Among popular social marketing channels, user-generated content stands out for driving return on investment: 73% of surveyed CMOs say their companies facilitate customer ratings and reviews; and among those, 59% report average or significant ROI—making ratings and reviews the top social strategy to generate measurable return, according to a report by Bazaarvoice and the CMO Club.

Corporate/brand communities ranked second in generating average or significant ROI in 2010 (56%), followed by corporate/brand blogs (48%), Facebook (45%), participation in industry blogs and forums (41%), Twitter (31%), and LinkedIn (28%).

Though measurement remains a challenge, improvements in ROI were recorded in 2010 across all social channels analyzed, compared with 2009 levels.

Even so, more than one-half of CMOs (54%) say they were unable to tie any revenue to their social media efforts in 2010. They are, however, optimistic: 74% of CMOs say they predict they’ll find the “missing link” between social media and revenue in 2011. Only 7% say they don’t plan on tracking social metrics at all.

Key Metrics
Customer engagement metrics are still the most commonly used among CMOs: 68% use website traffic to measure their social marketing activities, followed by numbers of fans/members (59%), positive customer mentions (53%), page views (51%), and numbers of contributors (43%).
Meanwhile, sales conversion (33%) and revenue attribution (29%) stand out as key growth opportunities in social marketing measurement.