More important than ever. That’s what Simply Measured has to say about social marketing.
A pioneer in social analytics, the company has just released its third annual “State of Social Marketing” report, which provides insights from more than 2,700 social media professionals in 111 countries—with the perspectives of both brands and agencies.
“At the end of the day, your job as a marketer—any kind of marketer—is to sell. This is true even if you are tasked with increasing brand awareness and cultivating a community on social, as three-quarters of our survey respondents are,” said Scott Fallon, vice president of Marketing at Simply Measured. “It just means that your target market is closer to the top of the funnel. As more budget is devoted to social—social spending is expected to rise to 17.3 billion by 2019 —social marketers will be pressed to make the link between engagement and conversions. Social marketers won’t stop paying attention to engagement and amplification metrics, but they will be asked to set and meet conversion goals, too.”
There is a severe gap here today: 90 percent of marketers surveyed struggle to measure ROI and/or tie social to business goals. The report positions 2017 as the year of contradictions, with social ad investment increasing, but a lack of industry-wide goal-setting, and more than half of brands saying that influencers are vital to the success of their social programs, but over 76 percent of brands saying they have no dedicated budget for influencer marketing.
Agencies, however, are pushing for results from social more than brands: 73 percent of agencies set goals for either web traffic or conversion goals, while only 57 percent of brand marketers do. This indicates that social marketers at agencies have stronger goal-setting (and achieving) baselines than social marketers within the brand environment.
“Whether brand or agency, social media is a foundational marketing strategy that—if properly tracked and analyzed—has the ability to impact the buyer’s journey at all stages in the funnel,” explains report author Lucy Hitz, head of Marketing Communications, Simply Measured. “However, marketers still find difficulty quantifying the impact of social media and are unsure of how to distribute resources to generate the most value from their social campaigns.”
To learn more, check out the full report here.