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Nate Elliott on Why He’s Joined Simply Measured

TWT_1024x512-NateElliott-AnnounceI’m thrilled to announce that I’ve joined Simply Measured as a product advisor.

Nate Elliott

For years I’ve talked about the importance of effective social measurement and challenged our industry to do better. Without accurate measurement, we can neither prove the value of our social programs nor improve the value of those programs. But marketers consistently say that measurement is their biggest social challenge.

Unfortunately, most social marketers still measure engagement above all else. But simply counting likes and comments and shares can’t give brands the answers they need. It’s time for our industry to move beyond engagement.

Engagement data can’t prove the value of social marketing. Sure, US marketers will spend $15.5 billion on social media in 2016. But marketing executives still question the value of all this social spending. Just 11.5% of CMOs say they can quantify the value of social marketing.


Fully 90% of CMOs say social’s contribution to the bottom line is either below average or average.

Most search marketers can tell you exactly how many sales they generated last month. Email marketers can tell you their exact return-on-investment. But when CMOs ask us about the value of social marketing, all we can do is point to engagement data. It’s not good enough.

Engagement data also can’t help us improve the value of social marketing. Email and search marketers relentlessly test and learn and optimize their programs. That’s why 2.51% of commerce site visitors who clicked from brand emails — and 2.46% of visitors from search engines — convert to become customers. By comparison, traffic from social networks converts barely half as often.

Even when social marketers try to test and learn, engagement data fails them. One brand told me how they optimized their social content for engagement — only to find out later that the kind of posts that created the fewest likes actually generated the most revenue. But they’d already stopped posting that type of content. Engagement data had led them to failure rather than to success.

We have to go beyond engagement. We have to give marketers data that can truly prove, and improve, the performance of their social marketing.

In more than 12 years as an industry analyst, I spoke with hundreds of companies that said they could help brands measure social. After all those years, after studying all those companies, I know that Simply Measured has the best vision for telling brands how their social programs performed. I know that Simply Measured is building the best tools to lead our industry beyond engagement.

I’m excited to get to work.

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The 2016 State of Social Marketing


Nate Elliott

For two decades I’ve been working at the leading edge of marketing and technology. I help brands create great marketing programs in a world where technology has radically changed their customers’ behaviors, and I help technology companies build software and solutions brands can't live without.

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