Posts Tagged ‘Erik Qualman’
Let’s face it; lots of people consider spending one’s days with online games, tinkering in PhotoShop, “working” in Facebook, and using words like “viral” and “targeting” in decidedly non-lethal ways a funny way to make a living. Why not laugh with `em?
Find sh*t marketing people say, cross-dressing Linux developers, the stages of Twitter addiction, still more priceless demotivational posters, an online tool for generating business jargon phrases, Russian unicorns, things puppets hate about Facebook, the funniest tweets of last year and more in this collection of amusing, creative and offbeat market and social media stuff.
Sh*t People Say (Various Sources)
Starting early last year, a raft of sh*t various sorts of people say videos hit YouTube, some going viral, some less so. The flood continues, though the more recent additions to the genre are becoming progressively more arcane (e.g., Sh*t No Adult with ADHD Says). Here are a few of the best technology / marketing related creations. Funny even if you’re not seeing them for the first time.
How do you get the world’s attention if you’re a scrappy little Linux-realm software company with a bit of creativity (and some really smart coders) but no cash? Well, you could try producing an outrageous cross-dressing-themed video, but that’s risky–it could definitely go wrong. Or, it could go spectacularly right, as this effort did from CodeWeavers founders Jeremy White and Jon Parshall.
10 Incredible Interactive YouTube Videos by Mashable Business
“Like a 21st century version of the choose-your-own-adventure books, interactive YouTube videos can up the engagement factor by letting the viewer decide the course of the action, or just play around with the content,” writes Amy-Mae Elliott , who then shares “10 top interactive YouTube experiences, from both businesses and individuals, that incorporate gameplay, quizzes and just plain old fashioned entertainment.”
Social Media Saves Valentine’s Day by Socialnomics
A cute little video from the brilliant Erik Qualman about a guy who uses social media perhaps too well on Valentine’s Day.
The 46 stages of Twitter Usage by Chris Voss Show
Funny and true progression of common Twitter reaction beginning with ridicule and ending in addiction.
De-Motivational Posters for Freelancers by FreelanceSwitch
Video Case Study Parody by Jack: A Blog About Experience Brands
The pink pony birthday party video case study parody. Parents will get this.
Twitter Gets the Ken Burns Treatment From Funny or Die (Video) by All Things D
Funny or Die goes Ken Burns on the history of Twitter. Hilarious, mostly safe for work (a few cuss words), and it’s endorsed by Perez Hilton.
Clever QR Code Example: The World Park by Firebelly Social Media Marketing Blog
Not funny, but very creative video showing “a clever use of QR codes. The World Park campaign turned New York City’s Central Park into an interactive board game.” As blogger Chad Richard advises, “You have to see it for yourself.”
Business Jargon Generator by Growth Science
Anyone can write clearly. The challenge is to be able to appear profound even when you have no clue. This handly tool will help. For example, “If you’re not sure what to call your next PowerPoint slide deck you might use ‘Experiential Paradigm Convergence.’ Nobody will know what it means – and that’s the point!…Want your boss to think you’re forward-looking? Ask why nobody’s been prioritizing ‘Proactive Competence Alignment.’ If your boss asks what that means, say it’s to ensure ‘Global Impact Integration.’” Try it yourself!
The Lighter Side of SEO: People Search for the Darndest Things by Inkling Media
Ken Mueller shares some of the odder search phrases that visitors have used to find his website, based on Google analytics data. Among the unexpected phrases that have driven search traffic for Ken: “random things Mennonites can’t do,” “shiny comphy shoes” and “wooden pegs for marketing.” Hmm.
Do you have too many social networks to manage already? Does the world really need another one? The guys from College Humor provide their answer here.
“Russian Unicorn” — a bad lip reading of Michael Bublé by BadLipReading
Okay, it’s not marketing-related, but this video take-off on “Just Haven’t Met You Yet” is extraordinarily well done. And funny. Not to be missed.
The Best Of “Google+ VS Facebook” Videos by @NewCommBiz
Benjamin Beck pulls together four of the best videos about the battle between Google+ and Facebook. It may be a deadly serious fight for Google and Facebook, but no reason the rest of us can’t laugh about it.
10 Things Puppets Hate About Facebook by Burgers By Phone
People sharing pictures of what they just ate, cartoon cows as gifts, getting tagged in pictures where you look terrible, and seven other reasons that puppets (and many non-puppets) hate Facebook.
The 50 funniest tweets of 2011 by HappyPlace
A fantastic (for the most part, other than the questionable political tweets) collection of some of funniest tweets of the past year, among them, from @Starlett17: “I hate when old people poke me at weddings, point and whisper ‘You’re next!’ So I’ve started doing the same thing to them at funerals.”
The 10 Best Commercials of 2011 by AdWeek
Tim Nudd presents ten of the best, if not the best, TV ads from last season. Fortunately the list was compiled before the Clint Eastwood ad from this year’s Super Bowl, which while interestingly crafted, seemed like it should have been either promoting Ford (Gran Torino) or the Republican party.
Honest Logos by Viktor Hertz
9 campaigns that won with humor by iMedia Connection
Jim Nichols like the use of humor in these campaigns. The quality is uneven, but the collection includes a few clear hits, like the Tom Hanks video in which “Reality TV’s biggest train wreck was beautifully spoofed.”
Reports, surveys, studies and infographics are among the most popular content posted and shared across social networks. We’re all hungry for data.
Marketers, we’re told, need to think like publishers. But which networks are most effective for spreading the content produced? How widespread, really, is the use of social media for marketing? How are B2B marketers using social media differently from their B2C counterparts? How are marketers measuring social media success? Who is actually consuming all of this content?
Find the answers to these questions and many more here in more than 40 of the best reports, studies, videos and other sources of social media, search, and other marketing facts and statistics of the past year.
General Social Media Statistics
The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic by Search Engine Journal
- • One in four Americans watches a YouTube video every day.
