Ian Greenleigh, who heads up Social Media at Bazaarvoice, gave me a heads-up on a new report that the company has published on how CMOs use and view social media heading into 2011. Long-time readers here will remember that I interviewed Ian here a few months ago. You can receive a free copy of the report here.
Here are a few of the key takeaways I had from the report:
- 40% of CMOs surveyed said they were able to tie some of their company’s revenue back to their social media efforts in 2010 (I am surprised the percentage is that high)
- Site Traffic is the most popular metric used by CMOs to track the success of their social media efforts, followed closely by Page Views and number of Fans/Followers
- Of the ‘Big Three’ Social Media tools (Blogs, Facebook, Twitter) CMOs feel they get the highest return on their investment for company blogs, followed by Facebook and then Twitter
At the heart of this report, I think it verifies that as companies are becoming more familiar with using social media and how these sites and tools function, they are getting a better idea of how to measure the effectiveness of their efforts. The fact that most CMOs look to Site Traffic and Pageviews to gauge the effectiveness of their social media efforts suggests that when they launch their efforts (a blog, for example) that they are assuming that the same/similar metrics that they use to judge if their website is working, will work for social media. I also think this is partly why CMOs feel that they have a better handle on the value created by blogs, simply because companies have been using blogs as a tool to connect with customers for longer than they have Facebook and Twitter, for example. As the knowledge of the tool/site increases, so does the efficiency in which the company uses that tool/site.
Of course, traffic and page views aren’t worth very much unless that traffic performs certain action(s) on the site. I believe companies are starting to realize this, and THAT is why you will begin to see companies being able to quantify real ROI from their social media efforts. I also think the report addresses this, as the 2nd most popular metric that CMOs are expecting to use to gauge their social media efforts in 2011, is conversion.
So thanks to Ian and the folks at Bazaarvoice for creating this report, and you can download your free copy here. Also, on February the 2nd (Next Wednesday), Bazaarvoice will have a free webinar where they will do a deep-dive into the findings of this report, with several top CMOs.
Katrina Kibben says
Agreed- they’re trying to measure. Unfortunately, as more executives try to make a square peg fit in a round hole and social media professionals don’t push back there’s a gap in understanding of how social works. It’s not about ROI, it’s about community. At least for now.
Mack Collier says
Katrina I agree community is important, but it’s more about how can community help a company reach its business goals? Getting more interaction for interaction’s sake isn’t any better than using social media without a plan. Linking the community and interaction to helping the company reach its goals is where the money is. And the value.
Javier von Westphalen says
Thanks for sharing the top findings of the research. I was also surprise that 40% CMOs surveyed said they were able to tie some of their company’s revenue back to their social media efforts in 2010. That is good news. I agree that we need to move from community building to other metrics that show incremental growth- trust, leads, sales, etc. 2011 is SM 2.0+
Jeffrey Eisenberg says
What’s most important for conversion is the visitor’s intent. I’ve seen a few companies start to track social media by conversion rates and they are quickly disappointed, especially when they compare results to other contextual media. Unlike in search (where context is the query not the profile) the social media visitor hasn’t expressed a need via a query. Often all the social media visitor is signalling is interest. Interest isn’t a very strong motivation to convert. I’m a huge fan of measuring conversion, really I literally wrote THE book, but this is not the best use of the metric.
Should we be measuring revenue based on social media? At what stage are people using social media to purchase. I was always under the assumption, people use social media to research at the initial stage, but then traditional search channels to buy. Just like TV ads establish a “brand recognition” but then the customer goes into a retail store to actually transact.
How are CMO’s attributing the different channels that lead to the sale?