by karen on September 11, 2012

An insightful new study has been published, looking at how business view social media. The Econsultancy/Adobe study of 650 marketing professional reveals that most companies now see social media as a key part of their marketing and overall business strategies.

Key highlights from the study include:

  • The majority of all respondents see social as an integral part of business strategy, but there remain some larger firms who are not yet enlightened
  • While just 9% of respondents from companies with a turnover lower than £100m disagree that social is integral to the marketing mix, that figure rises to 17% for enterprise-level firms
  • Social is seen mainly as a brand awareness channel, though significant numbers use social as part of their content marketing strategy and for customer service
  • Very few companies see social as a sales channel
  • Many companies are struggling to define objectives for their social activity and to measure success
  • Only 28% of smaller companies and 42% of larger companies surveyed say they measure their performance against defined social media objectives

It is clearly useful to quantify social media activity e.g. web traffic stats and origins, number of fans/followers etc, but what’s important in social media performance measurement, is to link the metrics tracked with your business objectives, whether these are for awareness-building, lead generation, customer service calls etc.

It is also important to realise that social media objectives rarely refer to directly increasing sales. The role of social media can be varied, including awareness and fan-building to driving web traffic and engaging with relevant audiences. The success of converting leads into sales tends to rest with sales professionals, supported by other elements of the marketing mix.

Indeed, you can lead the horse to water, but it will only drink if the water is available at the right price, location, quality etc and delivered with the best quality of service!

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