Why Social Media Marketers Don’t Even Care About Revenue

You’ve been hearing it since elementary school:

Keep your eyes on your own paper.

(Some people may have needed to be reminded more than others. No judgement.)

Cheating on a Test

When it comes to your business, keeping your eyes on your own paper is usually a good idea – after all, the things that work really well for someone else might not work so well for you.

There is, however, something to be said about having a little context – about knowing that the challenges you’re facing are the same as those faced by others.

Want a peek at what other businesses think about social media marketing?

In its 2016 State of Social Marketing report, Simply Measured reveals a whopping 46 pages of insights into the struggles, successes, and secrets of social media marketers around the world.

And that means it’s time to take your eyes off your own paper – just for a second.

You can read the entire report here, but for right now, here’s some encouraging intel we picked up on our own deep dive into the data.

It ain’t the size of the team in the fight

There’s an old saying that goes, “It isn’t the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.”

While this phrase surely rings true for anyone who’s had a rough encounter with a Chihuahua, it also speaks volumes about the state of social media marketing.

Most social teams are small – really, really small.

Of the hundreds of major worldwide brands surveyed for this report, 68% have social media teams that are only one or two people.

In fact, nearly half of the brands surveyed have just one person on their social team!

Kelly Kapoor Department

It’s easy to feel like you’re at a disadvantage when competing with huge businesses, because they theoretically have way more resources. In reality, though, your social team is probably the same size as most others.

(And that’s pretty good news!)

This is where that whole “size of the dog” thing comes in. You don’t need an enormous social team to make a splash online – you just need a good strategy that you can implement all on your own. If you can do that, you can be competitive!

Basically nobody knows how “valuable” social media marketing is

How much money did you make from your social media marketing last year?

Any guesses?

Snape No Idea

That’s okay – you’re not alone.

In fact, you’re not even close to being alone on that one!

Measuring ROI is the number one challenge for social media marketers. More than three out of five say that it’s their top problem!

It’s because your social media marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum – it’s a part of a larger plan. A plan that includes blogging, building brand recognition and trust, and fostering long-term connections with an audience.

You don’t have to be able to assign a dollar value to a tweet. Most social marketers can’t – fewer than 1 out of 10 says they can actually quantify their revenue from social media!

[Tweet “Fewer than 1 in 10 marketers can actually quantify their revenue driven from social media.”]

So don’t feel bad if you can’t put a dollar sign on how much the time and energy you spend on social media marketing is worth.

Instead, define success with this in mind:

Value is all relative

If so many marketers can’t figure out how much money their social media efforts are worth, how do they know whether they’re successful?

By understanding that value is relative, and that success is defined by more than just money.

Only about 1 in 5 marketers measures the success of their social media in terms of revenue – which makes sense, considering that so few people know how to solve that equation.

About 56% of marketers, however, measure their social media success based on social media metrics – likes, comments, retweets, and so on.

Source: http://simplymeasured.com/blog/introducing-the-2016-state-of-social-marketing-report

Source: http://simplymeasured.com/blog/introducing-the-2016-state-of-social-marketing-report

In social media marketing, tracking engagement can be easier and more useful than tracking revenue.

It helps you ensure that you’re posting the right stuff at the right times, building your audience (and learning more about them), and sharing things that will expand your reach over time.

The ways that social media provides value to your overall marketing may not be as tangible as money in your pocket, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important – or trackable! If you define social media success by your engagement instead of your revenue, you’re in the majority.

Take your eyes off your own paper

Ultimately, this report has an important lesson to teach: social media marketing challenges affect everyone – not just you.

A big company’s social media team probably isn’t that much different from a small company’s. Tracking ROI is difficult. Social success is about engagement, not revenue.

Because these challenges affect everyone the same way, your social marketing efforts might actually be a lot more competitive than you think!

This is all just the tip of the iceberg, though, so remember – taking your eyes off your own paper can actually be a pretty enlightening experience.

    • Danny Maloney

      Great post and study, team Edgar. Thanks for sharing!

      • Tom VanBuren

        Thanks, Danny! (And thanks to Simply Measured for sharing its findings!)

    • Lori Bryant

      Great post!! Loved the info and the gifs too! Thank you for sharing

      • Tom VanBuren

        Thanks a lot, Lori!