For marketers and senior management looking for a quick hit from social channels, there continues to be disappointment. I can’t tell you how many meetings I sit in where a senior executive says to me “Yeah, yeah, yeah – but I don’t have time to do that stupid tweetering stuff,” or “I don’t know about this blogging business – why would we want our competitors knowing what we’re doing,” or “I’d like to get new business from LinkedIn, but I’m too busy to spend any time fooling around there.”
But for marketers who understand how to set goals for the use of social channels, how to strategically integrate social media marketing into their traditional marketing efforts and how to use the channels in a meaningful way, there’s a return.
Marketing Sherpa’s webinar “Realizing a Return on Your Social Marketing Investment: Strategies Behind the Monetization of the Social Media Channel” reinforced this by breaking down social media marketing investment into maturity phases. Those maturity phases are Strategic, Transitional and Trial.
Essentially, almost 50% of CMOs surveyed who are using social channels in a strategic fashion indicated that social media marketing efforts are producing a measurable ROI and are continuing to invest in social efforts. Not surprising – having a strategy and well-defined goals usually pays off, no matter what tactic you’re using. The other 50% of strategic users indicated that the results of social media marketing is promising, they expect it to produce ROI and will continue to invest conservatively in social media marketing efforts.
For marketers using social channels in a transition phase – meaning they’re well beyond the early stages but not quite into the full on strategic use phase, almost 20% report that their efforts are producing measurable ROI and another 70% see promise and plan continued conservative investment.
There are many folks just dipping their toes into the social media marketing waters. But even so, those in the early experimentation stages are seeing some concrete ROI – a reported 11% and an additional 60% see promise and plan on continued investment. So even for the companies who are at the very early stages of experimenting and integrating social media marketing into their overall marketing efforts, there’s evidence of overwhelming perception of potential benefit – and impact on the bottom line.
That speaks volumes, at least to this marketer, as to what’s on the horizon for businesses of all sizes. As you can see from the above graphic, a miniscule portion of the CMOs surveyed for this particular study reported that they see no ROI from social media marketing efforts and aren’t interested in further investment. Methinks it might be safe to say those marketers have their heads firmly in the sand and might be some of the same people who proudly proclaim they have no use whatsoever for a mobile device.
Bottom line, marketers are finding value – and return on investment – in social media marketing efforts. What are you seeing? Are your clients or businesses continuing to set more concrete goals, establish benchmarks and seeing a return on their investment in social media marketing? Or are you in the camp that’s still lobbying against old school thoughts that social media is for kids and that clients and prospects can’t possibly be served and/or discovered through these channels? I’d love some examples from you – of either type.