Have marketers given up social media ROI?

inexperiencedPOST SUMMARY:  A recent article suggested that marketers are moving away from social media ROI because “they’ve realized that social media isn’t a transactional engine or sales machine.”  I would counter that the reason many marketers are moving away from social media is that they are frustrated trying to measure ROI and don’t have the depth in web analytics to really determine if their investment in social media marketing is really warranted.

According to Business Insider in an article titled “Debunking The Myth Of Social ROI” ,many brands are moving away from metrics that purport to measure ROI on social media.  Now before you jump for joy at the possibility of not having to measure social media ROI consider that the author of the article worked at a think tank and has never help a corporate digital marketing position.

Social Media ROI-resized

So why are marketers really giving up trying to measure social media marketing?

1ne: They don’t have the headcount for a dedicated digital marketing analytics tea.

2wo: They have tried and can’t find a direct correlation between social media marketing and ROI.

3hree: They have been duped by social media “experts” into spending a lot of money on social media marketing and have to show something for their efforts even if it’s vanity metrics.

According to Webtrends spending increases in social media means that marketing departments are under greater pressure to prove the value of social channels and tie efforts to business outcomes and revenue.  Despite these challenges, marketers do have a path for gaining social marketing intelligence. In order to move beyond experimentation and prove business performance with social media, it’s crucial to develop a framework for social measurement. It’s also crucial to structure social media initiatives to include metrics that are important to the C-suite as well other teams, and include multiple layers of measurement to assess, explain and manage social media operations.


Webtrends goes onto say marketers “need to ensure that metrics have meaning and align with business priorities”.  John Lovett, author of Social Media Metrics Secrets goes onto say “counting metrics are the most basic and readily available (number of Likes, reTweets, Views, etc.) and are generally used to show tactical performance. Unfortunately, these metrics are often used to communicate business performance, when in reality, they show program performance.”

Key Takeaway’s

1ne: Marketers are accountable for their budgets and have to show how any program, including social media marketing, are driving key brand KPI’s.

2wo: When reading an article on the Internet ensure that it’s someone who has at least been there and done that, not someone who worked for a think tank.

3hree: Marketers should not be duped by the social media hype.  The reality is that consumers just don’t have the time to have social relationships with a lot of brands.




About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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3 Comments on “Have marketers given up social media ROI?”

  1. I think it’s time for marketers to move away from the numbers (like number of re-tweets, number of likes, etc.) and start measuring the level of engagement. Social media can actually be powerful tool to engage customers.

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