Because of my traditional marketing (and market research) background, I have to say it took me a long time to become a social media “believer”. The reasons for my lag time, and I would suspect the collective inertia on the part of other marketers, are:
• 50%—I never really had a good guru/teacher (thanks to Dr. Bret I saw the light).
• 25%—I have had many bad experiences with ad agencies who bill themselves as social media experts, but who are instead social media tourists. My complaint with these ad agencies stems from their lack of practicing what they preach. They tell you that you have to actively engage people on a one-to-one basis on twitter and other social media sites. Sounds good, but are the agencies doing that on a consistent basis? Hmmm…not as far as I can tell. They will also tell you that to be viewed as an expert and thus to be successful in social media, you need to actively blog..even if no one is listening. Ok, got it. So where’s there blog? Why aren’t they blogging every day? They don’t have the resources they tell me. My next question has to be okay, “why do you think I am less busy than you?”
• 25%—I hadn’t really seen a reliable quantification of the value social media brings to a company.
I have gotten over my social media barrier with Dr. Bret’s help and I have resigned myself to never getting over my second barrier (with the social media tourist agencies), I decided to focus my attention on my third issue…quantification of the value of social media. As I pondered this issue, I was wondering how other marketers felt about the effectiveness of social media. Here’s what I found on eMarketer (by way of Datran Media’s 4th Annual Marketing & Media Survey) that made me feel at least a little better:
• Six in 10 respondents to Datran Media’s “4th Annual Marketing & Media Survey” said measuring and understanding their audience was a priority, and more than 87% said accurate online audience measurement was at least somewhat important for driving increased brand awareness, revenues or performance.
• Just over one-half think they will, but nearly four in 10 are unsure.
emarketer (click here to see the charts)
Respondents to the Datran survey—who are heavily invested in the social space, with about 72% having Facebook and Twitter profiles—were most likely to track all their online campaigns based on clicks (72%), conversions (59.2%) and impressions (58.4%). Conversions were considered the most important metric to track. ←This is most important to me. Show me the money!
While the data suggests that measurement is progressing in a meaningful way, I really like how eMarketer put it: “There is a leap, however, between finding appropriate metrics and monitoring them on the one hand, and quantifying results on the other. Marketers must tie the social metrics they settle on directly to business goals, such as increased sales and leads, before social media return on investment can be quantified.”