- • 53% of employers now research candidates on social networks before hiring.
- • 71% of companies now have a presence on Facebook. 59% are on Twitter, and 43% use a company blog for marketing.
Researchers To Marketers: Go Social, Mobile by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Les Luchter looks at research showing that 10% of all website visits to the top 1,000 web properties come from social sharing, half as much as from search. Sharing accounts for nearly a third of all referral traffic, and shared links are “clicked on 4.9 times each, on average, across all sharing channels, so content shared by large groups of people reach a wider audience than content passed along from others.”
Social Networking Growth Stats and Patterns by Social Media Today
Dan Nelms dives into a Comscore report which found that although Facebook engagement is increasing (the average time spent on the site per user per month increased from 4.6 hours to 6.3 hours in the last year), niche social networks are experiencing the fastest user growth (up 48.1% for the year). Still, the top 10 social networks account for nearly 80% of all social network traffic.
Shea Bennett examines research finding that, no surprise, the user base on LinkedIn skews older than on other social networks: more than half of all members are aged 36-65, with just 6% younger than 22. People over the age of 65 don’t make up more than 6% of membership on any social network (the 6% figure is for Facebook). And while women outnumber men on almost every major social network (e.g. women make up 64% of Twitter’s following), men (63% to 37%) are the larger share on LinkedIn.
Infographic: Social Media ROI Statistics by Digital Buzz
Aden Hepburn shares a wealth of social media ROI statistics here, such as that 74% of CMOs believe they will get a handle on social media ROI in 2012. Website traffic is the most commonly measured social media metric, followed by conversions, positive mentions and number of fans/followers. In the coming year, 77% of companies plan to spend more on YouTube; three-quarters plan to increase spending on Facebook and blogs, and 73% will invest more on Twitter.
You just shared a link. How long will people pay attention? by bitly blog
***** 5 STARS
Hilary Mason reports on research showing the “half-life” of a link on various social networks (the time in which half of all clicks the link will ever get occur). Among her key findings: “(looking at) the half life of 1,000 popular bitly links, the results were surprisingly similar. The mean half life of a link on twitter is 2.8 hours, on facebook it’s 3.2 hours and via ‘direct’ sources (like email or IM clients) it’s 3.4 hours. So you can expect, on average, an extra 24 minutes of attention if you post on facebook than if you post on twitter.”
The State of the Internet Now
***** 5 STARS
This incredible site displays real-time statistics on a variety of global internet metrics, including today’s “Intetnet mood poll,” the relative positions of the largest social networks, how time is spent online, and a constantly changing collection of “Fun Facts” (e.g. “Lady Gaga is Twitter’s most followed user with 8.4 million followers”).
11 infographics for your next presentation by Ragan’s PR Daily
***** 5 STARS
Arik Hanson shares a collection of “Infographics that would fit nicely into many digital marketing/PR presentations.” Topics include online demographics, the growth of social media, Twitter facts and figures (e.g., 40% of all tweets are pointless babble; only about one out of every 11 tweets gets retweeted), location-based marketing, and how executives use social media (LinkedIn is used by 92% of top executives, Facebook by 51%, and Twitter by 41%; half of all top executives use at least three different social networks regularly; and 83% trust social media sites “somewhat” or “strongly”).
Social Media Adoption Slows For Fortune 500 by The Realtime Report
Marissa McNaughton looks at social media use among America’s largest companies. Among the findings: 114 companies (23%) of the Fortune 500 maintain blogs, 62% have active corporate Twitter accounts, and 58% have a Facebook presence. But after rapid growth in 2009 and 2010, the study found that “There has been little or no change in the number of companies using corporate blogs (0%), Facebook (2%) and Twitter (2%) in the last year.”
McKinsey Social Technologies Survey: the Business Ecosystem Benefits by Fusion Marketing Experience
- • 72% of companies use at least one type of social technology; 50% use social networking, 41% have blogs, and 38% use video.
- • The most rapid increase in adoption has been in the use of social networking, which has nearly doubled since 2009.
- • 27% of companies expect “the elimination, or at least lessening, of an organizations formal hierarchy because it will be easier to make decisions as a group.”
Out with the Old (Marketing) And In With the New by Blue Focus Marketing
Echoing the statistic from Erik Qualman that “78% of people trust peer recommendations vs. only about 14% who trust ads,” Mark Burgess makes the case for online and inbound marking using numbers: consumers are more likely to trust online consumer opinions (49%), opt-in (vendor) emails (40%) and even brand websites (35%) than any type of web-based advertising–though search ads (21%) outperform other formats.
Companies Should Communicate Via Social Media by MediaPost Onlne Media Daily
Gavin O’Malley relays research from New York University which finds that “78% of respondents (consumers) agreed that either social media platforms would soon replace other means of customer service altogether, or become the dominant way for consumers to communicate with corporations.” The study also noted that “45% of respondents would feel ‘angry’ if ignored by companies on a particular social media platform…nearly 1 in 3 respondents said they would stop doing business with the offending company altogether…(and) if confronted with unanswered customer complaints on a company’s social media site, 88.3% of respondents said they’d be either somewhat less likely or far less likely to buy from that brand.”
McKinsey Research Again Validates Social Technology Benefits by paulgillin.com
Paul Gillin quotes from McKinsey research findings on social media use in the enterprise that 72% now use some form of social media, with more than 40% participating in blogging and social networks. Why? Because it produces real business results: “Executives at fully networked organizations report greater benefits from both internal and external interactions…Self-reported operating-margin improvements correlated positively with the reported percentage of employees whose use of social technologies was integrated into their day-to-day work. Market share leadership in an industry, the final self-reported performance measure, (also) correlated positively with the integration of social tools in employees’ day-to-day work.”
