Social media provides brands with another channel for content sharing. But as this becomes the norm, content marketers are looking to the next step in the process: measuring the effectiveness of this content. Based on an April 2014 study conducted by Ipsos OTX for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the overwhelming majority of brands are now doing so.
According to the research, 80% of US client-side marketers measured the effectiveness of their social content, with social media metrics such as “likes” the most common. Usage statistics—daily or monthly active users, for example—fell in the middle of the list. Meanwhile, metrics that could identify business ramifications were not used nearly as much, with financially based measurements such as return on investment and sales landing near the bottom.
While most marketers were measuring social content effectiveness in some way, ANA noted that they were still using soft metrics vs. solid metrics, indicating further room for growth. May 2014 polling by Contently found that these soft social metrics weren’t just common for measuring content on such platforms—they were also among the most popular ways marketers were measuring content marketing success overall. Nearly two-thirds of US content marketers said they used social shares and “likes” to determine success, the second most popular metric. Conversions and sales fell at the low end again, cited by 42.1%.