Among popular social marketing channels, user-generated content stands out for driving return on investment: 73% of surveyed CMOs say their companies facilitate customer ratings and reviews; and among those, 59% report average or significant ROI—making ratings and reviews the top social strategy to generate measurable return, according to a report by Bazaarvoice and the CMO Club.
Corporate/brand communities ranked second in generating average or significant ROI in 2010 (56%), followed by corporate/brand blogs (48%), Facebook (45%), participation in industry blogs and forums (41%), Twitter (31%), and LinkedIn (28%).
Though measurement remains a challenge, improvements in ROI were recorded in 2010 across all social channels analyzed, compared with 2009 levels.
Even so, more than one-half of CMOs (54%) say they were unable to tie any revenue to their social media efforts in 2010. They are, however, optimistic: 74% of CMOs say they predict they'll find the "missing link" between social media and revenue in 2011. Only 7% say they don't plan on tracking social metrics at all.
Below, other findings from the Bazaarvoice and The CMO Club report titled CMOs on Social Marketing Plans for 2011.
Customer engagement metrics are still the most commonly used among CMOs: 68% use website traffic to measure their social marketing activities, followed by numbers of fans/members (59%), positive customer mentions (53%), page views (51%), and numbers of contributors (43%).
Meanwhile, sales conversion (33%) and revenue attribution (29%) stand out as key growth opportunities in social marketing measurement.
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Decision Support via User-generated Content
Over nine in ten (93%) CMOs say they plan to use at least one form of user-generated content in 2011—such as customer polling, Twitter comments, ratings and reviews, and product suggestions—to inform product and service decisions.
The most popular types of user-generated content used in 2010 were customer stories (59%), product suggestions and ideas (54%), polling (49%), and customer reviews (47%).
Fully 90% of CMOs say their brands were engaged in three or more social activities in 2010, with company blogs (87%), company/brand communities (86%) and Facebook (79%) among the most popular channels.
About the data: A survey of 175 CMOs was conducted Bazaarvoice and the CMO Club in October 2010. Some 39% of respondents were from B2C companies, 47% from B2B, and 14% from brands serving both consumers and businesses. Most respondents were from organizations with more than $51 million in annual revenues.