Social media is about the long game and does require thoughtful planning, but there's no need to break the bank for in-depth analysis and strategy-building.

By Natalie O'Grady


You know your business needs to be on social media, but are your efforts contributing to sales?

Eighty-six percent of marketers believe that social media is important for their business, and U.S. spending on social media marketing is expected to top $17 billion per year by 2019. Yet only 3.4 percent of business leaders report that social media contributes very highly to their organization’s performance.

Social media’s impact on a business needs to be measured in order to prove—and improve upon—its ROI. But though delving into social analytics can be exciting, it also can be overwhelming. Marketing teams at startups or small businesses, if unable to invest in expensive analytics platforms, can quickly burn out trying to keep up with the endless data, and therefore will have no time left to apply their findings. In the end, if the analytics aren’t being supported by real-time social campaign improvements, the investment is worthless.