While it’s undeniable that social really does matter, many brands are still struggling to prove the value of social media for business.

According to a recent study, just 16 percent of agencies and 12 percent of companies were able to directly measure an impact on revenue  from their social strategies. One in five companies stated that almost no return on investment (ROI) beyond website traffic and clicks was trackable.

Digital marketing resource Econsultancy and Adobe surveyed more than 650 marketing professionals from agencies and an equal mix of B2B and B2C across industries in the U.S. and UK. Nearly 75 percent of client-side respondents agreed that measuring the impact of social is “very difficult.”

Data found that enterprise-level businesses were more likely than smaller companies to track revenue generated directly by social media activity. Many smaller businesses are struggling to move beyond soft engagement metrics, such as followers. Sixty percent of marketing agencies and 57 percent of global brands believed engagement was the deepest level at which they could track ROI from their social campaigns.

Understanding how social data is affecting your bottom line — whether that be sales or engagement — is important so you can improve future marketing campaigns. For example, look at how Wells Fargo was able to use Twitter to scale up its customer service capabilities or how people who arrive at your website through Pinterest are 10 percent more likely to make purchases.

[Via: All Twitter, Image credit: Christopher Sessums]