Marketers who aren’t quite sure of social media’s tangible rewards should take heart: Few of their colleagues know, either.

In fact, while nearly three-fourths of marketers surveyed have a social media strategy, only 29% have to show positive return on investment in order to secure budgets for their continued efforts,  according to a new study.

The study’s sponsors are divided regarding the ramification of this finding. “The lack of the ROI requirement surprised me,” Gordon Plutsky, director of marketing and research at King Fish Media told Direct Newsline. “We are in an era of marketing measurability and accountability. Any marketing initiative would have to have a positive metric attached to it, whether leads or less customer churn.”

But Kipp Bodnar, inbound marketing manager of co-sponsor Hubspot, feels organizations are downplaying ROI concerns partly because of the channels’ newness. Once efforts are formally integrated into specific business objectives, allocations for it will be tied to results, Bodnar claimed. “The concern about social media being free and under-resourced goes away if it is tied to business objectives.  If something in social media isn’t driving sales or needs, it shouldn’t be resourced.”

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