Social Media Examiner released this week their fourth annual social media study, which has grabbed the attention of more than 3,800 marketers to tell us where they see the future of social media activities heading. It is stated in the report that an overwhelming majority of 94% say they use social media in order to market their business; while 83% feel social media is important for their business. With so much likability, any online marketing agency should analyze this year’s industry report to help your business utilize this service.
So if marketers can agree that social media has an impact on their business how much time exactly should we be spending on our social media efforts? According to the report, 59% of marketers implement social media efforts 6+ hours a week, with 33% devoting 11+ hours a week. It was also noted that those aged 20-29 are spending the most time in social media, with 43% spending 11+ hours a week.
Now that we better understand the time commitment, what do marketers see as the biggest benefit about social media? 85% believe that increasing exposure is the biggest benefit of social media, with increasing traffic following close behind with a 69% response rate. An important takeaway from this part of the study is that 58% of marketers who have been utilizing social media efforts for three years believe it has helped improve sales.
In terms of which tools we should be utilizing, 92% responded with Facebook as the most used social media platform. Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and YouTube took the next four spots. It was interesting to see that even with Google+ being newly added this year to the report, 40% of social media marketers are using this platform. Google+ was also the platform that marketers are most interested in learning more about (ousting last year’s winner, Facebook). Also added new this year was the category, photo sharing sites (including the new Pinterest platform) with a 21% user rate.
Aside from social media marketing, marketers view email marketing, search engine optimization, and event marketing as the top three services they are also implementing. Surprisingly, pay per click internet marketing is not gaining as much attention as previous years, coming in the sixth spot. Also losing heat is webinars; 48% plan on not utilizing them at all this year and 79% plan on keeping the same level or increasing their use of press releases.
There is a lot of useful information to take away from this study, so we want to know where you see the future of social media is heading based on these results?