The research firm found that on a scale of 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied), survey respondents’ satisfaction with the tactics they deploy on social networks received an average score of 3.43.
This suggests that while they believe they’re using the right platforms, they doubt whether tactics such as maintaining a branded profile on social sites like Facebook or LinkedIn are up to scratch.
“This is because marketers who flock to the most popular sites with the widest reach find that they are also beholden to the site owners’ whims and have little choice but to play by their rules,” said senior analyst Clement Teo. “For example, Facebook’s recent changes to what users see in their news feed affected social-marketing tactics such as advertising, which had an impact on marketers looking to improve their reach.”
The report, Benchmarking Social Marketing Efforts In Asia Pacific In 2015, found that marketers are using an average of five social platforms, with Facebook being the most adopted platform, followed by Twitter and LinkedIn.
All marketers surveyed build and maintain branded profiles on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn; another 78 percent currently sponsor or advertise on such sites.
Australia, India and Singapore’s social platform adoption patterns are more similar to Western countries where Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the key platforms, as compared to non-English-speaking markets in the region, such as China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, where platforms like WeChat, Line, and Kakaotalk are more popular.
However, marketers are less satisfied with the Western platforms than some of the Asia-specific ones.
The report found that satisfaction with Twitter lags both YouTube and WeChat. Only 54 percent of marketers who use Twitter are satisfied or very satisfied with it, compared with 83 percent for WeChat and 71 precent for YouTube, putting Twitter in the 'overvalued' category.
Although fewer marketers use Instagram than Facebook, more are satisfied with it, thanks to higher engagement rates.
In addition, WeChat outperforms the three most popular platforms in the region in terms of satisfaction due to a richer feature set, notably integrated mobile commerce, which others struggle to emulate.
Forrester expects total social-media advertising spending in Asia Pacific to reach US$6.7 billion by 2020, up from $2.8 billion in 2015. This represents a nearly tenfold increase over 2010, when social adspend in these countries totaled just $681 million.
But even with the jump in spend, more than half of marketers surveyed indicated that achieving a positive social marketing ROI was their biggest challenge.
While 62 percent track clickthroughs and 52 percent monitor site traffic, only 38 percent track the number of leads and 14 percent track sales numbers as metrics.
“This means that marketers are not aligning campaign performance to the right set of social metrics,” said Teo.
The research firm is recommending that marketers reviewing social tactics and platforms that are not widely adopted but deliver higher satisfaction rates.
“Marketers would also benefit by balancing Western and Asian platforms and different social tactics,” Teo added.