B2B Marketing Research and Statistics
10 informative B2B marketing infographics by Econsultancy
Graham Charlton presents 10 B2B-focused infographics, filled with statistics and findings such as that B2B buyers are increasingly getting their information from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs while other sources fall in popularity, and that 86% of B2B firms are using social media (versus 82% of B2C companies), but they are less engaged than their consumer-focused counterparts (with 32% of B2B companies engaging online daily, compared to 53% of B2C enterprises).
B2B Marketing [r]Evolution (Content Marketing) by PropelGrowth on YouTube
The latest version of this video provides a wealth of B2B-related stats, including: 83% of buyers no longer trust advertising (but most do trust recommendations from other users online). Google attracts more than one billion unique visitors per month. 92% of B2B buyers use online resources to research products and services. And most B2B buying cycles are 70%-80% complete before the salesperson is even aware of the buyer.
Scott Gillum believes that tools like Blogger Dynamic Views and Flipcard have “the potential to turn over complete control of the user experience to the visitor.” He explains what it means for B2B marketers when buyers are essentially able to create their own UI.
How B2B Search Engine Marketers Can Better Impact the B2B Buying Process by Search Engine Watch
***** 5 STARS
In this must-read post for B2B marketers, Derek Edmond reviews research from TriCommB2B detailing the role of content marketing assets in B2B marketing (e.g., which assets are viewed as most critical to buyers—technical data sheets and vendor websites—and which are least important), the six distinct phases of the B2B buying cycle, SEO best practices, using social networking for link building, and more.
Types of Valuable Marketing Content by The Daily Numbers
David Erickson reports that 39% of B2B marketers (as well as 37% of their B2C counterparts) view blog posts as the most valuable type of content to support their marketing efforts. He notes that some companies try to use a blog simply as a mechanism to re-post their press releases, and are subsequently disappointed by the results. But he also points out that companies who stick with blogging over the long term “gain immeasurably through an understanding of content marketing, what types of content appeal to their customers, (and) how content works with search in attracting new customers.”
B2B Marketers Have Much To Learn About Social by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Gavin O’Malley passes along findings from a Pardot study, indicating that “as much as marketers like social media, they’re not spending proportionately on the new channel.” Although 95% of B2B marketers report using social networks to reach prospects, “nearly 30% are not tracking the impact of such campaigns on lead generation and sales. And among those who do, about 42% of marketers replied that zero or an uncertain number of sales leads resulted from social media programs.”
Study Shows Differences Between B2B and B2C Marketers by Marketing Pilgrim
***** 5 STARS
Frank Reed examines the differences in digital marketing practices between B2B and B2C marketers, such as that 75% of B2C marketers say Facebook is their most active social media channel, while B2B marketers are more divided on the question (35% say Facebook, 26% Twitter, and 25% LinkedIn). B2B marketers on average spend a higher percentage of their online budget on SEO (33%) than their B2C counterparts (22%), but less on PPC advertising (28% vs. 43%) and social media marketing (10% comapred to 15%).
Only 8% of B2B Companies Heavily Engaged in Social Media by Social Media B2B
Jeffrey L. Cohen looks into an Accenture study finding that although 65% of B2B marketers call social media “extremely or very important,” only 8% would describe their own social media use as “extensive.” 26% are only slightly engaged or not using social media at all. Why? According to the study, “50% of marketers surveyed felt they needed new tools and technologies to manage their social media efforts and 40% indicated that their team was not properly trained to take advantage of social media.”
4 Ways To Boost The Value Of Your B2B Marketing Content by Social Media B2B
How can B2B companies best take advantage of social media? Adam Holden-Bache passes along research showing that 77% of B2B buyers view content as more influential if it includes social sharing buttons. 92% say that when video “is embedded in content it positively or very positively effects the overall influence.” And 37% of buyers have consumed b2b content using a mobile device.
Social Media and C-Level Executives
Despite the fact that 80% of companies with 100 or more employees now use social media in their marketing mix, “only 27% (of business executives) list social business as a top strategic priority. Nearly half (47%) admit a social plan is necessary but not a strategic priority and 19% say social business strategy is simply not necessary.” Given those figures, it’s not surprising that just 17% of executives believe their company’s social media strategy is ahead of the curve, while 33% are concerned that they trail the market.
Social Media Stats for the C-Suite by Social Media Today
***** 5 STARS
Jeff Esposito here compiles results from several research studies in a collection of 30 interesting social media facts, among them: 82% of 18-29 year olds utilize at least one form of social networking. 40% of corporate Twitter accounts include customer service use. Only about 10% of CMOs say that social marketing efforts are integrated with their overall marketing strategies. And nearly half of consumers “combine social media and search engines in their buying process” (which is why web presence optimization is critical).
Social Media: A Must For CEOs Of The Future by V3 Integrated Marketing
The always insightful Shelly Kramer comments on recent research showing that more CEOs are starting to embrace social media. More specifically, “Twenty-eight percent of CEOs under the age of 40 maintain a work-related blog daily. And 32 percent of them contribute or read micro-feeds using Twitter or a similar application.”
13% of Online Americans Use Twitter [STATS] by Mashable
According to Pew Research stats cited by Lauren Indvic here, 13% of all online Americans, 15% of those with incomes greater than $75,000 per year, 16% of college graduates, and nearly 20% of Internet users aged 25-34 use Twitter.
Study: 76 percent of communications professionals use Twitter by Ragan’s PR Daily
Michael Sebastian reports that “76 percent of communicators (PR professionals) in the United States and Canada used the site, nearly double the percentage from 2009,” and in addition, “The percentage of organizations with a budget devoted to social media has doubled since 2009, to 30 percent from 15 percent. 32 percent of PR pros said they have a dedicated social media team in place.”
30 Terrific Twitter Facts And Figures by Geeky Stuffs
Noting that its “glamor and brand problem has not held back (Twitter’s) growth after its humble origins and launch in 2006,” Shaan Haider lists 30 stats about the microblogging service such as that the service had only three million registered users in 2008 (but 225 million by March 2011); 60% of all tweets come from third-party apps; and mobile Twitter users increased by 182% in the past year.
