SUMMARY: The most effective social media tactics are the most difficult to measure quantitatively. Don’t employ less effective tactics for the sake of measuring ROI. Consider the value of qualitative factors to gauge more effective tactics.
“Inability to measure ROI” ranks as the second most significant barrier to social media adoption. But as the chart above shows, the ability to accurately measure ROI has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the tactic in the minds of marketers. “Advertising on blogs or social networks,” the tactic rated as the most accurately measured (32%), was also rated least effective (16%).
Everyone has an opinion on social media measurement, but nobody agrees. Like any tactic that is more aligned with PR than direct marketing, social media is difficult to measure quantitatively.
What can marketers do? Measure the value of the resulting conversations and relationships qualitatively. Do not focus on moment-in-time transactions, such as traffic hits. Marketers obsessed with tracking social media results quantitatively are missing the point. They may find themselves employing much less effective social media tactics for the sake of measurability.
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