Marketers are struggling with their social media strategies, reports digital marketing firm Regalix. Among the marketers its “State of B2B Social Media Marketing 2016” study surveyed, 67 percent reported challenges associated with assessing the effectiveness of social media campaigns for business outcomes, and 50 percent said they have difficulties generating actionable insights from social data.

While nearly 15 percent of companies in the Regalix study still do not invest in social media marketing, among those that do, roughly 48 percent rated social media marketing as only somewhat important, while just over half rated it as very important. The survey found that obstacles keeping marketers from investing in social media included nearly 56 percent of respondents saying that they were unable to find persuasive data on ROI, 33 percent citing lack of expertise in running campaigns and 22 percent listing the ability to align social media strategy across the company.

Regalix attributes this to marketers continuing to think of social media as a traditional advertising platform. It points to 87 percent listing increasing brand awareness as their highest priority, and that other opportunities such as increased post-sale engagement for cross-selling and building referrals (59 percent), generating consumer insights (26 percent) and providing customer support (17 percent), are often missed.

A major gap for companies is a clear strategy for what social media messaging should achieve in terms of marketing objectives. Among social media metrics, vanity metrics like retweets, likes, shares and comments still dominate at 41 percent, while social trends (23 percent), demographic information (19 percent), social graph data (12 percent) and sentiment analysis (13 percent) continue to lag. In terms of key marketing metrics, website traffic (83 percent), leads generated and conversions (63 percent), click rates (63 percent) and followers and likes (60 percent) are all rated higher as key measures of success than user engagement (52 percent).

To read the full report, click here.