The Shelf Life of a Web Page by The Daily Numbers
David Erickson (again) reports that StumbleUpon not only accounts for the bulk of social sharing (it drove “50.3% of the social media traffic referrals in the US from August to September” in 2011) but also that its link have a much longer half-life than those on Facebook or Twitter. He also notes that once-hot Digg has devolved into “the MySpace of social sharing sites.”
Emma Hutchings shares an infographic loaded with StumbleUpon statistics and facts, such as that “2.2 million web pages…are added to StumbleUpon every month, which works out at 51 each minute. The average Stumble page view lasts 72 seconds, nearly 25% longer than the average web page view, and the average Stumble session lasts 69 minutes, which is three times longer than the average time someone spends on Facebook.”
Social Network User Base Grows, 56% Are Adult Females by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Mark Walsh relays survey results revealing that nearly half of Americans now use at least one social networking site. Facebook is, no surprise, the dominant network, but interestingly “the average Facebook member has 229 friends on the site, with people from high school making up the largest share at 22%, followed by extended family (12%) and coworkers (10%), college friends (9%), and immediate family (8%).” The survey also suggests that Facebook may have reached its saturation point in the U.S..
Social Media Surpasses Search, Facebook Leads by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Frequent best-of honoree Laurie Sullivan looks into a Nielsen report showing that in terms of time spent on the site, Facebook (yeah, I know, a shock) is the leader followed by Blogger, Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn. All came in well ahead of sites like Google, AOL and MSN. In addition, “Tumblr has grown to become the eighth-largest U.S. site, jumping 183%…in the past year.”
Shea Bennett (again) posts an infographic loaded with online usage stats, such as that 65% of adult internet users engage on social networking sites like Facebook or LinkedIn (vs. 13% who are on Twitter), 92% use email and search engines, and 81% go online to check the weather. Meanwhile, dating websites and virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life) are reportedly among the least popular online activities.
SEO Research and Stats
SEO Underused, Forrester Report Suggests by MediaPost Search Blog
Laurie Sullivan reports Forrester research discovering that three-quarters of technology vendors have embraced SEO; less than 10% don’t use search optimization at all. However, SEO remains under-used in certain areas, such as “supporting sales in moving prospects through the sales process.” From the buyer perspective, Forrester found that “When customers search for IT products, 20% said they primarily search for best practices; 19%, vendors and products; 18%, technology categories; 17%, other experiences; 16% business problems; and 9%, organizational adoption programs.”
Wow, you can make good money in Search by iMedia Connection
AJ Lawrence shares SEMPO research on SEO salaries showing that the average search marketer earns $75,542 per year. This ranges from rookie analysts starting at around $30,000 annually to vice presidents bringing down more than $250,000. More than half of all SEO professionals (57%) have five years or less experience.
SEO Salaries and the Best Cities for SEO Jobs by Onward Search
Going a bit deeper into the topic of SEO compensation than the post above, this post/infographic shows the top cities for SEO work (New York, LA and San Francisco top the list; Minneapolis, where I’m at, comes in at a respectable 12th place), a breakdown of SEO titles, and salary ranges by market (if you don’t mind the heat, SEO jobs in #10 Atlanta apparently pay considerably better than those in #9 Seattle).
SEO Behavior: Click-Through Rates Drop Per Search by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Laurie Sullivan (again) notes research showing that more than half of searchers click on a first-page search result. In round numbers, the top result generates 18% of click-throughs, the #2 result 10%, and positions 6-10 each get 4% or fewer of all clicks. David Erickson offers additional detail on the same study in Organic Click-Through Rates by Ranking.
10 Stats to Justify SEO by Search Engine Journal
Daniel Bianchini shares some high-level stats on the importance of search, such as that 93% of all internet traffic comes from search engines, with Google dominating. The figures here are specific to the UK, but the general ideas are more universal.
Google Longtail Keywords Infographic by SEO Book
Aaron Wall presents an infographic titled “How Google Killed the Long Tail,” which delves into topics like spell correction (sometimes a friend, sometimes not), Google Instant (ugh), query freshness and “not provided” keywords in Google Analytics (boo, hiss).
A Tale Of Two Studies: Google vs. Bing Click-Through Rate by The Daily SEO Blog
According to this infographic, results on the first page of Google generate higher click-through rates across all positions (maybe that “Bing and decide thing isn’t working out—or maybe this data set is simply too small). 55% of Google searchers are male, while women (58% to 42%) are more likely to be searching on Bing. And in terms of ranking factors, Google supposedly no longer cares about the H1 tag, while neither search engine gives weight to domain age (hmmm).
General Marketing Research
Among Affluent Americans, Print Media Is Tops by Ad Age Blogs
While social media generates headlines, don’t write off traditional media just yet. Stephen Kraus and Bob Shullman report that of households with more than $100,000 in annual income, 93% read magazines in hard-copy format, while just a third read them online. Similarly, 86% read printed newspapers compared to 39% who read the same news online. And 94% watch television shows on (gasp!) televisions, versus 23% who view TV shows online.
Lauren Indvik (again) takes note of research from Outbrain which finds that the Drudge report drives 7% of traffic to sites like the New York Times, MSNBC, and The Atlantic (and Mashable), more than twice the percentage of Facebook and Twitter combined. That figure was up 1.5% from the previous year. Overall, according to the study, “social networks still drive relatively little traffic (7%) compared to content sites (56%) and search (37%).” Among social networks driving traffic, Twitter and Reddit came out on top.
2011 Insane Mobile Marketing Facts & Trends by Bit Rebels
The delightful Diana Adams reports that more than one-quarter of all mobile phones are now smartphones, that mobile internet usage is expected to overtake desktop usage by 2014, and that Americans spend about twice as much time on their mobile phones each day as they do eating, among other fascinating factoids in this infographic.
