The newly released 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report is a must read. Michael Stelzner, of Social Media Examiner, has been providing this resource for three years now. But I feel this year’s report yields the most telling results because we now have history, indexes and baselines with social media and levels of participation.
What I found most interesting is that the data reveals what early adopters have been saying all along. Social media marketing is effective and productive, but it takes time to nurture and mature. It is not a get rich scheme. Social media marketing works best for those committed to their companies and customers for the long term.
The report shows that companies with more years of social media experience spend more time each week conducting social media activities. Why? Because they have witnessed the direct correlation to time spent and results generated. They know it works and are willing to devote more and more time and resources to it.
Companies using social media 3+ years, spend the most time each week conducting social media activities. – 63% spend more than 10 hours per week. Only 41% of those with 1–3 years of experience spend that much time. For those just getting started it is dramatically less.
So, back to those with 3+ years of experience with social media:
- 91% reported an increase in traffic
- 72% report it has helped them close business
- 72% report it has increased exposure for their business
- More than 80% gained more business partnerships
- More than 65% agree that overall marketing costs dropped when social media marketing was implemented.
- More than 85% experienced an increase in search rankings
It might be helpful to compare what the companies with 3+ years of social media experience are saying and how that compares to those just getting started. Which category do you fall into?
Tools that companies with 3+ Years Experience use:
- 97% use Facebook
- 96% use Twitter
- 86% use blogs
- 84% use LinkedIn
- 75% use YouTube or other video
Tools that companies Just Getting Started use:
- 84% use Facebook
- 64% use Twitter
- 62% use blogs
- 53% use LinkedIn
- 26% use YouTube or other video
Tools that companies with 3+ Years Experience plan to learn more about:
- 59% Social bookmarking/news sites
- 56% Facebook
- 56% Geo-location
- 53% Blogs
- 48% YouTube or other video
- 45% Twitter
- 44% LinkedIn
- 32% Forums
- 32% Groupon
- 9% MySpace
Tools that companies Just Getting Started want to know more about:
- 83% Facebook
- 80% Blogs
- 72% Twitter
- 68% LinkedIn
- 60% YouTube or other video
- 58% Social bookmarking sites
- 51% Forums
- 42% Geo-location
- 29% Groupon
- 17% MySpace
People are on the Internet. They spend vasts amount of time there. Especially women. But the good news is the data reveals that for those marketers willing to spend the time and resources to reach them effectively, THE PAY OFF IS WORTH IT.
Other key findings include:
- 90% of marketers said that social media was important to their business
- The number one benefit of social media marketing is standing out in an increasingly noisy world.
- 75% of marketers indicate they will increase blogging.
- Design and development, content creation and analytics are the top three areas that social media marketers are outsourcing.
- Marketers are more likely to decrease their use of direct mail than any other marketing channel.
- A significant 55% of marketers either have no plans to use or will decrease their use of print ads.
- 8% of marketers plan on increasing radio, with 68% of marketers having no plans to use radio at all.
- 6% of marketers plan on increasing their use of TV with 76% having no plans of using TV at all.
You can download the full 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report report here.