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Mar 31, 2008

NEWS: Social Media Marketing Still Lacks Strong Metrics

Companies are adopting social media as a marketing tool, but they are struggling to find effective metrics, writes Paul Gillin (author of The New Influencers) in a report issued by the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR).

“New Media, New Influencers, and Implications for the Public Relations Profession” is based on findings from a survey of 297 advertising, marketing, PR and corporate communications professionals - all of them social media power users.*

Social media tools are becoming more valuable, say 57% of early adopters - 27% of whom say that social media is a core element of their communications strategy. Just 3% state that it has little or no value to their communications initiatives.

Blogs and online video are the most popular social media tools (78% and 63% of marketers have used them, respectively) followed by social networks (56%) and podcasts (49%):


Respondents show an overall high satisfaction level with all social media tools, with all ranking 3 or higher on a scale of 1-5, but no one tool is a clear top performer.


More than half (51%) of organizations surveyed are formally measuring the success of social media initiatives. Standard measurement for other online marketing tactics, such as search engine ranking and website traffic, are also perceived as being useful for evaluating social media influence, according to the report:


However, awareness and engagement factors are cited ahead of hard metrics when respondents list the most important criteria for overall efforts in communicating with the “new influencers.” The following receive above a “4″ rating (5 being the most effective):

  • Enhancement of relationships with key audiences
  • Enhancement of reputation
  • Search engine ranking of website
  • Customer awareness of program
  • Click-thrus to website
  • Comments/posts relevant to company or products
  • Social media coverage
  • Unique visitors from influencers’ sites

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