When Will Social Media Measurement Mature?

Marketers know that counting fans, “likes” and followers is not the
best way to measure success in social media marketing. Yet these metrics
are often the top benchmarks for performance. It’s not surprising,
then, that marketers consider calculating return on investment to be the
biggest challenge of using social media, and that a majority of them
believe they cannot measure social media campaigns effectively.

“Marketers often think of social media measurement as listening and
monitoring. But that is only one part of a fragmented process, which has
contributed to a lack of focus for both marketers and vendors,” said
Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer principal analyst and author of the new
report, “Social Media Measurement: Getting to the Metrics that Matter.”
“It has also created a culture of data overload, in which metrics that
do not have much business value have more importance than those that
contribute to the bottom line.”

Research from Chief Marketer found that two in five marketers have
little confidence in the effectiveness of their ability to measure
social media campaigns.

Social media measurement has evolved significantly in its short history,
but the need to prove effectiveness is more important than ever. As top
marketing executives plan how much to invest in social media and
whether to shift funds from other marketing channels, they need metrics
that show not only that their brands have a lot of friends but that
those friends actually affect the bottom line.

MarketingSherpa found that measurement effectiveness correlated with
experience with social media and how strategic marketers were in their
social marketing implementations.

“Marketers must apply business-level analysis to social media
measurement to determine its true impact,” said Williamson. “Going
beyond brand metrics to understand social media’s effect on a company’s
bottom line is critical. And it’s getting easier to consider the
relative influence of social media on lead generation and sales.”

Marketers also need to understand how well social media performs
relative to other types of marketing. Integrating social media analytics
into other business analytics will help, as will developing ways to
show how social media helps make other marketing more efficient.


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