In May, Social Media Examiner released its 9th Annual Social Media Marketing Report. In it, the organization takes a deep dive to discover how marketers are using social media and what they are planning to do with it in the near future.
Over 5,700 marketers participated in the survey. Their responses provided insights into all corners of social media marketing including time spent by marketers, how they use social media, measuring and ROI, Facebook effectiveness and much more. Co-hosts Bob Turner and Christina Kettman take a close look at the report on this episode of Online Marketing Guys. You can listen to the episode here by clicking the “Play” button below.
An impressive 92% reported that social media is important to their business! But amongst 91% of the marketers surveyed there is some confusion over what works best. They want to learn the most effective social media marketing tactics. Considering that the one constant in this field is change, the fact that this is a burning question makes perfect sense.
Marketers are also spending more time working with social media. Sixty-four percent said they use it for six or more hours each week, while 41% report usage of 11 hours or more.
This year’s social media marketing report detailed how marketers feel about the benefits of social media. Those surveyed answered the question, “What are the benefits of social media marketing?” The top two choices include exposure for your business and website traffic.
A large majority, 88%, agreed that exposure for their business was a major advantage. In fact, 91% of marketers indicated with as little as six hours each week, their business was able to receive more exposure with social media, than without it.
Another significant value involved with social media is website traffic. Seventy-eight percent maintain that clicks to their website increased because of their social media activities. In fact, 81% report that the additional traffic came with a modest time investment of just six hours in a seven-day period. Of course, this assumes that you have content on your website that your target market wants to see.
Facebook remains the most important platform as indicated by 62% of marketers. LinkedIn is the second choice selected by 16%. Here is how marketers selected the remaining social sites:
According to this year’s social media report, 85% of marketers use visuals and 73% plan to use more of them in the future. In fact, 41% chose it as their most important form of content.
Blogging was selected as the second most used form by 66% of those surveyed and podcasting came in last, used by just 8%.
The report also confirms something most marketers suspected: Video has grown to become a significant marketing tactic. Fifty-seven percent use it in their social media marketing. Live video use is growing in popularity, as well, with 28% currently using it and 61% planning to use some live streaming video service this year.
The type of content used seems to be determined by the type of business, as well. Seventy-five percent of B2Bs blog, compared to 61% of B2Cs. On the other hand, 30% of B2C businesses use live video compared to just 24% of their B2B counterparts.
In regards to Facebook, 62% chose it as their most important platform and 80% want to learn more about it. But marketers have their reservations about the social giant, as well.
Forty percent are unsure about the effectiveness of their Facebook marketing. Not helping their confidence level is the fact that 53% have noticed a decline in their Facebook News Feed exposure.
The view of Facebook’s marketing effectiveness is divided by whether or not a business is a B2C or a B2B. Forty-five percent of B2C businesses felt Facebook was effective, compared to 37% in the B2B space.
Ads on Facebook are the overwhelming choice for marketers (93%) followed by Instagram (24%) and LinkedIn (16%). Of course, more B2C businesses use Facebook ads (95%), while 87% of B2B companies focus on LinkedIn ads.
In the near future, marketers plan to increase their use of social ads. Sixty-four percent report they will spend more on Facebook, 42% will do so on Instagram, 31% with YouTube, 30% on Twitter and 29% will use more LinkedIn ads.
Of those surveyed for the social media marketing report, 73% stated they regularly analyze their social activities. But only 38% felt they were able to measure the return on investment (ROI). This has been an issue with marketers since they began using social media.
Yet despite the above findings, more than half of the marketers who have used social media for two or more years indicated that it has improved sales and 69% say they see lead generation benefits.
This annual social media marketing report is a great way for marketers to see how others are using social media and discover if their views or concerns align with others. There are also some great answers as to what tactics are popular and seem to be effective.
Listen to this episode by clicking “Play” below.
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Bob Turner is a Digital Marketing Consultant with Social Flair Marketing.
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