Social media has reached a varying level of maturity, but is still in the process of reaching full maturity. Through continuous research and study, experts are seeing the emergence of some patterns, which help to shed some light on this matter. The 2013 release of data made available by the Pivot Conference’s “State of Social Media Marketing 2012-2013” study was particularly helpful to marketers around the world. One of the greater conclusions from this study is the deepening acknowledgment that engagement matters more when compared to sales.
Sales are still a top priority, but marketers need the engagement with consumers to achieve those sales. Over the past three years, the priority or marketers in regards to social media has shifted dramatically from sales to engagement due to results achieved. In the beginning, the direct focus was on sales, but when marketers faced disappointment from sales numbers, they quickly realized the importance of reaching consumers through quality engagement.
According to the 2013 results on the Pivot Conference’s “State of Social Media Marketing 2012-2013” chart, you can clearly see the dramatic rise in the importance of engagement and the fall of the importance of sales. Sales are still very clearly an importance, but they’ve taken a slight backseat to engagement in regards to social media.
Social Media Has In Fact Integrated with Mainstream Marketing
One things for sure and that is that most experts believe that social media has officially integrated with mainstream marketing. In fact, most businesses have interconnected social media marketing efforts with their business’s overall marketing goals and plans. In this day and age, if you’re not participating with social media, you’re bound to be left in the dust of your competition. Social media marketing is no longer thought of as an “add-on” and has become fully integrated within every aspect of marketing.
The Mystification of Social Media for Marketing Experts
With all of that said, there is still much to be learned and there is a mystification regarding social media for many marketing experts and pros. A large part of this mystification is due to the fact that many marketers admit to not taking advantage of the data largely available through analytics.
In fact, only 41% of marketers reported measuring their company’s return on investment through available social media data. According to industry analyst Jeremiah Owyang, of Altimeter Group, the inability to measure social media marketing success has been the top marketing challenge for marketers in the past three years.
The Juggle of Multiple Social Media Channels
The bottom line regarding the uncertainty and the mystification of measuring multiple channels is the importance of ROI measurement through analytics. Many marketers are not bothering with analytics and that is the problem. ROI analytical data provides a wealth of important information and data to marketers, directly pinpointing which social media marketing efforts are more successful compared to others.
However, as social media marketing continues to mature and marketers are able to fully understand its mystifications, it is expected that most will see the value in social media analytics. The companies who are getting these numbers and analytics are able to strengthen their brand’s value.
Goals Achieved Thanks to Social Media:
- Increased consumer engagement
- Product and event production
- Online community building
- Increased Website and blog traffic
Conclusion to the Maturity of Social Media Marketing
Brands continue to see social media marketing as adding value to their brand and see a multitude of positive effects thanks to their social media marketing efforts. Through continued social media marketing efforts, measurement of data analyzed and time, social media marketing is definitely on the path to reaching full maturity. The recognition and integration of its importance has matured, but not the importance of social media channel data measurement.