The experimentation phase in social networks is over. Marketing departments now want to see a return on their investment. Efficient measurement tools are therefore in demand.
The phenomenon of social networking is following more or less the same pattern as that of websites in the late 1990s.The experimentation phase and the ‘laboratory’ approach to the Internet are over and the emphasis is now on results and return on investment. This is the substance of the 2012 survey report from BrightEdge on the use of social networks in companies. The survey, addressed to over three hundred leading brand marketers and retailers, came up with a strong conclusion: close to 73% of marketing decision makers plan to increase their spending on search marketing technology over this coming year. This seems to confirm that Facebook, Twitter and others such as Google+ are now becoming an integral part of companies’ communication strategies.
Marketers in charge
The report also reveals that marketing departments want to be in charge of social network analysis. The vast majority of those surveyed (83%) say that it’s now essential to have better tools available to help them measure the conversations around their brand and the impact of their online operations in more detail. Mastering SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is becoming a clear priority for heads of online operations, who nowadays need to take account of all those Tweets, Likes and +1s when planning and assessing their visibility strategies on the net. All this has to be done at international level, 70% of those surveyed saying that the solutions they choose will be used in different countries.
Software expectations at the Data Centre
In the same vein, those surveyed for the BrightEdge report show strong interest in using hosting infrastructure. Some 84% of marketers say that analysis tools must be accompanied by resilient infrastructure (ideally including more than one data centre to ensure backup), which is secure, reliable, and completely scaleable. Marketers already have a benchmark, it seems, as they name salesforce.com as their ideal model. So there should be plenty of business for the company, which has been making substantial investments in social network measuring tools in recent years.