Brian Carroll

Social Media Pays Off Big for Over 1,000 Marketers Reporting 150% ROI or More

If you’ve been following the B2B Lead Blog for a while, you might recall this post, inspired by a spirited LinkedIn B2B Lead Roundtable Group discussion about whether social media truly delivered ROI.

The official verdict from MarketingSherpa has just arrived, in the form of their third annual B2B Social Marketing Benchmark Report. A compelling aspect of this report is that it compiles the survey responses of thousands of marketers – 3,342 to be exact – in more than 150 charts and analyses. One of those charts, at right, looks at the ROI they’re getting from their social media efforts. It certainly is a study in contrast:  more than 1,000 responded that they are achieving at least a 150 percent return on investment.  Yet, at the other end of the spectrum are another 635 or so who aren’t seeing any return at all.

Nonetheless, I am still impressed by social media’s rapid monetization. As Sergio Balegno, Director of Research for MECLABS, the parent company of MarketingSherpa,  MarketingExperiments and InTouch,  stated in January’s post, “In just a couple of years, social media has rocketed to a place that took the internet a good decade to arrive at.”

While the 2011 Social Marketing Benchmark report looks at real-world case studies and campaigns, it also dives deep into how organizations are calculating ROI – what costs they calculate as an investment, and how they measure their return.  If you’re curious about what others are doing in the marketplace to drive and measure social media success, you’ll want to learn more: http://www.sherpastore.com/SocialMarketingBMR.html

Finally, is it surprising to you that there are so many marketers reporting a high ROI on social media? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below.

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Content Marketing, Lead Generation, Marketing Strategy, ROI Measurement, Social Media



  1. April 19th, 2011 at 14:26 | #1

    Brian-

    I appreciate your correlation between relationships and business!

  2. April 19th, 2011 at 22:38 | #2

    @Sarah Fischer It’s all about relationships :)

  3. April 20th, 2011 at 16:43 | #3

    Brian, strategy is the key to monetizing Linkedin. Strategy, analysis and understanding the sales and markeging process are critical for the people that are not seeing any return at all.

  4. April 21st, 2011 at 04:42 | #4

    Hi Brian,

    Interesting post and a great debate. I’d also add that it would be interesting to see how much investment each respondent has in Social Media over-laid on top of the ROI graph. I don’t mean just financial either but also people resource.

    I suspect that the companies who are getting a solid ROI are doing a number of things such as getting a range of people from around the business involved in the conversations(i.e. not just marketing people) so they can have credible technical conversations for example.

    Secondly, there objectives for SM would be 1. to build relationships with potential customers and people who can spread the word about their product or service and 2. To promote and publish content that drives great traffic to their website (i.e. potential sales leads).

    Lastly, I suspect that a good level of investment is also given to generating credible content that is given freely to educate and inform the market that helps to position the company as an expert in the field.

    Well that’s my two pennies worth!

  5. April 21st, 2011 at 18:39 | #5

    Great post here. This is such an interesting debate when it comes to social media. So many folks push back on it and say it’s not worth the time or investment. Could it be that perhaps they are just afraid to jump in and learn something new????

  6. April 22nd, 2011 at 01:14 | #6

    @Spencer Great points. The social media benchmark report a correlation as you suspected. In fact, a key barrier to social media is “lack of knowledgeable staff” Also, “reaching the strategic phase of social marketing maturity a challenge” Thanks for reading!

  7. April 22nd, 2011 at 01:21 | #7

    @Steve Waterhouse That’s a valid question, I would say that was more of the issue a few years ago. Now, I’ve found that many marketers are using social media but they are trying to do “fast and easy” tactics rather than thinking of social media in a more strategic way to drive better effectiveness. I’d be interested to see what other readers think.

  8. April 23rd, 2011 at 07:37 | #8

    I’d also add that it would be interesting to see how much investment each respondent has in Social Media over-laid on top of the ROI graph. Thanks for this poat.

  9. April 28th, 2011 at 08:10 | #9

    I get pleasure from your current correlation between human interactions and industry.

  10. April 28th, 2011 at 08:18 | #10

    This is a fascinating blog Ive been following b2b blogs for a moment with completely different firms.

  11. November 24th, 2012 at 12:30 | #11

    As with SEO before it, some marketers are figuring out how to do social media marketing right and others are chasing the wind. It’s not so much about number of likes or followers, its’ about moving all the way through the channel to reach conversions. I would love more details about actual strategy implementations by successful companies.

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