Paid Search To Grow 15% In 2012 by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Laurie Sullivan (yet again) shares findings from recent search marketing research. Among the trends: paid search is projected to grow 15% in 2012 and 2013, followed by 13% in 2014. Costs are rising: “a promoted trend on Twitter now costs $120,000 daily, up from between $25,000 and $30,000 when Twitter first launched in April 2010.” And the fastest growing format is expected to be online video ads.
Blogging is often viewed as the core component of a B2B social media marketing strategy, and other than discussion forums, it’s the most mature component of social media. Facebook, Twitter and even newer tools like Quora may be sexier and get more attention, but blogs are the workhorses essential to making social media marketing work. Research from HubSpot shows that small businesses with blogs have twice as many Twitter followers as those who don’t. Increased search engine visibility, targeted traffic and enhanced brand image are just a few of the benefits of business blogging.
So what’s next for B2B blogging? What trends are likely to emerge in the coming year? To answer those questions, the founders of the B2B Marketing Zone asked 22 of the most influential b2b marketing and PR bloggers—including Roxanne Darling, Jay Baer, Ardath Albee, Erik Qualman and Chris Abraham—for their prognostications. You can get the whole story in B2B Blogging Trends in 2011, a free (and no registration required) white paper from Aggregage (the software that powers the BMZ site). Among the findings:
- • If you don’t have a blog yet, 2011 is the year to start one. As less than half of all B2B companies currently have blogs, there’s still an opportunity to stand out and establish thought leadership in your niche. If your company doesn’t have a blog, you’re not a laggard…quite yet. But time is running out to grab the best intellectual spots of turf on the B2B blogging landscape.
- • Blogging helps a company demonstrate expertise, it’s ideal for search, and as Blake Landau points out, “As push marketing becomes less effective, blogs become more important.”
- • Blogs are not islands; as pointed out above, they are the central point to social marketing efforts. Blogging is most effective when integrated with other communications efforts including PR and email marketing.
- • Although there is still opportunity to get started with a business blog, it’s crucial to do it right. Jay Baer predicts an “explosion of bad B2B blogs” in the coming year as companies scramble to embrace the medium, but many fail to do it well. To stand out and achieve business success with a blog, it’s critical to focus narrowly on the information needs of your customers and prospects, as Kristin Zhivago and Harry Hoover both note.
There’s much more. Again, you can download the complete Aggregage white paper on B2B Blogging Trends in 2011 here.
Data junkies, stats addicts, web trivia buffs rejoice — here are a deluge of social media, search and other marketing research facts and figures from 50 articles and blog posts published so far in 2010.
How are marketers planning to allocate budgets this year? What percentage of Fortune 100 companies are on Twitter? Which social networking site is used by 92% of senior marketing executives? What social media tool helps small business double their reach on Twitter? How do B2B social media marketing practices differ from B2C companies? What percentage of web searches stop after page one of the results? How much do small businesses spend on search engine marketing? How many journalists also maintain blogs?
Find the answers to these questions and many, many more here.
Social Media Statistics
Study: Spending On Email, Social And Search Rising by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Despite the fact that more than half of marketers responding to an ExactTarget survey planned to to either reduce their overall marketing budget for 2010 or keep it flat, 54% planned to increase spending on email marketing and 66% planned to increase expenditures for social media “even though about 80% of those acknowledged the difficulty in tracking ROI in the medium.”
A national survey of reporters and editors revealed that 89% use blogs for story research, 65% turn to social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and 52% utilize microblogging services such as Twitter. While the use of social media sources by journalists is growing rapidly, the reliability of such information remains an issue, as “the survey also made it clear that reporters and editors are acutely aware of the need to verify information they get from social media.”
Social Media Not Preferred Recommendation Resource by MediaPost Online Media Daily
In a study asking consumers to rate the most influential sources of information for their purchase decisions, 59% said “personal advice from friends or family members,” followed by 39% search engines, 36% articles in newspapers or magazines, online articles 28%, email 20% and social media 19%. Three caveats: first, though low, the influence of social media is growing. Second, social media and search are rated more influential by younger buyers and high-income consumers than by other groups. Third, the survey was heavily consumer-oriented; b2b figures would be different. The key takeaway — companies can’t put all of their marketing eggs in one basket, but need to balance budgets across several areas including email, social media, organic SEO, paid search and offline campaigns.
While 28% of U.S. adults say they give advice about purchases on social networking sites, only 17% say they seek out such advice when making buying decisions. “70% of social media users between the ages of 18-34 regularly use Facebook more than other sites such as MySpace, Twitter, and Classmates.com,” and women use Facebook more than men.
Senior marketing execs see their companies moving to social media in 2010 by The Viral Garden
In a recent study of high-level marketing executives, 70% plan new social media initiatives in 2010. 92% said they personally use LinkedIn, versus 56% on Facebook. While 28% planned to use internal resources to launch new initiatives, 25% turn to social media consultants. The two most important criteria when hiring a social media consultant are examples of previous work and recommendations; number of Twitter followers is the 12th-most important factor.
Another notable Pam Dyer post, this one summarizing a study from online advertising network Chitika which shows that Twitter is the best place to share news: 47% of the outbound traffic from Twitter goes to news sites, vs. 28% from Facebook, 18% from Digg and an imperceptible share from MySpace. Digg is the most technical; 12% of its outbound traffic goes to technology sites, vs. 10% from Twitter and 7% from Facebook. And for what it’s worth, Pam points out that “celebrity/entertainment is the only genre in the top 5 of all sites.”
What Type Of Social Media Ads Are The Most Effective? by MediaPost Online Media Daily
According to a recent study from Psychster, “Among the seven most common formats, sponsored content ads — in which consumers viewed a page that was “brought to you by” a leading brand — are the most engaging, but produced the least purchase intent. Corporate profiles on social-networking sites produce greater purchase intent and more recommendations when users can become a ‘fan,’ and add the logo to their own profiles, than when they can’t. And ‘give and get’ widgets are more engaging than traditional banner ads, but no more likely to produce an intent to purchase.”
