Marketers place a very high value on social media. A significant 86% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business, up from 83% in 2012. Yet 88% of marketers want to know the most effective social tactics and the best ways to engage their audience with social media.
The top benefits of social media marketing are increased exposure (89%) and increased traffic (75%), finds Social Media Examiner in its annual “Social Media Marketing Industry Report”, which surveyed more than 3,000 marketers on their social media activities. A majority also report benefits such as developing loyal fans (65%), lead generation (61%), and improved search rankings (58%), but only 43% say their efforts have boosted sales. Nevertheless, study results indicate that for those willing to take the time, sales will follow.
That is, while only a minority report sales improvement on account of social media marketing, that turns to a majority among those who have been using social media for at least 3 years (47% of the survey sample) as well as among those who spend 11 or more hours a week on social media marketing (representing 36% of the sample). Among those few spending 40 or more hours a week on social, 62% say they’ve earned new business. The researchers found similar results last year, although more respondents are seeing each benefit this year.
The results need to be treated with a little caution, because many marketers still feel unable to measure the ROI of their social media activities. In fact, only 26% of respondents agreed (23%) or strongly agreed (3%) that they are able to measure the return of their social media marketing efforts. That’s a surprisingly low figure, particularly if 43% feel they can confidently attribute improved sales to social.
Another interesting result pertains to the effectiveness of Facebook marketing. The survey finds that 86% of marketers overall find social media to be important to their businesses. Meanwhile, Facebook is the most popular platform, used by 92% of respondents, with 49% rating it their most important social platform. Given Facebook’s almost ubiquitous use, and favorable attitudes towards social media as a whole, one would expect that marketers are positive about Facebook’s effectiveness. But, just 37% either agreed (32%) or strongly agreed (5%) with the statement: “My Facebook marketing is effective.”
That suggests that while respondents feel that social media is an important part of their marketing mix, Facebook marketing may be seen more as a necessary component of their social activities rather than the most effective component.
In social marketing, Blogs are an important element. But, when it comes to understanding their consumer, one very important point is missed. When asked who had blogs to rate their agreement with the following statement: “My blog is optimized for mobile readers.” slightly more than one in four (28%) agreed that their blog was optimized for mobile. B2B marketers were a little more likely to have their blogs optimized (31%), when compared to B2C marketers (26%).
The basic misconnect here is that people do not understand the one truth in the world today: Over 1 million new smartphones are activated every day. This summer we’ll hit the “mobile moment” when for the first time a consumer technology will match the human population in size (7 billion and counting). We are a mobile generation. Why aren’t your blogs, websites and social pages optimized for mobile readers?
- B2C marketers were 52% more likely than B2B marketers to agree that their Facebook marketing is effective (44% vs. 29%). Large companies (with 1,000 or more employees) were similarly more likely than self-employed respondents to find their efforts rewarding (46% vs. 29%).
- While 54% of respondents overall said social helps them build new partnerships, that figure rose to more than 60% among those with 3 years or more of experience.
- At least 60% of marketers spending 6 hours or more a week on social media said they saw improvements in their search engine rankings.
We live in a new DNAge. Think MOBILEFirst.
About the Data: The data is based on responses from 3,025 participants. 56% primarily target consumers and 44% businesses. 72% of respondents are aged 30-59, and females represented 62% of the survey sample. 57% are based in the US, with the UK (9%) the next-most heavily represented country.