Is Measuring ROI a Major Constraint to Use Social Media as a Marketing Tool?

Despite social media’s overwhelming popularity as a major destination of Internet users, many marketers are still not sure whether social media marketing can help them to achieve their targets or not. While recent studies have shown that up to 90 percent of consumers are using social media to make their purchasing decisions, social media is still pointless and over-hyped or too complicated to deal with for many marketing professionals. According to a survey by R2integrated, it is the lack of data to measure ROI that stands as biggest obstacle for implementing social media strategies.

B2B marketers staying away from social tools
According to B2B Marketing Skills Survey, about one-half of B2B marketers are staying away from social tools. Around 50 percent of respondents report not blogging, 49 percent are not using Twitter, and 25 percent don’t use LinkedIn. A survey from reveals that around 73% of B2B respondents have less than two years of social media marketing experience. This shows that a majority of the B2B marketers are still fairly new to the social media platform, and this may be the reason why they are still not being able to adopt social media in their marketing strategies.

Majority of US marketing professionals says social media is not profitable
A recent research from R2intergrated, only 35% of the US marketing professionals surveyed thought that they were profited using social media. A majority of marketing professionals (65%) did not believe that their company has profited or increased revenues from social media. However, the same research has found that “not having enough data to measure ROI” as the biggest obstacle for implementing a social media strategy. Getting buy-in from senior management stands as second biggest obstacle. It is obvious that without having a proper metric to measure social media strategy it is hard to convince a buy-in from senior management.

Lack of mechanism to measure ROI
The 2010 Online Analytics Benchmark Survey by Omniture reveals that marketers were not able to measure marketing effectiveness across the purchase funnel. While about 80% of the marketers surveyed said that measuring ROI from online activities is important, only 31% could do so effectively. Though a considerable number of respondents were using social media in their marketing efforts, about 41% of them lack a mechanism to measure social media conversion. Lack of staff with the required expertise necessary to get the most out of the available data, stands as major challenge for them. This shows that measuring ROI is not only important but also a major challenge for the marketers.

Measurement of ROI acts as a vector to tell a business whether its marketing strategy is a success or failure. It is this factor that is lacking in case of present day social media marketing. The growing popularity of social media shows that there is a tremendous opportunity for businesses to gain from it. However, figuring out a suitable mechanism to measure ROI is what requires attention by marketers in high priority.

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