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4 Questions Marketers Can't Answer

Over the last few weeks, more than 2,000 marketers have taken a social media marketing quiz that tests your knowledge on the various aspects of social media - ranging from content, to engagement, to ethics, to crisis management and more.

The findings from that quiz have been a little... shocking. While plenty of marketers talk about various content optimization techniques, about the right sharing methods and how to get your marketing efforts right - are these experts really experts? Are they truly walking the talk?

Here are a couple of findings - and the five questions that marketers just can't seem to answer.

The graphic will show a percentage split of the amount of people who opted to go with that choice, while the number highlighted in green shows that this was the right answer to the question.

1. A former employee reveals sensitive data on your Facebook page, acting as a whistle blower. The post starts a small crisis on your end. What do you do?

Now ethics questions are mostly open-ended. In this case however, our ethics expert told us that this is definitely a special case. The employee was under contract, and after leaving if they start leaking secrets, the company is well within their right to remove this sensitive information that it doesn’t want leaked through such a channel.

In spite of that, close to 36% of marketers thought it would be okay to treat this post like a regular community post. What I found a little interesting was that about 10% of marketers would go to a senior staff member and ask what the right way to handle this would be.



2. How do you handle a lack of interesting content on your page when not a lot is happening in the industry?

This one for me, really speaks volumes about the attitude that marketers have today. So there’s a little rut in the industry. Not a lot of news, interesting ideas or opinions are surfacing for your brand to talk about. And this happens very often. Every company and manager hit this a couple of times every quarter. Do you turn to your fans every single time to ask what they’d like to see?

Aren’t you the one who’s supposed to direct the content?

I found it interesting that 2.16% of marketers thought that it would be a good idea to stop posting completely. Insignificant amount – but those guys are still out there!

3. Google Analytics tells you that 1,000 people came to a particular page on your website, and 250 of them went on to view another page from that page. What’s the bounce rate of the page?

I understand the confusion between 25% and 75%. I can comprehend it. It’s exactly why I put those two in there, but there are marketers who truly believe that a bounce rate of 250% or 750% is possible. The calculation of bounce rate isn’t hard, in fact – we had a question around how bounce rate is calculated. To me – the problem here isn’t about the calculation, it’s about the concept of bounce rate itself, given that the question had numbers like 1,000 and 250 involved.

Another argument for marketers relying too heavily on tools and not knowing how the metrics work?

4. A moderator of a Facebook page cannot do the following:

Only 14.92% of marketers who took the quiz got this question right. That’s all. Most marketers thought that Moderators can’t create ads, which is a fairly rational decision to make since you’d expect a moderator to be a person who essentially responds to comments and tries to keep order on the page. Perhaps Facebook’s roles and their capabilities are to blame for this one. ;)

Regardless, it’s important to know who can do what, and 85.08% of marketers aren’t clear about Facebook’s various roles for page managers.


What does this tell us about the state of marketing today? Granted, these figures don't speak for every single marketer out there and there are tons of people who are still getting a lot of them right, but it does speak volumes about there being very specific gaps in the industry about how much we truly understand what we're doing.

The biggest problem I feel comes around in analytics and metrics. We're using way too many tools to automate tasks for us, that we don't understand what those numbers actually mean and how we calculate them.

We've been told that a healthy "number" to have for a particular metric is between X & Y - so as long as number is between those numbers, we're perfectly happy as marketers.

A lot more introspection needs to be done for us to analyze how good we truly are at marketing - and what steps we need to take to plug those gaps.

Join The Conversation

  • Jun 26 Posted 3 years ago Sardar Kevin Gulati

    This is an excellent article. However, after having taken the test, I regard it an another one of those general directions to follow unless your circumstances or situations demand otherwise.

    Every company has its own mission statement, purpose to be on a social media channel they choose to be on. Every content update, thus, must follow that mission statement, that identity of the company. What strategy works well for others does not mean will work out for others. A whistle blower post is a very special case, and in a culture that I belong to, and work in, the most often scenario is to contact the senior to see the post, and thus follow the direction of the company, if they chooses to be transparent or not. (Granted, more than often the comment is deleted, but the point is it depends on the type of the company and their personal approach congruent with the company's personal statement) 

    The end goal, in my opinion, should then be, is the effort, time, and money invested bringing in any returns. With so many tools available, us social media marketers need to interact with higher ups, be proactive with insights and datas, to know if what we are doing is really paying off, rather than just see the reach, the likes, and the shares. 

    Or as Shell said above, "they understand the bigger strategic marketing picture too"

  • Jun 26 Posted 3 years ago internetpaul

    In your intro you state, "Here are a couple of findings - and the five questions that marketers just can't seem to answer." I'm actually curious about the fifth question you decided to not include. 

  • Jun 26 Posted 3 years ago corinramos

    I completely agree with Avtar. You can't practice marketing today without integrating social media as a major component of your campaign strategies. And, if you are a social media "expert" you also need an understanding of marketing objectives, as Shell pointed out. 

    With that being said, wow, these stats are pretty funny in a scary-funny kind of way! Thanks for a very good article!

  • Avtar Ram Singh's picture
    Jun 23 Posted 3 years ago Avtar Ram Singh

    Hey Shell, it's the Social Marketer's Quiz that was meant for social media professionals and social media managers. Of course, everyone was free to take it, but I think stating that "marketers" shouldn't handle social media is a moot point.

    Marketing today is synonymous with digital, and eventually with social.

  • ubersocialmedia's picture
    Jun 23 Posted 3 years ago ubersocialmedia

    I think the important thing that businesses should learn from this research, is that a marketer is not necessarily a social media expert and vice versa. Whilst social media is a tool available to marketers, this does not automatically mean they are best placed to advise on the day to day management or analysis of social media activities.

    My advice is to ensure that whoever is handling your social media, has the relevant skills and has a proven track record in this area, and also that they understand the bigger strategic marketing picture too.

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