Social Media Update: Adoption is Great, but Accountability Still Stinks

A recent post in Mashable showed some of the results of an August 2009 survey by Mzinga and Babson Executive Education, good news / bad news style:

86% of professionals in a variety fields said that they have adopted social media in some way.

While the survey results are great in that they indicate an enhanced role social media in many industries, it also indicated that some professionals or companies are adopting social technologies without having a way to actually measure how effective or useful the measures actually are. In fact, 84% of respondents said they don’t currently measure the ROI (return on investment) of their social media programs.

Social Media ROI

The adoption numbers look great. It’s exciting to see social media taking a rightful place as legitimate channels for marketing. But legitimate channels must be measurable channels or they cannot be improved. So the lack of ROI accountability is troubling if the channels are to mature and be given any priority in a company’s marketing mix.

In fact, the post goes on to say that:

Even less encouraging, more than 40% of respondents said they didn’t even know whether they could track ROI from their social tools.

We’ve shared some of our thinking on metrics and accountability for social media before; we’ve talk about making sure that social is the right tool for the job; we’ve even given an overview of social media optimization for business. I hope these resources are useful, but if you need more, you know where to find us. We’re ready to help.

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