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Social media ad spending continues to grow in the US, with eMarketer forecasting the format will make up more than 20% of digital ad spending by 2017. Yet even as marketers’ social media budgets increase, many are still struggling to make sense of its overall impact on their business.
Based on an August survey of US-based CMOs by Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, executives from across the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sectors are still figuring out how to gauge the true effect of social media on their business. The problem is more pronounced for those in the B2B sector, where nearly half of respondents haven’t yet been able to show the impact of social media. Many in the B2C sector have had better luck showing the qualitative impact of social, although 60% or more of CMOs still they did not know the channel’s quantitative impact.
One result of this uncertainty is that more CMOs report they are increasing their investments in social media marketing analytics. According to Duke’s survey, one-third of US CMOs were using marketing analytics to measure their social media efforts, a number which has been on the rise.
Another outgrowth of this uncertainty is that more marketers are taking a closer look at the return on investment (ROI) of various social media platforms. According to one March 2016 survey, Facebook offered the best ROI of any social media platform, with more than 98% of marketers picking the company as one of their top choices.
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