Among U.S. marketing professionals, 67% cite consumer engagement and brand lift as the principal goals of marketing through social medial platforms. The survey, conducted by Pivot Conference, shows this to be a significant change from a 2011 study, in which only half of those questioned said that these were the primary objectives.

This is also a change from last year, replacing “positive sentiment” as the goal, which fell to fourth on the list. eMarketer believes the study shows that “marketers may be finding that it is less important that their posts get a warm reception from social users and more important that they keep consumers posting, ‘liking’ and sharing social content.”

The survey also revealed a shift in the perceived importance of social media as a means of generating sales. While all of the respondents in the 2011 study held that increased sales was the most important objective of social media marketing, a reassessing of marketing priorities caused that number to drop to less than half in 2012. However, it surged back to almost sixty percent in the current study, implying “…marketers still expect to get a dollar conversion for their social efforts.”

Marketers appear to be coming to terms with how to best approach social media, as there has been a ten percent decline in the number saying a lack of a social strategy was a barrier to trying new platforms. In addition, roughly three-quarters of the brands comprising the retail and travel industries have a presence on anywhere from five to nine social media platforms, with less than 6% using three or fewer sites.

As eMarketer observes, “This indicates that marketers are seeing enough return on investment from across their social outreach to keep extending their efforts…”


eMarketer, Social’s Value Measured in Engagement Over Sales: Engagement, brand lift are leading social goals. August 8, 2013.