It’s been almost seven years since Facebook became available to everyone aged 13 and older. Today, social media is an inherent part of a marketer’s must-do list and goes hand in hand with good content – Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report found that 97 per cent of marketers now use social media tactics, with 86 per cent indicating that it was important for their business. But what it also showed is that seven years later, most marketers still fail to use social media effectively, or even measure the results of their efforts.
Marketers spend a lot of time on Facebook…
And Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, for that matter. Social Examiner’s report found that 62 per cent of marketers are using social media for six hours or more weekly and 36 per cent for 11 or more. Nearly 17 per cent of marketers spend more than 20 hours each week on social media.
But their efforts aren’t necessarily paying off
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Stats indicate that while marketers know why they need to be active on social media, they don’t necessarily know how. Only 37 per cent think their Facebook efforts are effective – that’s barely more than one in three! Most are still unsure of social media best practice or how to develop effective strategies – creating a social strategy is still a major concern for 83 per cent of marketers. Even more shockingly, only about one in four agreed they were even able to measure their social activities.
It seems marketers are being social. They’re just not very good at it.
We’re still destined for social success
There are, however, some positive indicators. Marketers have indicated at least 10 benefits of social media marketing – and the results aren’t half bad.
1. Better exposure: A significant 89 per cent of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses.
2. Driving traffic: Traffic was the second major benefit, with 75 per cent reporting positive results.
3. Improving sales: More than half of marketers who have been using social media for at least three years report it has helped them improve sales.
4. Developing business partnerships: Of those with three years or more of experience, 62 per cent saw new partnerships.
5. Generating leads: By spending as little as six hours per week, 64 per cent of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media.
6. Lowering spend: Nearly half saw a benefit of reduced marketing expenses.
7. Improving SEO: At least 60 per cent of those investing a minimum of six hours per week saw improvements in search engine rankings.
8. Increasing traffic: More than 78 per cent of people surveyed experienced increased traffic with as little as six hours per week invested in social media marketing.
9. Providing market insights: Of those with at least one year of experience, 68 per cent or more found social platforms provided marketplace insight.
10. Growing loyal fans: Of those who have been using social media for at least one year, 63 per cent found it useful for building a loyal fan base.
The benefits are clear – perhaps after seven years, these stats show our social skills aren’t so terrible after all. The good news is that marketers are now thinking about social media within the larger umbrella of marketing. They’re trying to determine smart strategies. They’re hungry for information. They want to be better. And, as their skills continue to improve, the better they will become.