Social marketing's been around for a while now. Are you in? Or are you waiting? Have you been there, done that, and gotten the T-shirt? Are you battle weary and wish the whole social thing would go away? Or are you ecstatic with your results and evangelize social marketing whenever you can?
Those options sum up the sentiment of 1,700 U.S. and Canada based businesses that NextStage surveyed in 2013 regarding social marketing experience.
Just to be clear, social marketing means creating a social presence and using that social presence to drive conversions. Conversions cover everything from loyalty to acquisition to retention to customer service metrics to satisfaction to truly strange recency calculations linking site to social to mobile to...
We made it easy for the companies we interviewed by asking, "Could campaign cost be repeatedly and accurately linked to campaign income?"
We started with 4,200 companies, and "cost to income" quickly whittled things down to just over 1,700. All interviewees were director level and above, all qualified themselves as knowledgeable social managers with two or more years' experience in social, with more years in marketing in general, and all answered under terms of strict anonymity.
Companies ranged from mom and pop shops to F100 companies. Tools involved ranged widely: Expion, Fanscape, Google Analytics, HootSuite, InsideView, Nielsen, Radian6, ReviewAnalyst, Salesforce, Shareablee, Spredfast, Sysomos, Viralheat, homegrown variants, manual calculations, and more. We learned about successes, failures, plans for 2014, and what each company would tell other companies about social before spending money on it.
So what did businesses think? And would they do it again?