It will likely come as no surprise that marketers still haven’t figured out social media ROI. Social Media Examiner has released their annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report which is chock full of stats on how marketers are using social media.

Let’s start with ROI since it’s a subject near and dear to my heart.

Social Media ROIThere was an 11% increase in marketers’ ability to measure ROI

Of the respondents, 37% agreed that they were able to measure the ROI of their social media activities. This was up from 26% in 2013. Fortunately, we are seeing some improvement with an 11% increase year over year, but it simply isn’t enough and it isn’t fast enough.

What’s really interesting is the increase in the impact on sales with this increase in measurement.

50% of marketers see improved sales from social media

As ROI has become more important there is a clear line to measuring sales impact. This number increased from 43% last year, which makes sense with an increase in measurement. There were several correlations to the ability to attribute sales impact.

“More than half of marketers who’ve been using social media for at least 3 years report it has helped them improve sales. More than half who spend 6 or more hours per week find the same results and 74% of those who spend 40+ hours earn new business through their efforts. Conversely, 50% of all marketers taking this survey report social media has not helped them improve sales. This may be because they lack the needed tools to track sales.”

As little as 6 hours on social media per week can result in an increase in leads

The first stage to generating sales is to increase leads. The good news is that it looks like at least 6 hours per week is the magic number to start seeing results. For companies of any size this seems like a palatable number.

“By spending as little as 6 hours per week, 66%+ of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media.”

88% of marketers want to know how to measure the ROI from social media

In 2013 87% of marketers wanted to figure this out. This has been one of the top 5 questions for marketers in this report four years so even while we see the number of marketers who can measure ROI increasing and clear ties to leads and sales, it’s clear there is still a lot of room to expand measurement. The largest area for improvement is likely in getting beyond last touch attribution models.

The good news is that marketers are getting better at measuring social media ROI. I’d really like to see this number improve even faster so we can just check this off and move on to optimization.

The report had other interesting findings beyond social media ROI

  • 83% of marketers say they have integrated social media into traditional marketing up from 79%.
  • 43% of marketers now have a mobile optimized blog up from 28%.
  • 94% of marketers are using Facebook.
  • Only 43% of marketers feel like their Facebook marketing is working. Most don’t know or feel that Facebook isn’t working.
  • Facebook is the most important platform for B2C marketers (68%) while LinkedIn is the most important for B2B marketers (33%).
  • 68% of marketers plan to increase their use of blogging. The first time since 2010 that blogging has topped the charts.
  • 85% of marketers have NO plans to use Snapchat. (Thank goodness!)
  • 90% of marketers who use paid social media buy ads on Facebook.

There are some really interesting stats that give you a clear perspective of where marketer’s heads are when it comes to social. It also includes break downs of the differences for B2C and B2B marketers, which helps to align it to your company’s plans based on your audience. Be sure to check it out and share some thoughts in the comments.

Is there anything surprising in here for you? Any stats that make you shake your head? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. 

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About Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly is the CEO of Social Media Explorer|SME Digital. She is also the author of How to Measure Social Media. Her team helps companies figure out where social media fits and then helps execute the recommended strategy across the “right” mix of social media channels. Do you want to rock the awesome with your digital marketing strategy? Contact Nichole

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Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.wearerecurve.com/ Bradley Robb

    Study reveals 11% increase in marketers *who say* they have the ability to measure social media ROI.

    Unless the study actually observed measurements and compared those measures to an acceptable standard, this study just shows that marketers know that measuring Social Media ROI is now important and that they should claim to know how to do it.

    Sorry if that sounds crabby, but self-reported surveys are a pet peeve of mine.

    • Nichole_Kelly

      I totally agree Bradley! That was my only risk assessment was whether or not they are really measuring ROI or they are counting increases in followers and engagement as ROI. Thanks for bringing it up. It’s a totally valid assessment.

      • http://www.wearerecurve.com/ Bradley Robb

        Glad to be of help! Your blog post inspired my team to start putting together as Social ROI test so marketers can put their Math where their Mouth is, so to say.

  • Emily Louisa

    “85% of marketers have NO plans to use Snapchat. (Thank goodness!)” Ha! Thank goodness for us, seems like a dangerous field for brands.

    • Nichole_Kelly

      LOL. I thought that was pretty funny myself. Thanks for commenting Emily!

  • Dávid Benedek

    Dear Sir/Madam

    My name is David Benedek, I’ve done researches in blogging in when I did my BA studies; I’ve studied how bloggers use their blog to make money with them and how they achieve it.

    Now I’m finishing my MA studies and I’m studying corporate blogs, I want to analyze how they blog, for what purpose are they blogging. I want to ask you if you’d mind to answer some general (without personal informations) questions?

    If you have time, here you find my short Survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1hs7DZzWvrlCUVaSShAzvXIFjDk9Rd3su9V4NkM4dCkg/viewform?usp=send_form

    Thank you for your answer!

    Yours sincerely,

    David.

    (benedek_david [at] yahoo.com)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Nichole – thanks so much for covering my report.

  • Emeric

    Great report from @mikestelzner:disqus! Having that kind of macro data about the industry really helps to see how things are evolving. Thanks for sharing the ROI part of the report @Nichole_Kelly:disqus :-)

    Being a social media too vendor, I didn’t worry about measuring our Social Media (or content) Marketing ROI because not having a content or social strategy was just not an option. So when you HAVE to do it, you just do it without measuring how much business it brings in. But since we started measuring things, we’ve found very interesting results.

    One thing I have to admit though is that putting all the measurement tools and processes in place has been an absolute nightmare. Hours and hours of work, especially from the tech team. Definitely not something at the reach of every small business.

    By the way, and increase from 26% to 37% is not an 11% increase but rather a 42% increase, no? That looks better with a bigger number ;-)

  • http://www.hisocial.com/ Hisocial

    Great review of the report Nichole. One of the surprising stats is the fact that only 43% of marketers feels that their Facebook strategy is working. Being an important platform for B2C marketing, Facebook is a valuable source for companies. However, they need a complete strategy and a plan on how to take the most out of this network. Consequently, they will be able to monitor this strategy and evaluate its results.

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