Only One-half of companies have a social strategy

A majority of US marketing professionals claim social media is now “invaluable” to their business, according to April 2010 research from online marketing firm R2integrated.

While relatively few marketers reported social was pointless and overhyped or too complicated to deal with, most are still not increasing revenues or otherwise profiting from their social efforts.

Although one-half of respondents said they had a social strategy in place—considered critical for success in the social space—only 35% thought they were making money.

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Strategy does help, though. Respondents who said they profited were twice as likely to have a formal strategy. They were also more likely to have staff dedicated to managing social media.

Marketers’ main goal in implementing a strategy was better lead generation, followed by brand monitoring.

The biggest obstacle for social strategies was not having enough data to come up with a measure of return on investment. Management buy-in was also a problem, and more than one-fifth of respondents said their audience was not active on social media.

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“Marketers clearly recognize the need for, and see the potential of, social media, but are still trying to develop models that increase real engagement which then leads to profitability—if that’s a goal for implementing a social strategy,” said Matt Goddard, CEO of R2integrated, in a statement.

“Despite the presence and popularity of social media, many companies remain relatively unfamiliar with its practices, pundits, and principles,” he said.

Marketing management firm Unica reported in March 2010 that strategic integration of social with other marketing efforts varied by channel. MarketingSherpa found that in late 2009 only one-quarter of social media marketers had reached the strategic phase.

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