Social media marketing that looks to drive sales through a company website is more likely to increase conversions than social commerce.

A report from AYTM Market Research found that ecommerce and social media are increasingly popular among consumers, but many are not interested in using these platforms to make direct purchases. More than 84 percent of respondents said they have made gift purchases on the web and a similar amount have Facebook accounts. However, just 34 percent said they would use Facebook to purchase and exchange a gift with a friend.

Social commerce integration has already started on some companies’ Facebook Pages, but it still hasn’t taken off to the extent that some expected. Finding new ways to drum up interest in social buying could improve consumers willingness to make purchases this way.

For the most part, though, Americans connect with brands on social to learn of new products or offers, then navigate to company websites to make purchases. This insight can be used to inform social media marketing strategies: Sharing articles and other website content on Facebook can increase site traffic and organically bring users to conversion pages.

Additionally, the potential reach of Facebook marketing continues to grow. Brafton recently reported that Facebook now has 1 billion active profiles, and more than 152 million unique visitors from the United States alone.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.