I just finished reading what appears to be the most exhaustive study of its kind.
The Social Media Examiner’s 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report captures what marketers are doing with social media, which platforms they’re using, how, and why.
Given that 97% of marketers (study respondents) indicated they are participating in social media marketing and 92% say social media is important for their business, this study should be required reading for all of us.
A few facts stood out to me as particularly important, and all of them distill to one final conclusion on my part: By July 4, 2015, we’ll probably have more WWI veterans among us than social media marketing laggards. If you know of any, send them a link to these facts:
Benefits of Social Media
- The top two benefits of social media marketing are increasing exposure and traffic.
- 95%+ of marketers indicated social media increased exposure for their business, with as little as 6 hours per week invested.
- More than half of marketers who’ve been using social media for at least 3 years report it has helped them to improve sales.
- Most marketers are using social media to develop loyal fans (72%) and gain marketplace intelligence (71%).
- Marketers reported increased benefits across all categories since 2013. The largest increases were developing loyal fans, which increased to 72% from 65% in 2013, followed by increased sales, which jumped to 50% from 43% in 2013.
What Marketers are Thinking and Doing
- 83% of marketers have integrated their traditional marketing activities with social media.
- B2B marketers are more focused on LinkedIn, Google+ and blogging, while B2C Marketers are more focused on Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.
- Facebook dominates the B2C space for marketers, but LinkedIn edges it out in B2B.
- 58% of marketers stated that original written content is the single most important form of social media content, followed by original visual assets (19%).
- 94% of marketers use original written content. 73% use curated content.
- At least 89% of marketers want to know the most effective social tactics and the best ways to engage their audience with social media.
What Marketers are Planning for the Year Ahead
- A whopping 81% of marketers plan to increase their use of original written content, 73% plan to increase original videos and 70% plan to increase original visual assets like infographics.
- 68% of marketers plan on increasing their use of blogging, the top targeted investment for 2014.
- 67% plan on increasing their use of YouTube and Twitter, followed by 64% for LinkedIn, and 64% for Facebook.
- Marketers want to learn most about Google+: While 54% of marketers are using Google+, 65% want to learn more about it and 61% plan on increasing Google+ activities in 2014.
These are just a few of the highlights in this report. It’s also got some good information about measuring ROI, social management tools, and how effective marketers are investing their time with social media. Download the report here.