Social media is an increasingly important aspect of marketing, and recent research reveals that a staggering 93% of marketers now use social media for business – that leaves a mere 7% who don’t. A recent post by Marketing Week shed some light on this year's CMO survey of marketers in 2,885 top US brands, which revealed that social media activities are becoming more integrated with overall marketing strategies. However, the same results have highlighted that these marketers are struggling to measure the impact of social media marketing on the success of their business...
The survey allowed 2,885 respondents in top US brands to mark their social media performance on a scale of one, ‘not integrated’, to seven, ‘very integrated’. Since 2011, this figure has consistently remained at 3.8 but rose to 4.2 in this year’s survey.
This is despite the fact that only 15% of firms were able to prove the impact of their social media activities using quantitative data, while an astonishing 43.5% claimed to have a good sense of qualitative impact, but not quantitative. In other words, marketers are struggling to measure the ways in which their social media strategies are having a real impact. And even though over 10% of all marketing budgets being allocated to social media strategies, over 20% of respondents haven’t been able to demonstrate the impact at all.
In fact, 47.1% of respondents said they merely look to the number of friends, followers and likes as an indicator of their success on social media, while other popular ‘measures’ were click through rates (47.9%), site traffic (51.4%) and page views (60.3%).
What’s even worse is that these marketing professionals were unable to vouch for their own knowledge and skills with regards to social media and the different ways that it can be utilised today. Not only did they rate their own skills pretty poorly, but they also expressed concerns in their abilities to train employees to perform social media activities (3.4), meaning they were more likely to seek the help of an external agency.
So why is this becoming such a problem? Christine Moorman, the director of the CMO Survey, believes it is down to the failure of marketing managers to fully align their business and marketing objectives with social media activity. She says; ‘when it comes to marketing objectives, companies need to have an understanding of how social media facilitates the customer’s progression through the funnel’. That means having an understanding of how your efforts on social media may be affecting your conversion rates.
Mobbie Nazir, We Are Social’s chief strategy officer, advises brands to ensure their social media activity has clear business goals, marketing objectives and a robust way of measuring results. ‘That doesn’t just mean ‘likes’ and follower numbers but brand equity measurements and sales uplift,’ she adds.
And with many networks introducing their own metrics, such as Twitter’s new ‘Tweet Activity’ function, understanding the impact of your social media strategy should be easier than ever.