Earlier today I attended a webinar hosted by Simply Measured. In the one hour time frame, Lucy Hitz and Bryan Blackburn went over the results of The 2017 State of Social Report (not yet released!)
I am always impressed with Simply Measured's work, I get a lot of my social content from them, so I was pretty eager for this webinar to get an exclusive look as to where social is headed.
Some of the stats were surprising yet others echoed the same cry for help social has had for years, "we don't have budget, we can't prove ROI and we don't have enough people!" Overall, I thought the webinar was great. Two of the main topics, ROI and Influencer Marketing, brought up interesting insights and ideas.
Here are my thoughts...
Surprise! ROI is still social's biggest challenge - were you surprised about that? I definitely wasn't... I understand why ROI is so big and scary, but it comes from not acting on the tactic appropriately.
It makes sense to continue measuring engagement metrics, but only ~19% of respondents measured conversion and revenue metrics also. A retweet will only get you so far! Social teams can do a better job at reporting on ROI if metrics like clicks, webforms, leads, site visits, etc. are accounted for.
Another pressing issue with social's ROI struggle is that teams just don't have budget for the proper analytics tool. BUT they do have budget for publishing tools. This tells me that companies are willing to offer up $$$ to get their message out, but won't pay to properly see results. What?! Seems a little backwards to me, but we learned during the webinar that 4 out of 10 social teams do not have the proper tools needed for success.
ROI doesn't need to be impossible - we may all struggle to nail the correct strategy on reporting right away, but social teams can do it...IF the proper tools and time are there. **Hint, hint: invest wisely within your social program**
Ahhh Influencer Marketing. I wonder if there's a marketing webinar, eBook, article or whitepaper that doesn't mention the rise of Influencer Marketing. All joking aside it definitely is a hot topic and one to pay attention to and ultimately start using.
Social professionals surveyed for this report basically all agreed that IM is THE strategy to have and it is crucial for success. BUT - there's always a but right? teams have no budget set aside for it. So we need this strategy but cannot implement it, makes sense!
Along with that alarming stat, I was taken back by what social professionals wanted from an Influencer. Almost HALF of those surveyed (I believe this was just from brands not agencies) wanted an Influencer and their IM strategy to revolve around reach. Reach definitely needs to be a top priority, but not THE top. Your content can reach 1 million users with the help of an influencer, but what if there's no engagement? As social marketers, we need to understand that 1,000 eyes on a piece of content with 100 engagements is better than 1 million eyes simply passing by.
Budgets will come for Influencer Marketing, as it is an important tactic, so social teams should ramp up their strategies and make them flawless in the meantime!
As I said earlier, this was a great webinar! I cannot wait for the entire report to come out to get more insight into social media's current state and where it's headed!