Study: Americans’ Social Net Use On The Rise, But Services Not Entirely Wasted On The Young by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Nearly half of all Americans are now members of at least one social network, double the proportion of just two years ago. While social network use is highest among the young, it’s not exclusively their club: two-thirds of 25- to 34-year-olds and half of those aged 35 to 44 also now have personal profile pages. 30% of social media users access a social media site “several times a day,” up from 18% in 2009. Also, nearly half (45%) of all mobile phone owners send text messages on a daily basis.
Deciphering Shady Social Media Stats by Social Implications
Yes, Facebook is a big deal, but there is no way it “controls 41% of social media traffic” as was reported in a post on Mashable back in April. Jennifer Mattern rips the statistical methodology behind this reporting to shreds and reminds us all of why it’s important to be skeptical of social media statistics that don’t sound quite right.
Social Media Revolution by YouTube
Social media stats in video form. Some of the numbers shown here lend themselves to the skepticism recommended in the post above, but all are documented so take `em for what they’re worth. There are more Gen Y’ers than Baby Boomers, and 96% of them have joined a social network. 80% of companies are using LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees. 80% of Twitter use is on mobile devices. YouTube now hosts more than 100 million videos and is the second largest search engine. 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations when making purchase decisions; just 14% trust advertising. More than 1.5 million pieces of content (videos, photos, blog posts, links etc.) are shared on Facebook daily.
New Chart: Survey Says Inbound Marketing Budgets on the Rise by HubSpot Blog
In a study of 231 (likely a bit more social media-savvy than average) companies, 88% planned to maintain or increase inbound marketing budgets in 2010. 85% view company blogs as “useful,” while 71% said the same for Twitter (up from just 39% in 2009). More than 40% of respondents reported acquiring at least one new customer from Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or their company blog in the past year.
Erik Qualman updates some statistics from 2009, showing how rapidly this landscape is changing. If it were a country, Facebook would the third-largest on earth, up from fourth-largest in 2009. 80% of companies use social media in some manner for recruiting; of those, 95% use LinkedIn. 50% of mobile Internet traffic in the U.K goes to Facebook. And my favorite: “The ROI of social media is that your business will still exist in five years.”
Look Ma, No Hands: More Than Half Of Companies Say They Are Using Social Media With No Strategy by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Among companies who say they are using social media in a recent Digital Brand Expressions survey, only 41% said they had a strategic plan in place to guide activities, and only 69% of those (28% of all social media-using companies) have set up metrics to measure the ROI of social media activities. Worse, on 29% of firms with a plan in place (12% of the total) had written social media policies in place for employees.
52 Cool Facts About Social Media by Danny Brown
Two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites have integrated with Facebook. Twitter adds 300,000 new users and gets 600 million searches daily. LinkedIn has more than 70 million members worldwide — including executives from every Fortune 500 company. More than half of YouTube users are under 20 years old, and let’s hope they live long lives: it would take 1,000 years to watch every video currently posted on the site. 77% of Internet users read blogs, but only 14% of blogs are published by corporations.
Twitter Demographic Report – Who Is Really On Twitter? by PalatnikFactor.com
Who’s really using Twitter? According to this report, 44% are between 18 and 34 years old. A slight majority (53% to 47%) are female. Just over a quarter of tweeters qualify as regular users, accounting for 41% of all traffic, but the 1% classified as “addicts” account for a third of all tweets. Twitter users tend to be readers of TechCrunch, Wired magazine and CNN.com, but also (ugh) PerezHilton.com — so make what you will of that.
2009 Twitter Demographics and Statistics Report by iStrategyLabs
The largest cohort of Twitter users (47%) are in the 18-34 age bracket — but the second largest (31%) are 35-49 years old. 74% of twitterers have no kids at home. Almost half are college graduates and 17% have post-grad degrees.
Twitter Usage In America: 2010 Statistics and Ad Agency New Business by Social Media Today
While many executives still dismiss Twitter as a waste of time, recent research suggests it is one of the most valuable social networks for business. Awareness of Twitter has exploded; 87% of Americans said they were “familiar with” Twitter in a poll taken earlier this year, versus just 5% in 2008. Although only 7% of Americans maintain an active Twitter account (vs. 41% who are on Facebook), Twitter users “are far more likely to follow Brands/ Companies than social networkers in general. 51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks. Twitter users frequently exchange information about products and services.”
Facebook: Facts & Figures For 2010 by Digital Buzz Blog
Interesting, though slightly out of date (Lady Gaga’s page is listed as 9th-most popular) Facebook infographic. Half of all Facebook users log in on any given day, and more than 35 million update their status. More than 100 million users access Facebook through their mobile phones. The US and UK have the highest number of Facebook users, but the #3 country? Indonesia.
Report: 6.8% Of Business Internet Traffic Goes To Facebook by All Facebook
How are employees using the Internet at work? A recent study concluded that almost 7% of all business web traffic goes to Facebook, twice as much as Google (3.4%) and well ahead of Yahoo! at 2.4 percent. DoubleClick got 1.7% of all business traffic due to its massive online banner advertising network. In terms of bandwidth use, YouTube takes the single biggest share at 10%, followed by Facebook at 4.5% and Windows Update at 3.3%.
The Ultimate List: 100+ Facebook Statistics [Infographics] by HubSpot Blog
Men and women both average about 130 friends on Facebook, but men there are more likely to be (or least claim to be) single (33% to 26%) while women using Facebook are more likely to be (or at least say they are) married, engaged or in a relationship (47% to 41%). The three most “liked” types of food pages are about ice cream, milk or chocolate. Facebook pages that use the words “collaboration” or “blogger” have on average three times as many fans as pages about SEO or optimization. Pages about movies and TV shows generally get the highest number of “likes” while those devoted to government and public service get the least. Within the U.S., Washington DC and South Dakota have the highest percentage of residents with Facebook accounts (one of the very few phenomena they have in common), while New Mexico has the smallest percentage of its population (10.3%) on Facebook.
