Jul 24, 2012

The Benefits of Social Media Marketing

This week I’m checking out a Social Media Marketing Industry Report based on the responses of nearly 4,000 marketers,released from Social Media Examiner. The report included some interesting information on what value marketers place on social media, what they’d like to learn more about, and how both B2B and B2C marketers are using social media in business.

The Benefits of Social Media for Marketers

In this survey of 3813 marketers from the US, UK, Canada, Australia and other countries, 94% of respondents, which include a nearly equal amount of B2B and B2C companies, are using social media for marketing purposes. A significant 83% of marketers stated that social media is important for their business.

The top Benefits of Social Media Marketing were listed as:

  • generating more business exposure (according to 85% of marketers)
  • increasing traffic (69%)
  • providing marketplace insight (65%)
  • Interestingly, developing loyal fans and generating leads were tied down in 4th place (58%), showing that these are important concerns but not a leading benefit

How Companies Make Social Media Work

There are many elements to consider before starting a social media strategy and reaping these benefits. For example, how much time does maintaining a social media presence take? The report gives an indication of how much time marketers are spending on their own social media.

Having sufficient resources behind a social media plan is essential in order to keep the plan sustainable, so this is a great topic to cover. According to the report: “The majority of marketers (59%) are using social media for 6 hours or more each week, and a third (33%) invest 11 or more hours weekly.” Clients often ask us how long their social media strategies will take to implement, and while we can give a rough estimate it also depends on many factors, like the level of engagement and what your objectives are when using social media.

One area to consider is Social Media Outsourcing. Only 30% of businesses are outsourcing some portion of their social media marketing, according to the report. Outsourcing is usually related to design and development, analytics and content creation, but not social media. While there are complexities when it comes to outsourcing, it can be an excellent way to maintain a successful social media presence with the resources to back it.

Other Marketing Tools for Social Media

Video marketing is a goal for 76% of respondents who wish to increase their investments in video - BUT, as David Warwick mentioned at our Search and Social Media seminar, beware of those who want to get onto YouTube merely to check a box. Social Media is about sustaining a presence on a social network – better to only use 1 network and do a great job than to attempt to engage in multiple areas and do it poorly. The desire to get into video shows how important it is to think through your strategy rather than jumping in too quickly.

Don’t forget blogs! Blogs were listed in the top 5 list of social media networks used by marketers, but they can be forgotten about in the midst of the hype about emerging social networks like Pinterest and Google+. Read my earlier blog on – you guessed it - blogs, for more on the benefits of blogging.

Besides social media marketing, respondents are also involved in other areas of marketing; the top three included email marketing, search engine optimization and event marketing.

And to find out how to plan, execute and maintain a social media strategy, contact us on 1300 780 566 or emailinfo@bwired.com.au. We’d love to sit down and have a talk about your business strategy and see how social media can support your overall business objectives.

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