LONDON: Effective social media measurement is practiced by only a small minority of UK firms, a study from software firm EPiServer has suggested.

The report, Tackling the Social Challenge, based on a poll of UK marketers, indicates that just 10% of companies are monitoring the overall payback on their social media activities.

This is despite the fact that 65% of these firms have an official Facebook presence, and 60% are on Twitter.

The channel is accounting for more and more time and budget, with 52% of firms increasing the number of employee hours spent on managing their official profiles in the past year, and a similar proportion increasing their overall social media investment.

Currently, marketing teams spend an average of around one hour per working day on updating the profiles, with just 22% of companies employing a dedicated social media manager for this purpose.

Maria Wasing, a vice president at EPiServer, said: "Many companies are overwhelmed with having multiple social media channels to maintain simultaneously, and just keeping them operational can be time-consuming."

Despite the lack of effective ROI measurement indicated elsewhere in the survey, many of the firms polled by EPiServer have reported positive business effects stemming from their social media activity.

In all, 31% said that customers were engaging more with their brands, while 30% said loyalty had increased.

Hard business metrics are also said to have benefited, with 21% saying that sales activity has risen as a result of their social media marketing.

Looking to the future, around 20% of marketers polled said their employer planned a further increase in social media investment for the year ahead.

Data sourced from EPiServer; additional content by Warc staff