August 8, 2013 Jaclyn Bickerton
Marketers still struggle to get the most out of their presence on social sites, and with the staying power of these networks, their goals and metrics used to measure success have changed. A recent article on eMarketer.com called “Social’s Value Measured in Engagement Over Sales” revealed just how much marketer’s social media marketing goals have changed over the past few years. Social media marketing is still very much evolving, and marketers constantly have to reevaluate the direction they’ve set out on. The findings of a 2013 survey of US marketing professionals by Pivot Conference tell quite an interesting story.
According to the study, the top goals of social media marketing are consumer engagement and brand lift, each cited by 67% of respondents. This is a substantial increase from 2011, when both of these goals were only cited by about 50% of respondents. Influencing consumer behavior came third on the list, cited by 61% of respondents.
In 2012, the leading goal was garnering positive sentiment. This year it has dropped down to number four, as marketers may be finding that it is more important to keep consumers posting, “liking” and sharing content.
One of the most noteworthy changes overall is the lesser importance of sales over the past few years. Increasing sales was the top goal of social media marketing in 2011, cited by 100% of respondents. Just one year later in 2012, it dropped below 50%, but seems to be coming to a balance being cited as a leading goal by 58% of marketers.
When it comes to measuring the success of social media marketing, engagement is the primary metric, used by 23.3% of respondents. Interestingly enough, increased sales came second on the list revealing that some marketers still expect a dollar conversion out of their social media efforts.
Over 60% of brands from the marquee retail and travel sectors worldwide used seven social sites or more, according to July 2013 data from L2 Think Tank, and just 5% confined themselves to three or fewer sites.
This can mean one of two things: either marketers are seeing enough ROI across their social outreach to keep extending their efforts – or they are spreading themselves thin and waiting to see what catches on.
Jaclyn Bickerton, Social Media, Raven 5 Ltd, Oakville & Toronto Ontario, August 2013