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:

A good sign for vendors: 78% of respondents say they plan to increase social-media monitoring over the next six months; 18% say they think it will stay the same. No respondent says his/her company plans to decrease the use of monitoring.

Although companies understand the importance of social media and PR measurement, they have not yet mastered execution, according to the findings of this informal survey. Nevertheless, businesses seem strongly committed to increasing social-media monitoring to better manage their brand reputations and engage with customers and prospects.

Additional findings from the MarketingProfs social-media poll are available here.

About the findings: The MarketingProfs poll data includes responses from 338 participants. The poll was promoted during a two-week period in June 2009 through various channels, including Twitter, blogs, and email newsletters targeting marketing professionals.

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