January 10, 2012

Marketing Research Chart: Agencies’ perception of social media marketing's tactical effectiveness

SUMMARY: This week’s chart looks at how agencies rate the effectiveness of their clients’ social marketing tactics. Given their experience across multiple accounts and verticals, agencies possess a valuable perspective when it comes to evaluating which popular approaches best support their clients’ social marketing objectives.
by Kaci Bower, Senior Research Analyst

Chart: Agencies rate the effectiveness of their clients’ social marketing tactics

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Agencies hold a valuable perspective when it comes to evaluating which social media tactics are most effective at achieving the marketing objectives of a typical client organization. Their work across multiple accounts and verticals affords them many opportunities to test approaches and apply best practices.

Optimizing social media sites to improve search engine rankings is viewed as one of the most beneficial social marketing tactics. More than three-quarters of agencies surveyed find this activity either very or somewhat effective in helping clients reach their marketing objectives.

Another top-rated tactic is building relationships with online influencers. In describing the benefit of this pursuit, one agency surveyed shared, “When your social audience is small, leveraging influencers that have their own audience can broaden your reach and achieve new followers.”

Posting content on company-branded or -managed blogs is deemed either very or somewhat effective by 85% of agencies, particularly when that content is purposely fed into other social media outlets.

One agency gave this example: “For several clients, we have created company blogs that auto-feed into social media outlets, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Through creating this bridge, the company efficiently leverages content, increases Web traffic, and improves search engine results.”

On the other end of the effectiveness scale, advertising on social media properties is perceived as one of the weakest social marketing tactics in terms of performance. Nearly one in four agencies rate online advertising as ineffective, particularly when compared to other social media activities. “Social media exceeded ROI for cost/impression, especially compared to online advertising,” observed one agency.

For additional research data and insights about social media marketing, download and read the free Executive Summary (PDF) from MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report.

Useful links related to this chart

2011 Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report

Social Media Marketing: Cleveland Indians cater to influencers to increase sales 174%

Social Media Marketing: 4 tactics for finding and winning hyper-social consumers

Social Email Marketing: KFC’s Double Down email launch

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