Marketers currently have no standard measurement of social media success, although all of those that do not define return-on-investment (ROI) in the classical way still believe that social media benefits their business, according to survey results released in January by Wildfire. The top metrics used by social media marketers for ROI are increased fans, likes, comments, and interactions (38%), increased revenues (24%), and increased brand awareness (15%).
Results from an Awareness survey released in December 2011 indicated greater agreement among marketers on social media marketing metrics, with social presence, measured by number of followers and fans, also voted the top metric, by 76% of respondents. Other popular metrics included website traffic (67%) and social mentions across platforms (53%), while a growing number of marketers were also found to be tying social initiatives to lead generation (38%) and sales (26%).
Among the global marketers surveyed by Wildfire, 88% cited growth in brand awareness as a social media benefit, with the ability to engage in dialogue (85%) close behind. 58% said that social media helped increase sales and partnerships, and about 2 in 5 said it reduced costs.
A study released in December 2011 by the CMO Council in partnership with Lithium also found customer engagement to be a top benefit: a leading 55% of senior marketer respondents reported that social media has impacted their marketing operations by improving customer listening, engagement, and conversations.
Data from Wildfire’s “The Great Return” indicates that nearly 70% of the marketers believe Facebook fans are worth more than non-fans. The top reasons companies believe a Facebook fan has value for their business are for new customer recruitment (44%), higher conversion rates (18%), and more frequent purchases (18%).
About the Data: The Wildfire findings are based on a survey of over 700 social media marketers from around the world administered between September and November 2011.