Highlights from the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report
Social media has moved with lightning speed from the fringe to becoming a mainstream marketing tool. This internet-based medium offers an extraordinary opportunity for businesses to step beyond traditional intermediaries and connect directly with their customers. Naturally, most businesses are exploring how social media can contribute to their overall marketing operations.
The Social Media Examiner recently revealed the results of its third annual social media marketing study. In 2009, businesses were unsure what to think of social media. According to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, it’s clear this promotional approach is here to stay and companies are swiftly taking action on new social media opportunities.
Read on to discover insights of more than 3,300 respondents into how marketers are currently using social media and planning for the future in this compilation of stats from the 41-page report.
- Marketers place high value on social media: The overwhelming majority of marketers surveyed, about 93%, indicated they were utilizing social media in their marketing operations. A substantial 90% of respondents reveal that social media is imperative to their business.
- The top benefits of social media marketing: A telling 88% of marketers report that the primary advantage of social media marketing is generating more business exposure. About 72% said increased website traffic was a major benefit, while 62% find improved search rankings its main perk.
- Social media marketing takes time: At 58%, more than half of marketers surveyed are using social media for more than 6 hours weekly. About 34% invest 11 or more hours per week. A die-hard 15% are using social media 20 hours each week!
- The top social media tools: The top four social media tools used by marketers are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs, in that order. This is significant because in the 2010 survey, Twitter was in the top spot. Next year, it could be a new contender like Google+ or folkdirect.
- Marketers want to learn more: About 70% of marketers say they want to learn more about using Facebook to promote their business and 69% want to know more about how blogging can enhance their bottom line. Twitter and social bookmarking/news sites tied for third at 59%.
- Social media outsourcing underutilized: Only 28% of businesses are outsourcing some portion of their social media marketing. That’s still significant though, as it is double the 14% reported in 2010. Design and development, content creation and analytics are the top three tasks that social media marketers are outsourcing.
- Marketers want to master measurement and integration: Marketers like to know where their resources are going. About 33% of all social media marketers want to know how to measure the return on investment (ROI) of social media and integrate their social media activities into an overall marketing plan.
Regardless of a company’s experience with social media marketing, there’s always room to learn. For beginners, it’s never too late to get started. For the very experienced, it always helps to keep up with new platforms and technology. Social media is in a constant state of evolution, but it appears to be here to stay. Include it in your marketing plan to keep your business at the forefront of marketing technology.