Both the ROI of social media management tools and the practice of social business continue to be a moving target, propelled by innovation in new media like augmented reality and live video, as well as emerging consumer engagement scenarios, such as AI-directed chat bots.

In my advisory work with leading brands, the question of measurement and tools is ever-present.  When Salesforce approached Altimeter about conducting joint research on this topic, I knew the time was right to take a deeper look. Many social media managers struggle with how to configure the right enablement tools stack to manage social and understand ROI.

Based on interviews with leading social business leaders, brands, and a survey, this new research explores some of the factors that impact ROI:

  • The spread of social business. New use cases for social media, such as social sales, means that more departments than ever are using this platform to achieve business results.  As they engage with prospects and customers, the complexity of managing consistent messaging and success metrics increases noticeably.  A consistent set of tools within organizations is key to ensuring smooth hand-offs between teams that engage consumers at various stages of the sales/marketing funnel.
  • Customer Experience. Given the diversity of channels—including social media—with which brands engage consumers, brands are investing in multi-channel customer journey maps that span the many channels consumers use as well as those internal teams responsible for discrete journey steps. A well thought-out social media management tools stack ensures efficiency and the highest levels of customer experience that contribute to ROI. Given the complexity of customer experience today, we emphasized the use of social media listening and customer service in this research report.
  • Integrated Suites vs. “Best in Breed” Point Solutions. In this research, the question of integrated suite vs. point solution effectiveness to manage social business was of particular interest. Our research found that integrated suite users report almost 2X satisfaction with tool ROI (vs. point solution users) and they were 2X more likely to be operating as mature social business, resulting in 77% higher NPS and net margin.

To learn more about the priorities social media managers place on social media management tool features, their challenges and ROI, download the full research paper from Salesforce’s website here.


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  1. I found this report very useful, but it’s dated 2017. Do you have an updated version? Thanks! Caroline

    1. Hi Caroline,
      We’re glad that the report was useful to you. This is the latest version we have published of this report. We will be publishing a state of social media report this year, but do not have a reprisal of this research planned at this time.