on the brand's Facebook page as well as browsing Pinterest pins, according to the data.
All in all, the retailers surveyed for the Social Commerce IQ report stated Facebook had the most potential to drive sales over any other social network examined.
"Retailers think Facebook will drive sales, but these sales will not occur on Facebook, instead, Facebook will drive sales by referring customers back to the ecommerce site through things like Facebook Ads," the report said.
For more information about the report and its methodology, head over to 8th Bridge.