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Marketers Seek to Better Measure Social Media Success

 Fan figures leave marketers at a loss when judging campaign effectiveness

Companies and marketers realize that amassing fans and followers is not the be-all, end-all of social media marketing. Yet the challenge remains how to measure success beyond counting these metrics.

Data from the August 2011 Chief Marketer “2011 Social Marketing Survey” found that only 26% of marketing professionals saw amassing total followers as an aim for social media marketing. More popular goals included driving traffic to a website (66%), generating sales or leads (48%), and identifying and addressing brand fans (47%).

So what have marketers been doing to reach these goals for social media outreach? The most popular tactic among survey respondents was including a social sharing button in emails or on a company website, with 69% of respondents saying they did that. Additionally, 59% offered unique content for social media fans and followers, 58% had a Facebook “like” button on their websites and social pages, and 54% posted videos to social video sites.


Despite the fact that the goals and tactics used by marketers focus on engagement, measurement tactics still focus on numbers. Chief Marketer found that 60% of respondents counted the number of friends, followers and likes as a leading method of measuring social media marketing success. Additionally, 39% highlighted sharing, forwarding, retweeting and posting brand content, while 35% said they track qualified leads from social media.




















The way











The way marketers measure doesn’t quite match up with their goals for social media, and the Chief Marketer study touched on that. The data found that only 13% of respondents thought they were very effective at measuring social media campaigns, while 47% said somewhat effective, 28% said not very effective and 12% said not at all effective.

By looking at the specific tactics marketers are using, they can measure consumer engagement with content by tracking sharing activity. By monitoring brand sentiment and CRM activity, they can see how social activities impact business results. These social tactics can give insights into how to rate social media marketing efforts without relying on just counting fans.



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Tags: Better, Marketers, Measure, Media, Seek, Social, Success, to


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Comment by Tom Gorham on October 29, 2011 at 5:57pm

Terry, a great article.  I think it is the $60,000 question.  But why do we lump everyone together as if their goals should be the same? 

The OEM will have extremely different goals than the dealer (although they may not know it).  The OEM is branding their product while the dealer is branding his dealership.  The OEM is shotgunning to everyone while the dealer should be targeting his customers and potential customers. 

Now all of this is good until you start talking about companies that retail lower cost items.  That could be Auto Parts or it could be furniture, electronics, etc.  If their sales are similar to catalogue sales, they would certainly take a different approach and have different expectations than a car dealer.

One size does not fit all.  So when we talk about the value of Social Media and what to expect, I think we must analyze the needs of the individual company.  I always said this about the Internet in general, and I feel it is even more pertinent now.  What do you think?

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