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Social Media Measurement Lags Adoption

ROI metrics neglected by most

September 22, 2009

The vast majority of professionals worldwide are using social technologies for business purposes, according to an August 2009 survey by Mzinga and Babson Executive Education.

Fully 86% of respondents to the survey of professionals from a variety of industries said they had adopted social technologies. Most said they were using the tools for marketing (57%), followed by internal collaboration (39%). Almost three in 10 respondents reported using social technologies for customer service and support.

Business  Areas for Which Professionals Worldwide Use Social Media*, August 2009 (% of respondents)

It was more common for professionals to report devoting employees, either full- or part-time, to working on social media initiatives (57% of respondents) than it was to commit budget dollars for social media (40%).

The top way for professionals to implement social applications was integrated within their Website or another site, mentioned by 61% of respondents. Standalone community sites and third-party widgets were popular among 40% and 39% of professionals, respectively.

Methods of Deploying Social Media* at Their Business According to Professionals Worldwide, August 2009 (% of respondents)

Despite widespread adoption of social media, measurement still lags. Only 16% of those polled said they currently measured ROI for their social media programs. More than four in 10 respondents did not even know whether the social tools they were using had ROI measurement capabilities.

Professionals Worldwide Who Measure the ROI of Their Social Media* Programs, August 2009 (% of respondents)

Measuring the success of social media marketing can be difficult, but using a variety of hard and soft ROI metrics is one solution. For example, distributing a coupon via a social network and monitoring its redemption can put a concrete number on social success. And marketers can also assign a dollar value to soft metrics, such as number of fans or followers, to measure ROI.

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Check out today’s other article, “Three Screens of Increased Viewing.”


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