Commentary

Half Of Social Media Campaigns Fail To Achieve Goals

failwhale city

There's no question social media advertising is blowing up (in a good way) with Facebook alone predicted to take in $1.4 billion in ad revenue this year. But it's equally clear that the discipline is still in an early, experimental phase, as marketers struggle to get a handle on what works and what doesn't.

These are some of the conclusions I draw from a new report on social media from KingFishMedia, which in turn was based on its survey of 457 marketing executives in the second quarter of this year.

Fully 72% of respondents said their company had a social media strategy, and the majority of the rest said they will have one in place by next year. 75% said they would be increasing their investment in social media over the next year. Most of the companies with a strategy said they are focusing their social media efforts on both customer retention and acquisition, and 70% of respondents said they considered social media a marketing responsibility. 85% of respondents said they are using a Twitter account and just over two thirds have a Facebook fan page for their company.

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But when it comes to advertising in particular, only 30% of respondents said they had executed a social media ad campaign -- and only half of these had attempted to measure the ROI of their campaigns. Within this group, roughly half said social media campaigns performed as expected or better than expected. Crunching the numbers, that means about 8% of marketers have executed social media campaigns, measured the results, and been satisfied with the outcome.

In addition to marketers neglecting to assess ROI, social media's growth may be hindered by companies failing to appoint full-time, dedicated social media staff: 90% of respondents said managing social media is just part of their responsibilities, suggesting they can't give it their full attention.

4 comments about "Half Of Social Media Campaigns Fail To Achieve Goals".
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  1. Mark Burrell from Tongal, August 20, 2010 at 6:02 p.m.

    I wish we were number 458. We'd give them case studies on ROI, engagement, participation, deliverables and put it against cost. Or we could put you in touch with anyone who's worked with us as there has been measured value for everyone.

    I think it's what you or a company put into it but when you factor in the cost, it is 1000x more effective than any other form of advertising.

  2. Todd Tilley from Wrecking Ball Media, August 20, 2010 at 6:22 p.m.

    I have to agree with Mark. Maverick Digital has run several social campaigns over the last two quarters that far out perform the old Display Ad Campaigns in the past and actually builds an on going audience for our brands. Its also a shame that so many companies are still being persuaded to dump so much budget in display that still relies on impressions served as a key, success metric. Its also a shame to see brand managers exalt total impressions like its some kind of triumph of the campaigns performance when its actually exactly what they paid for.

  3. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, August 22, 2010 at 11:58 a.m.

    Too many companies are clueless on Social Media, get led blindly by self proclaimed experts and agencies with over half of them talking out their asses. So of course the results the companies expected failed to appear. Every company can use Social Media technologies, but not ever business needs a Facebook or Twitter account. In fact more than half do not need a Fan Page. And unless your B2C you don't need to advertise via Social Networks, and not every B2C needs too. Nestle I am sure is regretting creating a Facebook Page. I would of advised against it. So little to gain so much to lose. And they lost.

  4. Jannette Pazer from DragonSearch Marketing, August 23, 2010 at 10:15 a.m.

    Part of being a company that runs various social media campigns on behalf of our clients is helping them determine what they want and what their goals are.
    With social media being the hot buzz words of the day, we find that many people know they want it, but don't know WHY they want it, or what they hope to get out of it. It's impossible to measure the ROI if goals are not defined and metrics for those goals are built in.

    Then after that, it's education, education, education and a strong emphesis on communcation. I personally find the unmeasurable reuslts of a social media outreach to be more exciting then the ones that can be shown on a graph, but the CEOs who enjoy that are few and far between! But, educating clinets on those benefits is very important.

    The campaings that I have seen fail often come from a lack of claer goals, unrealitic expectaions, and then using social media as an afterthought. Social media providers shold not be finding out about new events and promotions form reading the website like anyone else of getting a Google alert!

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