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Are you interested to find out where other marketers are focusing their efforts on social media to grow their business? Which techniques are proving effective and why? This regular, annual report from the Social Media Examiner is a useful summary of what is effective from over 2,500 marketers, so in this summary I cover 5 main findings from the report, which can be downloaded from the Social Media Examiner's website.
In terms of business benefits, the top two benefits are increasing exposure (brand awareness) and driving additional traffic.
'92% of marketers have increased their exposure through social media and 80% had positive results in terms traffic'.
The graph below shows the range of benefits:
The chart below shows the most commonly used social media platforms, with the top 5 ranking as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Blogging. Their annual survey has seen little change in the top 7, and this year new platforms have emerged including social media review sites including Yelp, short video from Vine and Snapchat and deal/voucher sites such as Groupon and Q&A Sites (Quora)
Increased usage across platforms has been highlighted, except for a small decline in Blogging.
Interesting that those companies who are new to social media have started off using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Where those more established after a year of use, have extended their strategies to YouTube, and Marketers with 2-4 years experience have branched into using Google+ even though some companies are still unsure how to use this platform.
The more established have focussed primarily on content creation, with 76% pushing content via YouTube, 71% via Blogging and 15% podcasting.
The survey highlights the differences in use of B2B companies vs B2Cs; B2C are more focused on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram whereas B2B are focused on LinkedIn, Google+ and Blogging.
In terms of the most important social media channel, Facebook (68% of respondents) is the most important for B2C companies where those in B2B indicated LinkedIn.
For companies planning on increasing their budget in social media, the drive will be towards Blogging, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Only 15% were likely to use Snapchat, though we know this is very specific to particular types of audiences and industries.
As previously mentioned, Blogging is becoming more popular and has jumped from number four most important in 2013 to the top spot for increased activity, with 74% of B2B marketers seeking to increase their efforts in Blogging.
Taking the findings one by one:
Respondents were asked which social media platforms they were looking to learn more about, and the common channel was Google+, where in the 2013 report this was Blogging.
B2C are looking for more information about Facebook (60%) and B2B about LinkedIn (65%).
Newcomers are looking for information on Google+, LinkedIn and then Facebook where more experienced Marketers, will focus on Google+. YouTube and LinkedIn.
There is a very clear finding here. The most popular form of paid social media advertising amongst respondents is comfortably Facebook followed by LinkedIn and Twitter adverts:
So, those are the 5 key areas of the report for me. I hope the summary is useful to compare your approach.
By Susanne Colwyn
Susanne is a Marketing Consultant and Trainer, with over 20 years marketing experience in the public and private sector. She's passionate about supporting companies with practical result driven marketing, to help focus companies on evaluating and driving their marketing forward. Experienced in Integrated Strategic Marketing Planning, Data Segmentation, Customer Relationship Management Systems, Customer Insight and reviewing internal systems, data and processes, to maximise conversion strategies and the customer experience. You can connect with her via her LinkedIn or follow her @Qtymarketing.
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