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Marketing professionals believe in social media but where's the proof it works?

Staff writer |
Almost 90% of US companies with at least 100 employees will use social media for marketing purposes this year, eMarketer estimates. But did they think analyzing social engagement data actually mattered for their business' bottom lines?

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And the professionals who do social media marketing believe it is important: 88% of them agreed with that statement when surveyed in October by Harris Poll for social media management platform Hootsuite.

But did they think analyzing social engagement data actually mattered for their business' bottom lines? While 38% strongly agreed, for about half of respondents, concurrence was more tepid. And 15% didn't think analyzing social media mattered at all to the bottom line.

Some marketers may have been frustrated by a lack of alignment across the business when it came to social media strategy, something that could hinder social media's effectiveness. Just 30% said strategy was "completely" or "very aligned."

Whether despite or because of their disdain for data, two-thirds of marketers said assessing the effectiveness of social media activities was a challenge for them, the most common one faced by respondents overall. Designing a strategy and actually figuring out what to do with social data were the second- and third-biggest problems.

With all these problems, are social media marketing professionals feeling good about anything? According to the survey, 84% said they thought social marketing could enhance relationships with existing customers, and the same number said it helped them to engage with influences like the media.

Networking and social monitoring were also major value adds for about eight in 10 respondents. These are no small wins but do marketers have evidence to back it up?


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