For social media managers, engagement matters more than sales

A recent survey found customer engagement and boosting website traffic trump sales in the eyes of online marketers. But what do their bosses think? Also, what kind of content works best?

Ask their social media managers the same question about their jobs, and they’ll say that boosting sales is certainly a worthwhile goal but that social media is more about boosting website traffic or customer engagement. That’s according to a new survey of social media marketers from Ascend2, in which sales were the third- and fourth-highest-ranking objectives for managers in business-to-customer and business-to-business companies, respectively.

That stance likely doesn’t jibe with what the top brass in the business wants, experts say, but there may be a way to marry the two positions.

The disconnect

“In my experience and in general, executives would disagree that sales is a fourth-place priority,” says Jonathan Rick, president of Jonathan Rick Group. “It may not be No. 1, but it needs to be in the top three. Someone’s gotta keep the lights on.”

Ian Greenleigh, senior manager of content and social strategy at Bazaarvoice, says social media managers place things like engagement higher on the list because the numbers are more impressive.

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