Still struggling to define social media goals, direction, and impact?

by | Jun 3, 2015 | Social Media

ROI, Social Integration, Measurement Top Major Brand Challenges

Social analytics platform Simply Measured this week announced the release of its 2015 Social Media Marketing Trends report, which highlights the confusion social marketers are expressing with regards to direction, overall goals, and where to focus assets. Calculating social ROI and demonstrating the business value derived from social media activities are of top concern to businesses of all sizes and maturity levels, according to the findings. In addition, the study demonstrates widespread confusion in organizations regarding the role of social media, and emphasizes the need for stronger alignment and integration with the larger marketing team.

Authored by Megan Headley, research director at TrustRadius, a peer review site for business software, the report analyzes responses from over 600 social media marketers, from CMOs to community managers. Some key findings:

Struggle to demonstrate social marketing value still the top concern for organizations of all sizes and maturity levels

The struggle to demonstrate the value of social media for businesses has been plaguing the industry for years, however with the more sophisticated tools available to collect and combine data, it is interesting that this weak point remains the top challenge in 2015. Other top challenges included measuring ROI (related to challenge number one), and developing a social media strategy.

Engagement, audience, and website traffic noted as symbols of success for social marketers

Despite the deep desire by brands to tie social metrics to ROI, most companies still rely heavily on vanity metrics (likes, shares, followers and fans) to evaluate success. All of these metrics are easy to measure, however they don’t always tie directly to goals such as revenue or customer retention. Metrics that are more difficult to track (yet tie more directly to broad business goals) such as revenue or customer satisfaction are among the top three for less than a quarter of respondents.

Brand awareness is the leading goal for social

The focus of social media activities according to respondents is decidedly top-of-funnel with brand awareness listed as the top priority for 71 percent of marketers surveyed. Secondary goals include website traffic and audience reach/share of voice.

Social media strategy still isn’t aligned with broader business goals

Most marketers surveyed feel they can effectively utilize social media data within the marketing silo, however that number drops significantly when asked how social media data affects their company’s overall business strategy. While the potential of social data to be used in the rest of the industry is a topic of discussion, usage is still not widespread. More mature businesses appeared to be able to leverage social data in their marketing as well as overall strategies. Additionally, the study found that companies who use a dedicated tool for social media analytics are better able to leverage data than those who don’t.

“Social media is one of the newest and fastest growing elements of business,” said Headley, according to a news release. “While social media management was once a one-person tactic, in more mature companies, it is now becoming an integrated function that has the ability to drive insights and strategy for the entire company. The ability to manage, measure, and analyze social activities is becoming a key element of success in certain areas.”

Source: MarketWired; edited by Richard Carufel

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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