Social Media Use in Large Enterprises
Among the world’s 100 largest companies, two-thirds are using Twitter, 54% have a Facebook page, 50% manage at least one corporate YouTube channel and 33% have created company blogs. Overall, 79% of Fortune 100 companies are using at least one social media channel, with the highest use in European (88%) and U.S-based (86%) companies. However, only 20% of these companies (28% in the U.S.) are using all four major social media platforms. 69% of U.S.-based firms in the study have a Facebook page, but just 32% have posts with comments from fans.
Fortune 500 favors Twitter over blogging by iMedia Connection
Among the world’s largest 500 companies, 35% had Twitter accounts in 2009, but only 22% maintained company blogs. Less than half effectively used SEO.
Twitter Moves Ahead of Blogs in Fortune 500 by Social Media Today
Among Fortune 500 companies, 108 (22%) have an active, public-facing corporate blog. 93 (86%) of those blogs are linked directly to a corporate Twitter account. 173 (35%) of the Fortune 500 firms maintain an active Twitter account, including 47 of the top 100 companies on the list.
Social media use by the Fortune 100 in visual Infographic form: the average Fortune 100 company follows 731 people on Twitter and is followed by about 1,500 (seems like small numbers for big companies). However, the average socially active Fortune 100 company has almost 41,000 Facebook fans and 39,000 YouTube channel subscribers.
Social Media in Business: Fortune 100 Statistics by iStrategy
According to a Burson-Marsteller study, 79% of the Fortune 100 are “present and listening” on at least one social networking platform. 20% of these corporate giants are using all four of the main social technologies (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Blogs), and 82% of the Fortune 100 companies on Twitter actively engage with customers there at least once per week.
The State of Social Media Jobs 2010 – A Special Report by Social Media Influence
Although “the importance of social media certainly is resonating through many big companies,” just 59 of the Fortune Global 100 firms have hired staff specifically to perform core social media tasks such as customer outreach, PR, marketing and internal communications. The most social media “active” industry sectors include healthcare, telecom, retail and automotive, while companies in heavily regulated industries such as financial services, insurance, energy and utilities are among the social media laggards.
Social Media Use in Small to Midsized Businesses (SMBs)
Small Businesses That Blog Have 102% More Twitter Followers by HubSpot Blog
Still wondering if your business should have a blog? A HubSpot study of more than 2,000 companies showed that, for businesses of all sizes, companies that have blogs have 79% more Twitter followers than those that don’t. Blogging “increases Twitter reach by 113% for B2B companies and 30% for B2C companies.”
At the other end of the scale, for small to midsized businesses, marketing budget allocations are changing. Traditionally, small business marketers have favored email and search, and spent the majority of their marketing dollars offline. In 2009, only one-third of SMB marketers viewed Faebook as “very” or “somewhat” beneficial. But for 2010, 74% planned to increase their use of email marketing and 68% planned larger expenditures for social media. Over the next five years, social media budgets are expected to grow at a 34% annual rate — twice as fast as all other forms of online marketing. By 2014, Forrester predicts that social media spending will be higher than that for both email and mobile, though still much smaller than search and online display advertising.
Small Biz Lead Gen Surges with Social by eMarketer
According to a HubSpot study, “not only can inbound marketing bring leads for less money but it can also double average monthly leads for small and medium-sized businesses.” Twitter reach is critical for increased lead generation: “Companies with 100 to 500 followers generated 146% more median monthly leads than those with 21 to 100 followers. Beyond the 500-follower mark, though, there was no further gain,” as is blogging — but the study noted that “Businesses must produce enough content for their blog to kick off growth in leads, which starts with about 24 to 51 posts…more indexed pages on Google also translates to more leads. Every 50 to 100 incremental indexed pages can mean double-digit lead growth.”
Social Media in Small Business is Anything But Small by Social Media Today
The prolific Brian Solis reports on recent research showing that social media adoption by small business doubled from 2009 to 2010. 61% of small business owners now use social media to help identify and attract new customers, 75% have a company page on a social networking site, and 45% expect their social media activities to be profitable within the next 12 months. 58% say that social media has met their expectations to date, and only 9% expect to lose money on social media efforts for the next year.
B2B Social Media Marketing Statistics
B2B Marketers Severely Lag B2C Players in Social Media by My Venture Pad
Andy Beal reminds us that “It’s a pretty well known fact that B2B marketers have been slower on the adoption curve of social media (than B2C marketers.” But why? One reason is executive buy-in (or lack thereof); in a recent study, one-third of claimed low executive level acceptance of social media was holding back efforts, while only 9% of B2C marketers said the same thing. Another is that 45% of B2B marketers said their company had a basic social media presence but didn’t use it as an active marketing tool; only 26% of B2B marketers concurred. Finally, “46% of B2B respondents said social media was perceived as irrelevant to their company, while only 12% of consumer-oriented marketers had the same problem.” If you’re one of those 46%, hopefully you’ll find facts and statistics in the following posts to help build a business case for social media in your company.
The Business of Social Media: B2B and B2C Engagement by the Numbers by Social Media Today
***** 5 stars
Brian Solis breaks down B2B vs. B2C use of social media marketing. B2B companies are more likely to maintain a company blog (74% to 55%), participate on Twitter (75% to 49%) and monitor brand mentions (73% to 55%) while B2C firms more often advertise on social networks (54% to 42%) and use Facebook (83% to 77%) and MySpace (23% to 14%) as part of their social media strategy than their B2B counterparts.
