Marketers Use Varying ROI for Social Media

August 20, 2010

Marketers use a wide array of metrics to measure return on investment (ROI) from social media campaigns, according to a new study from King Fish Media, Hubspot and Junta 42.

Quantitative Metrics Have Human Touch
Results from “Social Media Usage, Attitudes and Measurability” indicate that out of quantitative measure and techniques marketers are using to measure the ROI of social media campaigns, the most popular directly measure the number of people responding.


Almost all (93%) measure the number of visitors/page views, while 85% measure the number of fans/followers generated. Another 79% measure the traffic generated to the corporate site from social media.

Other popular metrics directly measuring people include leads generated (72%) and new customer conversion (58%). Some metrics measure the actions people take, such as number of comments posted (71%) and shared links (55%).

Qualitative Metrics Focus on Relationships
In their use of qualitative metrics, marketers are most apt to measure the impact social media campaigns have on customer relationships. Eighty-four percent measure increased dialogues with prospects and customers, while 68% measure how much existing customer relationships were strengthened.


In addition, 57% measure customer retention and 43% track the ratio of negative to positive relationships with prospects and customers. One popular qualitative metric, corporate/brand reputation (68%), does not directly measure some aspect of customer relationships.

4 in 10 Don’t Measure ROI
Surprisingly, 43% of marketers say they have not yet measured the ROI of their social media efforts. Another 34% say social media efforts have met expectations, and 13% say they have exceeded expectations.


In a positive sign for the effectiveness of social media as a marketing tool, only 8% of marketers say social media efforts performed worse than expected, with 2% considering them far below expectations.

3 in 10 Require Positive ROI
In what may be reflective of the relative newness of social media as a marketing tool, only 29% of marketers say they will have to show positive ROI to continue their social media programs. Forty-three percent will track ROI but not set requirements, while 21% will not track ROI and 6% don’t know.


LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook Near Universal
Other results from “Social Media Usage, Attitudes and Measurability” indicate that 87% of companies currently use LinkedIn as part of their social media strategy, while 12% plan to in the next 12 months. Similarly, 84% use Twitter and 16% plan to in the next 12 months, and 78% use Facebook and 22% plan to in the next 12 months.

About the Data: The survey was created by King Fish Media and hosted online by from April 15 to June 1, 2010. Email invitations were sent out directing respondents to the survey by King Fish Media and the two survey co-sponsors: HubSpot and Junta 42. In addition, the link was sent out via social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The survey was completed by 457 respondents primarily split between corporate management and marketing/sales management. The data was compiled and tabulated by Datastar.

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