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Few Monitor, Measure Social Media Marketing


U.S. marketers are "willing" to start a conversation about their brands through social media -- some actually follow-through and do it. But, that's only the beginning of their digital marketing intent, according to a recent eMarketer assessment.

In late 2008, MarketingSherpa surveyed social media marketers about the effectiveness of their practices. Large majorities rated social media marketing effective at influencing brand reputation, increasing awareness and improving search rankings and web site traffic.

Social media was considered less effective, but still useful, for internal communications and driving online sales.

Marketers thought the best specific tactics were user reviews, relationships with bloggers and discussion groups. But they also found those tactics difficult to measure -- only around 10 percent of respondents thought they were very accurately measured.

While one-third of larger businesses had a written policy to manage brand communications, only 13 percent of smaller business did. Among large businesses, 39 percent had no policy despite recognizing its importance, and 9 percent believed it unnecessary. Three-quarters of small businesses had no written policy.

Around one-quarter of businesses of all sizes reported not monitoring social media commentary at all. Nearly one-half of large businesses kept an eye on discussions -- without responding publicly. Another quarter of all firms attempted to contact the writer of a negative comment.

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