Report: No. 1 social media question: ‘How do I measure?’

That’s one of the many findings in a survey of nearly 4,000 marketers in the just-released 2012 Social Media Marketing report.

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As with any surveys of this type, you have to remember that the people who responded—marketers—are an audience who care about social media. So it’s not surprising when the survey reports that “94 percent of respondents indicated they are employing social media for marketing purposes.”

Still in reading the report, there were several conclusions that I found interesting for anyone grappling with how to effectively integrate social media into their communications plans.

1. Marketers are overly focused on measurement and not concerned enough with strategy.

In perhaps the most telling section of the report, marketers were asked about the “Top 10 social media questions they want answered.” Coming in at No. 1 was how to track the ROI of social media. All the way down at a sad No. 6 was how to create a strategy.

This is the reason why so many businesses struggle to describe the value they see from social media. If you focus on how to measure what you’re doing without having a good strategy for why you’re doing it, you’ve already failed.

2. The lines between “social” and “non-social” are misunderstood and don’t depend on platform.

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