This holiday season, marketers are launching holiday-specific social media campaigns. And these social media strategies are about more than just than engaging with customers – they’re designed to get consumers to buy.

In the past, Internet marketers have set their sights on increasing engagement as well upping their follower counts during the holidays. This year, though, it’s all about the sales and e-commerce.

Twitter and Facebook are testing “buy” buttons this holiday season so customers can make purchases right from their social media feeds. These new e-commerce tools will address retailers’ focus this year – using social media to drive more sales.

Some 62 percent of digital brand strategists are planning to focus on expanding sales and brand reach during the holidays, according to a survey conducted by the internet marketing team at Offerpop, a social media marketing platform provider. And taking advantage of those social media buy buttons will most likely be a major part of their strategies.

Although companies are continuing to make inroads in social media, many are still struggling to understand how the social content they share impacts customer buying decisions.

Using big data analytics, however, marketers can determine the impacts that their organizations’ social strategies are having on business performance.

Analytics can help marketers identify which social media channels its highest-value customers prefer to use, enabling them to dive deeper into customer behavior to determine the social media channels that are most likely to drive consumer purchasing decisions.

Social media has already become key to retailers’ holiday strategies, Offerpop notes. “With 1.28 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 255 million active monthly users on Twitter, the holiday consumer is now more dependent than ever on social media for information and incentives that will prompt e-commerce sales or in-store purchasing decisions,” according to Mairead Ridge, senior manager of marketing at Offerpop.

In fact, 72 percent of adults in the US are active on Facebook at least once per month – offering digital marketers the opportunity to influence a majority of holiday shoppers on that one platform, Ridge notes.

This year, 67 percent of marketers budgeted more money to spend on social media than last year. But despite the increase in social media platforms, 92 percent of the marketers surveyed by Offerpop say they plan to spend the majority of their holiday budgets on Facebook.

Analytics can also help marketers determine the types of social content that drives the highest rates of conversion in specific social channels

While retailers are high on the photo-sharing platform Instagram – 73 percent identify it as the breakout social network of 2014 – they place it third behind Facebook and Twitter when it comes to their marketing spending. Additionally, 48 percent of marketers aren’t planning to invest in any emerging social networks this holiday season.

“This holiday season, we’ll see marketers testing Facebook and Twitter’s new commerce capabilities, while leveraging Instagram for holiday campaigns,” Ridge notes. “Retailers simply cannot be successful during this critical sales time if they do not invest in targeted and effective social media programs.”

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