Management matters: There’s something missing for social media marketers

There’s a lot of noise in the digital world. For marketers to create, establish, build and maintain a social media presence and following, it takes a matrix of methods.

There’s a disconnect in measuring social ROI

Nearly nine in 10 U.S. companies with 100+ employees used social media to reach their target audiences in 2015 according to eMarketer, yet a recent study conducted by Simply Measured and TrustRadius found brands still struggling to measure the value of their efforts.


The study found that for North American companies of all sizes, measuring the ROI of social media efforts is one of the most challenging aspects of their digital campaigns. Of the responding marketing professionals in midsize and enterprise-level companies, tying social activities to business outcomes is the second-biggest challenge, and the third-biggest concern for small firms. For marketers, research is showing that there’s something missing when it comes to leveraging social media measurement — but they aren’t alone.

Advertising agency professionals worldwide concur. A 2014 study conducted by SharpSpring cited 40% of agency respondents agree that the inability to measure ROI is a leading obstacle to achieving social media marketing success.

In addition, among client-side marketers polled worldwide in January 2015 by Econsultancy, just 20% said their ability to measure social media investment (for engagement and retention) was “good.” The remaining 80% of responses were evenly split between “OK” and “poor.”

Mediocre measuring tools could mean mediocre results

A key factor that could be preventing measurement success is the improper use of social media technology.

Social media professionals polled by Simply Measured and TrustRadius used an average of three social media tools to analyze acquisitions and behaviours. Analytics native to social networks were the most commonly used tools, cited by 65% of respondents. Social media management platforms followed, at 62%, while web analytics solutions rounded out the top three. None of these measurement platforms, however, offer a complete look at behaviours.

Advanced technology could mean enhanced value

Nearly all respondents were able to gather data from such tools on their social audience, and three-quarters trusted the accuracy of it. However, marketers still aren’t capitalizing on the use of more advanced social reporting tools, including the ability to optimize social media content and level of satisfaction with their current social analytics platform.

The study noted that companies didn’t have the right tools to manage and measure social media. While marketers have certainly adopted several social tools, the measurement disconnect is found in the ability to act on the findings from such technologies. In order to leverage management for increased value, marketers and social media professionals need to take a quality-over-quantity approach to move on from mediocre measurement — and drive the ROI and value they desire.

Whitehead Agency Group is a leading Toronto, Ontario, healthcare marketing agency with over 25 years of specialized health and wellness experience.

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