Do Social Media Results Justify Investment?

New Study from ForeSee Results Finds Traditional Marketing May Provide More ROI

Ann Arbor, Mich. (February 3, 2011) – ForeSee Results, the Michigan-based global leader in technology-driven customer satisfaction analytics, today released its annual report on the state of social media effectiveness for retailers in the United States.  The report shows that social media interactions are a primary influence for only about 5% of visitors to retail websites. The research indicates that, in fact, more traditional marketing techniques like promotional emails, search engine results, and even advertising influence far more visits to retail websites.


Other highlights of the report include:

  • Traditional marketing techniques like promotional emails influence not only more traffic; they deliver better-quality traffic. Some of the most satisfied site visitors arrived at the site because of previous familiarity with a brand, promotional emails, word-of-mouth, and product review websites.
  • Most customers are eager to engage with retailers, but prefer to do so via email or on retail websites, rather than on social sites.  In fact, only 8% of online shoppers said that’s social media was their preferred way to interact with a retailer.


  • People are more satisfied with retailers’ presence on Facebook than they are with Facebook itself.


“Every retailer should know how many customers are influenced by promotional emails, advertising on Facebook or word-of-mouth recommendations, and furthermore, they should know which group is most likely to buy,” said Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee Results and author of today’s report. “They should also know how people want to hear from them and how well they’re doing when it comes to communicating through those channels.  Serious thought needs to be given to finding out whether social media is worth the investment for their business, and then if the answer is yes, they need to make the most of it by making sure that interactions on social media meet the needs and expectations of customers.  Otherwise, the effort is wasted and could even be detrimental to the business.”

About ForeSee Results

As the leader in customer satisfaction measurement, ForeSee Results captures and analyzes voice of customer data to help organizations increase loyalty, recommendations and marketing value. Using a patented, scientific methodology developed at the University of Michigan, ForeSee Results identifies improvements across all channels and touch points that drive customer satisfaction. With over 58 million survey responses collected to date and benchmarks across dozens of industries, ForeSee Results offers unparalleled expertise in customer satisfaction measurement and management around the globe.

ForeSee Results can be found online at