Eight out of ten agencies are monitoring social media for clients. Though there are too many tools, too few benchmarks and too few ways to integrate data from multiple sources according to the 4A’s inaugural “Agency Social Media Monitoring and Reporting Survey.”
With “significant variation in social media monitoring, reporting and associated business practices from one agency to another” … more than half of respondents felt they were doing a good job for clients, even though many clients are still not convinced of the value of social media. Agencies, of all shapes and sizes, are looking for better ways to understand what’s being said about brands across a growing array of social media platforms.
Google Analytics, used by 70 percent of responding agencies, leads the pack in terms of monitoring and reporting tools. Hootsuite and Radian6 with a 59 share and a 36 share, respectively, are the next most used tools. One third of responding agencies spend between $1000 and $4999 per month licensing tool sets. No other tool got more than 20% of responses in an arena where 52% of agencies believe the current tools available are insufficient and seven in ten have trouble evaluating and differentiating between tools.
The outputs, most often measured by these tools, and presented using PowerPoint or Keynote, are engagement, connections/fans/followers and brand mentions. Agencies are clearly grappling with defining social media success. Just 18 months ago brands and their agencies were racing to accumulate fans and followers. Today we’re touting ill-defined engagement scores and counting posts, shares and comments as we attempt to explain to clients how these social activities impact brand awareness, preference and purchase or deliver incremental media value.
Bottom line: Social media monitoring and reporting is still in it’s infancy. We’re not sure what to measure or how in order to quantify the value of social media to clients looking for marked increases in branding, sales metrics or ROI.