There is a difference between Marketing and Sales. And in Marketing, we learn that it is critical to match your message with the medium. Facebook is a Marketing medium, not a Sales tool.
Companies and brands need to understand how to strategically use Facebook and how it can work as a brand builder, not necessarily as a short-term sales generator.
This is why the recent study conducted by Forrester Research and reported on Yahoo News today, in my opinion, doesn't ask the right question.
They reported that Facebook has not driven sales or sales conversion for several retailers. I don't find that surprising.
Not all marketing vehicles are expected to drive immediate sales, that is why marketers use a mix of tools. Any platform that can generate a relationship with a consumer (500 million on Facebook) is an important tool because brands are built on a solid relationship which can ultimately equate to a strong brand equity. The social platform isn't intended to "ask for an order," in fact when brands do that, they fail. This platform is about deepening relationships and trust, so that when you ask for the order elsewhere with another tool, consumers are apt to buy your brand.
So if you are using Facebook to ask for an order, think again. Your brand may start to feel like your a pesty friend asking you to buy something when all you want to do is talk and get to know each other better.