Most companies are still unable to quantify efficiently the impact of their social networks use or view data analytics as just too complex a field.

Companies Still Struggling to Measure Returns on Social Media Activities

While the use of social networks has become a must for businesses, actually measuring the benefits social media activity brings them is much less straightforward. A recent survey* shows 80% of the companies polled claiming to use social technologies in one or several areas - including marketing, employee collaboration, customer service & support and sales*. However, 75% of the respondents admitted that they did not measure return on investment (ROI) from their social business programmes. This revelation appears to indicate a widespread need for training on the capabilities of analytics solutions, a conclusion which some of the respondents recognised.

Lack of awareness regarding analytics solutions

In fact many of the companies surveyed said they were unaware of the existence of analytics solutions that would enable them to measure the impact of their social media use. Some 31% do not know whether their social software supplier provides analytics, 14% use a supplier who does not offer them this type of service, and 44% of the respondents do not work with a supplier for analytics at all.  The survey shows that companies do recognise the importance of analysing and gaining insights from social interactions happening in real time, but they were unable to indicate a time-frame in which they intend to implement a solution to do so.

Unrealised potential

While the companies polled reckoned they were drawing some value from social technologies, 49% stated that they were not using them to their full potential and only 12% acknowledged that social technologies have helped in their day-to-day roles and responsibilities.  The main areas where social technologies are seen as likely to have an impact on trust and influence are: customer experience; customer service and support; marketing or brand experience; employee collaboration; knowledge sharing; and sales.

*Social Software and Big Data Analytics in Business, survey carried out among 500 respondents from a variety of industries and professions by Teradata, the Center for Complexity in Business at the University of Maryland and Mzinga.