Study: Value of social media analytics tools still not understood

The findings of a study by Demand Metric and Netbase sound positive – but not on a second glance. Although most marketers seem to have understood why they need to work with social media analytics tools, they still haven’t figured out how it helps them to find the social ROI. At least, 61% of responding marketers use social media analytics tools, and of those 53% started working with the tools in the last two years.

The study based on 125 marketers (70% B2B-focused, 13% B2C and 17% split) shows that marketers find social analytics tools most valuable for helping with campaign tracking, brand analysis, and competitive intelligence. 60% of the reponsing people use social media analytics tools for campaign tracking, brand analysis (48%), competitive intelligence (40%), customer care (36%), product launches (32%), and influencer ranking (27%).

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It still surprises me that the majority of respondents (66%) states that social media analytics tools are most valuable to help assess and quantify the degree of engagement. Is there more in it like understanding where engagement of the company is needed, leveraging content for production and curation, spoting the mentality and value of influencers, identifying engaged communities or platforms, or detecting features and traffic of personal brand advocacy? Obviously, most marketers are still far behind in understanding how to use and leverage social media analytics tools.

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Although most marketers see the opportunities to leverage the social ROI, most are still in their infancy in converting data in findings, and leveraging social media in their daily business. The findings show that most of those marketers (70%) still cannot quantify their social media ROI. The question is why they cannot do so? Do you have any ideas or experience where the main challenges are? Is it a problem of resources, of technology misunderstanding, or simply not clear which social KPIs make sense to meet the overall business targets? Let us know what you think…

2 replies
  1. Jamie Riddell
    Jamie Riddell says:

    The challenge of attributing value/ROI in social is the same faced by adserving/tracking technologies over the past 10 years. With online advertising the industry had to move from a ‘last click wins’ scenario to one that took into greater account the value of awareness and multiple touchpoints.

    With social we have the same challenge identifying multiple touch points but also the issue of results. Tracking an advertising campaign is usually quite straightforward – advertising is bought for a defined goal that can be tracked.

    With social the impact can be far reaching from brand consideration, mentions, engagement to influences on sales, returns and customer satisfaction. There is a lot more to be tracked and defined before a true picture of social ROI can be defined.

    The issue may not just be with the technology but with the complexity of social’s impact on a business.

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