31% of global marketers say that existing digital metrics do not adequately quantify the financial impact of their online tools or channels, and, almost half of executives whose companies use social media say that quantifying the impact of social media is difficult. In my experience with large brands, there are usually two primary causes for the gap between what marketers need, and what they get from their measurement:
- Standard Tools do not Provide Insight: Many teams simply rely on automated metrics from social media monitoring tools, and those kinds of metrics never provide insight — they just provide data. You can absolutely measure the relationship between paid media and social media — to determine how much your social media lifts your paid investments, and to identify which individual site visitors are sending you more conversions via social media. But most people have no idea how to do that. Yes, it requires a little technology, and a little expertise, but you can do it. (If you’re interested, my colleague Neil Beam can help.)
- Standard Metrics Are Not Tailored to Your Business Goals: Using standard metrics from a tool — which are the same as what everyone else gets — means that the metrics are not tailored to your business goals or needs. You need to translate your business goals into the few KPIs — and supporting metrics — that will help you optimize your social media marketing.
It is no longer acceptable for the 2 in 5 global companies who do not track ROI for any of the money they spend on social media marketing, or the 26% who say they can only attribute an ROI figure to a tiny amount of the money they spend on social media.
If you want insightful and relevant metrics, you need to put in the work. You need to allocate some amount of resources to produce insights, and report them to the people who need them.
When you plan your social media campaigns, do you allocate resources to measure the impacts? Most brands do not. And that is why only 2 in 10 say that digital-related marketing has increased their access to data and insights. And only 17% say they have experienced a greater ability to increase productivity in various business processes through technology.
Too many businesses are still investing in social media without also investing in adequate measurement and feedback, usually under the guise of “test and learn”. But if you don’t have adequate measurement on place, it is impossible to learn.
Social media measurement is not a mystery. You just need to ask the people who know how to do it.