Not far behind, 56% view social followers as an important success metric (rating it a top-3 box score on a 10-point scale of importance), with impressions (55%) and conversion impact (54%) also rated important by a majority of respondents.
Brands are less likely to be gauging their success on the basis of “hard” metrics, with 47% considering sales generated to be an important metric for them, and 42% looking at offline traffic and sales. The study’s authors tie that back to “marketers’ challenge in tying social’s impact to ROI-based objectives beyond engagement,” a long-standing issue in the social space. Still, the results indicated that larger companies were more likely to track ROI-based measures, as were retailers, with larger companies perhaps more likely to do so due to their adoption of appropriate technologies.
Separately, the study indicates that the largest companies believe that it’s critically important to integrate social into other digital media initiatives: 54% of respondents from companies with at least $1 billion in revenues consider social’s integration into wider digital media initiatives “extremely important,” with a further 36% perceiving it to be “somewhat important.”