Survey: Most Marketers Are Uncertain Whether Facebook Efforts Are Effective

An extensive survey of marketing professionals’ social media use confirms what most of us feel in our bones: that although Facebook is still king, the subjects are a bit uneasy.

To put it more plainly, almost all marketers use Facebook and an overwhelming majority pick it as their most important social media channel, but more than half aren’t sure that their Facebook efforts are effective.

That disconnect between usage and satisfaction is one of the most interesting findings in Social Media Examiner’s sixth annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report released this week.

The report, drawn from survey responses of 2,887 people over nine days in January, is not science, but it’s a useful snapshot of how marketing professionals are thinking. You can download the free report here.

Do you agree with this statement? My Facebook marketing is effective

Do you agree with this statement? My Facebook marketing is effective (Source: Social Media Examiner)

The ambivalence about Facebook isn’t surprising, given the widely reported reduction in organic reach for posts by Facebook pages. Those reports only gained momentum as the year progressed, but in January 43% of marketers surveyed agreed with the statement: “My Facebook marketing is effective.” Only 9% strongly agreed.

The 43% represents an increase of six percentage points since the same question was asked in the 2013 survey, but as the report states: most marketers either don’t know or indicated that their Facebook marketing is NOT working.”

Business-to-Consumer marketers had more faith, with 50% agreeing or strongly agreeing that Facebook marketing is effective; B2B marketers came in at 34%. And larger businesses were also more bullish; 52% of businesses with 1,000 or more employees agreed with the statement, compared to only 34% of the self-employed.

Of course, as the unquestioned social media leader — with 1.28 billion active users to court — Facebook is the big target on the block. It should be noted that that question wasn’t posed about any of the other networks. And when asked the most important social platform for marketing, 54% picked Facebook with second- and third-place LinkedIn and Twitter far back at 17% and 12%, respectively.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook | Social Media Marketing | Top News


About The Author: is Third Door Media's Social Media Correspondent, reporting on the latest news for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. He spent 24 years with the Los Angeles Times, serving as social media and reader engagement editor from 2010-2014. A graduate of UC Irvine and the University of Missouri journalism school, Beck started started his career at the Times as a sportswriter and copy editor. Follow Martin on Twitter (@MartinBeck), Facebook and/or Google+.

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  • Ted Sindzinski

    Just sent out a report on the results of our past few Facebook and while the social stats all looked good vs our trends, my “what this really means” remarks remind me of why this is such a difficult question to answer: we’re not able to isolate links in a promoted post… and even if we could, clicking isn’t the first goal… and even if it was, most of our posts link to some other site with the content we wanted to share… and even if they did link to us, what we’d really like is fans to share on their own with no link at all.

    Thus to get to results, we have to look way beyond the standard click path or even multi-channel path and that’s just not going to be as easy or as concrete. I’ve found a good correlation but it’s hardly a direct trail.

  • 6 one way half a dozen another

    As a Facebook user (not marketer), I will tell you that not only do I use an adblocking extension, but I use two of them; an anti-adblocking disabler; and Facebook Disconnect to keep FB from tracking my websites. Yes, your marketing efforts are not working. I am doing my best to keep my info from getting to their database.
    Until Facebook (and all of the rest) stop guessing what I might like and directly ask me what I am interested in seeing, i’ll do my damnedest to keep ads off my computer.
    And I am never downloading apps for my phone.

  • D Alan Redd

    Facebook, at least since 2008 that I know of, has become so tounge-in-cheek that I find it doubtful that results are really ever going to be as good as even the least among us says they are .. When you are the product being sold, you’ve already lost the battle. If you’ve got deep pockets, it’s always going to be a great day – but I’m finding that more and more of those accounts with anywhere between 4k and 12k organic followers are coming to the conclusion that they’re going to have to try something different – Facebook isn’t producing, at least for them, any kind of noticeable end result for all of their effort put into it.

    I’ve picked up 4 new accounts since January (and have referred 5 others to someone else) all with high organic followings and they all said pretty much the same thing .. they would much rather take their chances and pay for the higher bandwidth, and give it a go on the open internet as opposed to being uncertain as to whether or not their efforts are truly paying off. It’s hard to see around the corners in a walled garden and it’s even harder when your business takes a backseat to your being sold as the actual product.

  • steve

    We sell commercial grade fitness equipment to gyms and medical facilities. Not once has someone posted on facebook how they spent $15k on a new treadmill or $500k on a gym package. Not one tweet about how much they love the new $7,000 elliptical they purchased. I’m pretty sure if we were selling the latest 3D game or portable speaker device for your media player then we’d get some social interaction but for us, no luck!

  • Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Matt for covering my report! You inversed your numbers. The chart shows 34% and you said 43%.

  • Almedin Candic

    As Facebook is a social media platform AND an advertising medium, it would be great if industry’s leading platforms like actually split up the discussion about Facebook into the usage of it as a social media network AND an advertising medium.

    Currently it’s like talking about the articles on and the ads on it. And of course, those are two separate things, aren’t they?

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