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Social-Media ROI Elusive: MarketingProfs Poll

August 17, 2009

Social-media measurement is top of mind among marketers surveyed in an informal poll by MarketingProfs: 47% of respondents say social media measurement is important to them; another 36% say it is somewhat important.

Those findings are not surprising, considering Forrester projects that companies will spend some $3.1 billion annually on social media by 2014 ("US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2009 to 2014," Forrester Research, July 6, 2009).

However, only 21% of marketers say they are now adequately measuring the impact of social-media campaigns in terms of tangible results, according to the MarketingProfs poll results, released as part of a collection of case studies ("Social Media ROI Success Stories: How 11 companies—like OfficeMax, Nissan, BMC and Microsoft—are listening, engaging and measuring").

Accordingly, determining social media's return on investment (ROI) seems a major challenge for marketers, with 70% of respondents saying their companies are not adequately measuring the impact of social-media campaigns.
The biggest hurdle to social-media measurement is, apparently, finding the personnel to do the measurement and analysis: Asked to select the most-applicable measurement obstacle from several listed...

  • 30% of the respondents pointed to "dedicated resources."
  • 25% selected "don't know what to measure."
  • 20% selected "social media measurement isn't primarily about ROI."

Social-Media Monitoring

Not surprisingly, social-media monitoring–listening to conversations about their brand, product, or service–is important:

  • Nearly six in ten respondents (58%) say monitoring is "important" to their companies.
  • 31% say it is "somewhat important."

As for why companies monitor social media, brand-reputation management was the top reason given, followed by prospecting, then identifying brand advocates:

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