A recent publication on the Social Media Examiner by Phil Mershon points out 5 social media marketing trends:
#1 The benefits derived from social media are increasing
#2 More businesses are investing in social media
#3 Measuring ROI is one of the top challenges faced by social media
#4 Marketing agencies view the value of social media marketing differently
#5 An integrated social media plan leads to greater financial results
These findings show that businesses do seem to believe in social media. Social media already accounts for the third largest portion in companies’ online marketing budgets and small and medium sized businesses are forecasted to double their social media expenditure in 2012 (Borrell Inc., 2011). However and nevertheless, one of the key challenges faced by social media will be to answer the question of how to measure the return on marketing investment.
Indeed, many companies do not have any advanced performance measurement systems in place (Altimeter Group, 2011). Out of the companies that do have a measurement system in place measure social media ROMI metrics such as the number of followers/ fans and the traffic to a website. However, when it comes to lead generation and sales KPIs, companies still struggle finding the right connection between these KPIs and the impact of social media.
Therefore, I think this is an issue we should have an eye upon because as long as the success of social media marketing does not become quantifiable marketers will have a harder time justifying why it’s worth the investment.
You can read the full study here.