Most companies now look at social media as a key part of their marketing and overall business strategies, according to new research by Econsultancy and Adobe

66% of digital marketers surveyed working for companies with an annual turnover of more than £100m agreed that ‘social media is integral to business strategy’, while 67% said that social media activity was ‘integral to their marketing mix’.

Our Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Managing and Measuring Social looks at social media uses, challenges and needs from companies today. It is based on a survey of 650 marketing professionals. 

Here are a few highlights from the report…

How social is integral to business

While the majority of all respondents see social as an integral part of business strategy, there are still plenty of respondents at larger firms who have yet to see the light, as far as social is concerned. 

While just 9% of respondents from companies with a turnover lower than £100m disagree that social is integral to the marketing mix, that figure rises to 17% for enterprise-level firms. 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? (Client-side respondents)

The role of social

As the chart below shows, social is seen mainly as a brand awareness channel, though significant numbers are using social as part of their content marketing strategy and for customer service. 

However, though there are some success stories here, very few look at social as a sales channel. 

Top roles for social within the organisation (up to two options)

Social media objectives and measurement

The research, which coincides with the launch of Adobe Social, has also found that many companies are struggling to define objectives for their social activity and to measure success appropriately.

Only 28% of smaller companies and 42% of the larger companies surveyed said they measured their performance against defined social media objectives.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? (Client-side respondents)

The key to measuring social media is to track the ‘hard’ metrics, but also correlate performance with the over-arching business objectives. If the metrics you are looking at are not relevant to these objectives, then you are not measuring the impact of social but are rather quantifying activity.

While the majority of companies are measuring volume of traffic and engagement, far fewer are measuring hard metrics such as increases in leads generated or reduction in customer service calls.