Social media has been a substantial part of our culture for quite a few years now, and it has been used for marketing purposes for nearly its entire lifespan. Yet unlike other traditional marketing methods, it seems that social media has a difficult time proving its worth on a measurable scale.
A survey conducted by Duke University asked 410 high-ranking CMOs for their opinion on the ROI of modern marketing tactics. Of those highly-respected marketing experts, 49 percent stated that they are unable to quantifiably gauge whether social media is making a difference for their companies. 36 percent said that they could measure the ROI of their social media efforts in qualitative, but not quantitative, terms. Only 15 percent stated that they have seen a quantitatively proven impact on their business from social media.
In today’s marketing landscape, Big-Data tends to color all marketing efforts. Therefore, it is not surprising that 66 percent of the CMOs surveyed reported that their supervisors are tightening pressure to measure the ROI of social media, at the risk of dropping it from marketing strategies. While the demand to quantify absolutely everything in our business culture is limiting and destructive, social media marketers are finding themselves in a position where they have to explain what exactly it is they do to contribute to a company. At the same time, social media marketing budgets have never been bigger, and many experts predict that this trend will continue, with this particular study revealing that the CMOs surveyed plan on increasing their social media budgets by 4.9 percent.
But if you can’t accurately measure the ROI of social media, then why are social media platforms becoming such an important part of marketing strategies all across the globe? Clearly, something is working. Could it be that it IS possible to measure the return-on-investment in the mystical landscape of social media marketing? At CyberMark International, we believe so.
This two-part series will look at some ways for marketers to quantifiably measure the value of their social media campaigns.
Why is the ROI of social media so difficult to measure?
For many business owners, one of the hardest concepts to grasp is that social media is not meant to function as a generator of direct sales. In fact, companies that spam their Twitter feed, Facebook timeline or Google+ page with nothing but sales pitches with links to their website are often penalized for it. Now, more than ever, consumers hate spam and unrequested sales pitches. This is the main reason why it is difficult to measure ROI.
The same Duke University survey found that the percentage of marketers using a revenue-per-customer metric for social media dropped from 17 percent to 9 percent. Social media is not about making an immediate sale, but rather about creating a connection with potential customers. The goal is to make people love your brand and think of you first when it comes time to make a purchase.
Consequently, it’s not that the ROI of social media is hard to measure, but rather that marketers need to change the parameters by which they are measuring performance. Even though social media marketing is not, and never has been, solely about the numbers, there are still some statistics to watch and trends that you can evaluate to maintain the best strategy for your own business.
Remember, social media marketing is no different from any other form of marketing. Whether you purchase ad space in a newspaper, billboard or magazine, broadcast your message on the radio or television, or hire a guy to flip a sign directly outside your business, your method of measuring your return-on-investment is still going to be very different from measuring the ROI on a Google AdWords campaign. That does not mean that the ROI is unquantifiable or nonexistent.
In our next article, we will look at some of the most effective ways for measuring ROI on a social media campaign.
Does your company prioritize social media marketing? If not, you should. For more information about the all-changing state of the internet marketing landscape, download our free eBook, Internet Marketing Trends 2014.
Are you looking to boost your online presence with internet marketing? CyberMark International can help you! Please call 623-889-3380 today, or fill out our contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.