The social media marketing waters remain as choppy and unpredictable as ever. With more social sites arising (see Snapchat for the latest riser) and Facebook brand engagement numbers fluctuating like a sailboat in a storm, marketers continue to fish their way through the social ocean finding success and failure in equal numbers.
This ebb and flow of social media marketing is apparent in the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. Survey findings reveal organizations reaping rewards from social media even though marketers still have a lot of questions when it comes to social strategy and best practices.
In today’s post, we’ll look at some key stats on the state of social media marketing, share the top questions about social media marketing, and provide our key takeaways from this recent report.
About the Social Media Marketing Report
The 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report: How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses was written by Michael A. Stelzner and published in May. The study surveyed over 2,800 marketers with the goal of understanding how they are using social media to grow and promote their businesses. Download the full 2014 Social Marketing Report here.
16 Standout Statistics on the State of Social Media Marketing
Here are some stats that stood out to us from the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report:
- 92% of marketers say social media is important for their business (up from 86% in 2013)
- 54% of marketers say Facebook is their most important social platform, followed by LinkedIn at 17% and Twitter at 12%
- Only 34% of marketers think their Facebook efforts are effective
- 68% of B2C marketers select Facebook as their number-one social media platform
- 33% of B2B marketers select LinkedIn as their most important social platform, edging out Facebook with 31%
- 54% of marketers are using Google+, and 61% plan on increasing G+ activities in 2014
- 92% of marketers indicate their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses
- 80% of marketers report increases in website traffic as a result of their social efforts
- 71% of marketers say they are using social media to gain marketplace intelligence
- 60% of organizations investing a minimum of 6 hours per week in social media marketing saw improvements in search engine rankings
- 84% of marketers found￼ website traffic increased with a minimum of 6 hours per week invested in social media marketing
- 68% of marketers plan on increasing their use of blogging, making it the top area marketers will invest in for 2014—beating out YouTube (67%), Twitter (67%), LinkedIn (64%) and Facebook (64%)
- 81% of marketers plan to increase their use of original written content this year, compared to original videos (73%), original visuals assets (70%) and curation of other people’s content (46%)
- 58% of marketers believe original written content is the most important form of content, followed by original visual assets like infographics (19%) and original videos (12%)
- 65% of B2B marketers say original written content is important, compared to 52% of B2C marketers
- 24% of B2C marketers place importance on original visual assets as opposed to 12% of B2B marketers
Top 5 Questions About Social Media Marketing
The marketers surveyed for this report said they were struggling to answer these questions:
- Which social media tactics work best?
- What are the best ways to engage audiences using social media?
- How do I measure the ROI of my social media marketing?
- What are the best tools for social media management?
- How do I target customers and prospects with social media?
Key Takeaways from the Social Media Marketing Report
Social media remains a top priority for marketers
At this point in the game, nearly all organizations (businesses and nonprofits) realize social media holds some value as a marketing tool. As noted above, 92% of marketers believe social media is important to their businesses.
Social marketing strategy has become increasingly important
We’re moving into a phase where marketers are working to more consciously implement, develop and tweak social media strategies. As noted in the report, 91% of marketers say the biggest question they have is what social media marketing tactics work best.
Content marketing is driving social media strategy
The rise of content marketing has had a big impact on social media strategy, driving many of the choices marketers are making. It’s notable that 68% of marketers are planning on increasing their use of blogging, and 58% of marketers say original written content is the single most important form of online content for their businesses.
Marketers continue working to develop social media best practices
With the constant changes in social media—from existing site revamps to new sites finding audiences—developing stable best practices has remained mostly elusive for marketers aiming to track and repeat their success. 88% of marketers say they’re still trying to figure out how to measure their social ROI and 83% feel like they don’t know what social tools are best.
Explore, Test and Tweak for Best Social Marketing Results
While social media remains an incredibly difficult marketing area to pin down, many businesses have experienced tangible benefits from their social efforts—including increased website traffic, greater brand awareness, customer engagement, improved SEO, and content sharing.
Moving forward, the key is to develop a social media marketing strategy customized for your business. You want to stand out in the social space, go where your audience is, and build upon the efforts that are generating the most benefits and best results for your business.