Fifty-seven percent of marketers say engagement is their top social metric. But try as we might, we've never reliably connected engagement or sentiment or any other social data to the business outcomes executives demand. Social data doesn't prove business success.
On the other hand, just 37% of marketers say they understand how social data relates to customers' preferences. But social data's greatest value is insights about our customers, our products, our customer service, and our marketing -- and it can save significant time and money over traditional research methods.
So most marketers use social data for something it can't offer: measurement. And most fail to use it for something it can offer: insights. This is the social data disconnect.
My keynote last month at the Social Monitoring Forum in Munich covered this problem and suggested solutions. I hope you find it useful.
[UPDATE: I've also published a Marketing Land column on this topic.]