If it’s not about how many followers you have, then what is it about? Chief Marketer’s “2011 Social Marketing Survey” looks at the goals of social media marketers, the tools they use, and at the methods and perceived effectiveness of measuring their social media campaigns. Rather than simply wanting to amass followers – although 26% did aim to do so – social media marketers were most interested in driving traffic to a website (66%), generating sales or leads (48%), and identifying and addressing brand fans (47%).
73% of respondents now incorporate social media messaging “of some kind” into their marketing campaigns (up from 64% last year). There are only 10% of marketers who will not be using social within the next year. Out of the marketers using social, they were concentrated on four main social channels: Facebook (used by 91%), Twitter (77%, up from just 50% last year), LinkedIn (68%) and YouTube (61%).
To achieve their social media outreach goals, marketers use the following tools:
- 69% of respondents included a social sharing button in emails or on a company website
- 59% offered unique content for social media fans and followers
- 58% had a Facebook “like” button on their websites and social pages
- 54% posted videos to social video sites
- half (50%) monitor social media for brand reputation, CRM
- less than half of survey respondents run corporate blogs (49%), tweet about new website content (48%), and use display advertising in social networks (44%)
How are marketers measuring their social media success? Engagement is harder to measure, so numbers are still the dominant form of measurement.
- 60% of respondents measure social media success by the number of friends, followers and likes
- 39% look at sharing, forwarding, retweeting or posting brand content
- 35% measure qualified leads from social media
- 30% measure visits or time spent with branded social content
- only 18% measure brand awareness/favorability (by surveys)
So while amassing followers was a social media aim for only 26% of respondents, the majority – 60% – of respondents measure social media success by number of friends and followers. How can marketers measure their performance effectively if the measurement tools don’t correspond to their marketing aims? Respondents admitted a lack of effectiveness at measuring social media campaigns:
- only 13% believed they are effective at measuring social media campaigns
- 47% believed they are ‘somewhat effective’
- 40% were not effective (either ‘not very effective’ – 28%, or ‘not at all effective’ – 12%)
The majority – 52% – agree that it is hard to calculate ROI effectively for social media marketing.
The survey was conducted online in August 2011, and polled 750 active marketing professionals across B2B and B2C companies.