Feedback from “Facebook more popular with SMB manufacturers in Quebec”

Collaboration – November 28, 2012

Following the publication of my previous blog post entitled “Facebook more popular with SMB manufacturers in Quebec,” I received a comment from a reader concerning performance and ROI indicators of social media.

Mr. Turcotte, whom I would like to thank for commenting, raised a few points that in my opinion are worth sharing. Below our correspondence.

The question asked by Dakx Turcotte:

By simple curiosity, of the 35/45% of B2B companies present on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, what is the average number of followers and monthly interactions? This is important because if the investment doesn’t pay then why prioritise it? Especially if there are other ways to be more profitable in the short and long run. The # of followers and interactions could give an idea of what to expect and to see whether or not our work is “correct” and relevant compared to that of other companies.

My answer:

Mr. Turcotte,

First of all, thank you for your comment and your interest in Exo’s blog.

To answer your question, in the study we did not ask for the number of followers or the number of monthly interactions. This question could become the subject of a later research study. Since we knew in theory that companies in Quebec are relatively late in their acceptance of social media, we felt it was better to give a general description of the context before getting into any details. For example, we learned from this study that only 56% of manufacturers present on the web use Google Analytics to measure the efficiency of their online marketing activities. Another interesting figure: 16% of the sample population interviewed used no online marketing tactic; not even a website!

Lastly, your question also made us speculate on whether the number of followers and interactions is a good tool for controlling and measuring the efficiency of the activities of social media. Awareness, in their white paper entitled, “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing,” offers 2 suggestions:

  • Social Reach-to-Traditional Lead Ratio: This ratio measures your ability to move social profiles into your traditional marketing funnel over time.
  • Social Profile-to-Sales Ratio: This indicator helps you track the number of social profiles turned into customers over time. Measure this ratio in the aggregate, as well as by social media platform. This analysis will help you identify the efforts on social media platforms that generate the most return on investment.

In both cases, a large number of followers is not the most important; recommendations will be more relevant if they are based on engagement performance indicators.

To conclude, another interesting figure regarding engagement: according to, 95% of posts on Facebook (this is valid for both B2B and B2C) are not answered by brands…

I hope that I was able to enlighten you.

These figures are cause for reflection. On one hand, we see that, and this is also Exo’s opinion, the engagement phase is essential because it is the most efficient. But on the other hand, this seems to be neglected if we only take into account the data from This makes me wonder how we can expect any ROI from social media if, at the end of the day, we’re not investing that much in it.

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