Deciding the right way to measure their social media investments is a top priority for the majority (56%) of marketing directors, according to a new study. 

The Adobe survey, carried out by Vanson Bourne, polled 500 marketing directors in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Scandinavia, looking at the usage, measurement and attitudes to social media marketing across the continent. 

Difficulties of measuring social media

Though there is a willingness to improve social media measurement, marketers still have work to do.

For instance, 78% of marketers across the continent didn't feel they didn't have a "complete and up-to-date view on how much they are investing in, managing and delivering social media campaigns".

There is also some debate over where the responsibility for social media measurement lies, as 35% of marketers didn't know the figures on social media campaigns because they felt this was someone else's job. 

Then there is the issue of measuring social media investments accurately. 

36% of marketing directors are attempting to measure social media ROI, but are not sure about the accuracy of this. A further 19% don't currently measure this, but would like to. 

Which metrics to measure? 

The easiest things to measure aren't necessarily the metrics which provide the most value and insight. 

Our first Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing, also sponsored by Adobe, found that the majority of companies (60%) measure the volume of traffic from social media, but this isn't the metric which is most valued by companies surveyed.

Does your organisation measure any of the following relating to social media?

Just under three-quarters (71%) of companies say that measuring the value of traffic is important, but only 17% of companies are currently measuring this.

Almost half (47%) of companies say they are planning to do this, which indicates this is very much on the radar, though difficult to execute.

Most popular social media channels

The Adobe / Vanson Bourne study also looked at which social channels are most popular for social marketing campaigns:

  • Facebook is the most widely used social media marketing channel (with 84% of organisations using it). 
  • Twitter: (62%)
  • Forums (49%) 
Graham Charlton

Published 7 October, 2011 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle, and former editor at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (3)


Sam Vandermark

This research demonstrates how many brands have jumped at social media without thinking about not only how to measure whether they have been successful in creating brand sentiment but how they want customers to engage in the first place. All of those things are important and businesses are obviously recognising that, but it should be primarily about maintaining a strong customer base through strategies focused on long term engagement; essentially making social media an extension of a comprehensive CRM programme. Deciding who is responsible for social media measurement would also be a good starting point!

almost 7 years ago


Nick Stamoulis

I think the hardest problem with measure social media ROI is that you can't draw a direct line between something like a Tweet and getting new business. You don't know if it was that Tweet that prompted them to act or a combination of social media and something else.

almost 7 years ago


Steve@Wise - Facebook Analytics

What is needed is a better integration of Facebook Insights data with Google Analytics data. This way you can measure the value of social media traffic.
We're working on this!

Nick, Google Analytics' multi-channel funnels may answer your question.

almost 7 years ago

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