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3 Surprising Lessons for Marketers from the Future of Social

It’s here! The Social Fresh x Simply Measured x Firebrand Group The Future of Social Report has arrived. Covering everything from planning and strategy to social ads to content marketing, there is necessary information here for any marketer involved in the social space.


As we were putting together this report based on survey data (551 digital marketers in industries ranging from education to fashion), I was surprised by several things. I’ve listed my top three below, but for more key learnings you’ll just have to download the report. It’s worth it, I promise.

63% Said They See ROI

When you see this percentage, do you think “Wow, that’s a lot,” or “Hmm…Seems like a pretty small number”? Coming to you live from the front lines of social analytics, I am telling you that 63% is a large number. Most social marketers really struggle to get a handle on ROI — or even define what this elusive term means to them.


The 24.2% of those surveyed who responded “Not Sure”and the 12.6% who responded “No” are even more interesting to me: this implies both a lack of proper goal-setting on social (which align with larger business goals), and a lack of robust tools for measuring ROI.

The biggest correlation in the survey sample showed that “no” respondents were more likely to report that they used no social media software. This stood out even more when compared to “Yes” respondents to the same question.

The Future of Social, 2016

95% Said Facebook Produces the Most ROI


95.8% of our respondents listed Facebook as being one of the top three ROI drivers among all social networks.

It’s a common refrain in the media and on marketing blogs that Facebook is dead (or dying) when it comes to business results. However, our survey results reaffirm that virtually all digital marketers believe Facebook to be essential to social media marketing success.

Social Marketers STILL Spend More Time on Execution Than Strategy


It’s 2016 and social marketers are still spending more time on execution than strategy (although that gap is widening, thankfully). My take on this? When you don’t have the resources you need to do your best job, whether that means more employees or better software, you’re in survival mode. You’re in “let me just get this done to keep the wheels turning, when I come up for air I’ll think more high-level” mode.

The problem is, if you never get the resources you need, you’re stuck in this stage and can’t start making the strategic decisions to take your brand to the next level.

Also worth noting here: survey respondents listed not just having the resources to hire, but finding the right personnel, as major blockers to success in the field.

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Want to learn more? Download the introductory report here, and go here to purchase the 70+-page premium version.

Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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