Social Media Metrics show limited bottom line benefit

When it comes to proving the efficacy of social media marketing, CMO’s and Community Managers often face a difficult task. Social media metrics continue to be the most straightforward way to demonstrate impact. However, 45% of CMO’s feel that this information does not allow them to prove the value of social media for their company. According to MediaPost [1], only 13.2% felt they could effectively prove the value and impact social media has for their company. Continuing with that trend, MarketingProfs [2] reports that 46% of B2B marketers have no idea one way or the other if social media has generated any revenue for them.

As much as they are disparaged, vanity metrics continue to be the most common way that social media impact is measured, with 80% of marketers citing engagement as the most prominent [3). 61% of marketers, however, cite audience size as most important, while 56% view resulting website traffic as the most significant metric. That said, 65% of CMO’s rely solely on the analytics provided by that social media platform, 62% use a third party social media platform’s analytics, and 59% use web analytics to interpret results. A surprisingly small number, at only 22%, use analytics procured by a dedicated social media measurements platform [3].

Throughout all of this, though, consumers continue to report that social media continues to play a dominant part of their decision making process concerning a business with as much importance placed as on tv ads [4]. Given the growing prominence of social media use among younger demographics, this trend will continue with more consumers communicating and interacting with businesses through their social media accounts over other means [5].

This means that many businesses need to rethink their social media focus. SMB’s are more prone to emphasizing website traffic while larger enterprises place stronger focus on customer satisfaction [3].