Will B2B Companies Embrace Social Media in 2010? by MediaPost Online Media Daily
B2C companies led their B2B counterparts in adoption of social media marketing because more people are active in social networks for personal use than business, making it easier to target someone who is interested in golf than, say, machine tools. However, B2B use of social media is on the rise, with 6 of 10 companies planning to increase their spending on social media initiatives in 2010.
Creating Engagement in B2B Marketing by Buzz Marketing for Technology
93 percent of participants in a social media in business study believe that all companies should have a presence in social media. And 85 percent believe “companies should not just present information via social media, but use it to interact and become more engaged with them,” according to Paul Dunay.
Vital statistics for every B2B marketer by Earnest about B2B
75% of B2B marketers use microblogging tools such as Twitter vs. 49% of B2C marketers. The biggest barrier to adoption may be CIOs; 54% of CIOs block social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, in the work environment. 93% of B2B buyers “use search to begin the buying process,” and 9 out of 10 say that when they are ready to buy, they will find vendors. Plus much more.
B2B Spending on Social Media to Explode by eMarketer
B2B marketing on social networks is expected to grow 43.3% this year, and Forrester Research B2B spending on social media marketing to reach $54 million in 2014, up from only $11 million in 2009. Paid advertising is expected to account for only a small portion of spending, but “when companies budget for social media marketing in 2010 and beyond, a substantial portion of their expenses will go toward other initiatives, such as creating and maintaining a branded profile page, managing promotions or public relations outreach within a social network, and measuring the effect of a social network presence on brand health and sales.”
Vital statistics for B2B Marketers by EarnestAgency’s Channel (YouTube)
An entertaining and creative presentation which makes the case that B2B actually leads B2C in social media marketing — because that’s where their buyers are. 37% of b2b buyers have posted questions on social networking sites, 48% follow industry conversations on key topics of interest, and 59% “engage with buyers who have done it before.” 53% of C-level executives prefer to find information themselves rather than tasking subordinates with this, and 63% turn to search engines for their research. Many of the statistics used in this video can be found elsewhere, but not in such an engaging fashion.
What B2B Marketing Tactics Are Up, Down, Flat? (Survey Sneak Peek) by Everything Technology Marketing
Holger Schulze shares results from a study showing how b2b use of various marketing tactics have changed over the past three years. Social media saw the biggest jump in activity, with 81% of respondents doing more of it (as Holger points out, “not surprising considering social media use in B2B was still nascent 3 years ago”). Content creation (68%) and website marketing (56%) are also increasing, while direct mail and print advertising saw the biggest drops.
First Page Or Bust: 95% of Non-Branded Natural Clicks Come From Page One by MediaPost Search Insider
***** 5 stars
In SEO, how important is a page one ranking? This post tells you: according to a recent study from iCrossing, across the three major search engines, 95% of the clicks came from page one. While Rob Garner notes that this figure is higher than in other studies, the clear implication is that doing some extra optimization to move your site to page one from page two or three can pay off in dramatic traffic gains.
Organic Search Still Reigns by eMarketer
Diving deeper into the iCrossing study referenced above, Google accounts for 74% of non-branded search traffic, with Bing and Yahoo tied at 13%.
Small businesses spending more on search by iMedia Connection
The average small business spent $2,149 on search engine advertising in the fourth quarter of 2009, up 30% from 3Q09 and 111% from the final quarter of 2008. Also, video is taking off in this segment: at the end of last year, 19% of small businesses were using video on their websites, up from just 5% the previous quarter.
Most Valuable Content and Offers for IT Buyers by High-Tech Communicator
***** 5 stars
If you’re trying to sell to technology buyers, note that a recent study shows the types of content they are most likely to click on are “news and articles (84%), competitive comparisons and buying guides (73%), and promotional content (70%).” These decision makers are about equally to click on offers for promotional content, online tutorials and demonstrations, competitive comparisons and buying guides, free research, and educational content.
Search Engine Marketing
SEMPO Report Suggests Measuring ROI Still Challenging by MediaPost Online Media Daily
The share of North American companies using paid-search marketing increased from 70% in 2008 to 78% in 2009 and 81% in 2010. 97% of these companies use Google AdWords; 56% advertise on Google’s content network. 59% of firms anticipate spending more on search marketing in 2010; 37% say budget3 will remain the same, while just 4% planned to cut spending in this area.
Study: Three-Word Queries Drive Most SEO Traffic by Search Engine Land
Three-word search queries are the most common, at 26% of all searches; 19% are two-word queries, and 17% use four words. Yet for paid clicks, keywords of 4-6 words in length drive the highest average CTR at 1.1-1.2%. The overall average CTR for paid search ads was 0.91%.
Other Online Marketing Statistics
What’s Changed This Decade (1999-2009) by Virtual Video Map
An enlightening, graphic guide to many of the changes seen over the past 10 years, from the growth of the U.S. economy and national debt to the incredible expansion of Internet use. Examples: The number of Internet users worldwide grew from 350 million a decade ago to 1.7 million today. One out of five (actually now almost one of three) of those users has a Facebook account. Cell phone use increased from one of out of 10 people in 1999 to two out of three in 2009.
Did You Know? (video) by EducoPark
The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004. Half of all workers have been with their current employer for less than five years. There are roughly one billion searches performed on Google every day — more than ten times the number just four years ago. It took radio 38 years to reach a total audience of 50 million people; it took the Internet just four years to reach that number, the iPod three years, and Facebook only two years. There will be more pages of unique information published this year than in the last 5,000 years combined.
SuperPower: Visualising the internet by BBC News
This slick tool visually illustrates the growth of Internet penetration, by country, from 1998 through 2008.
Small-Biz Success from Deeper Online Interaction by eMarketer
Ye shall reap what ye sow online, apparently: a study by American City Business Journals concluded that small businesses who were most active online achieved higher sales than those who made less use of the Internet. The study concluded that “‘Interactors,’ the most active participants online in almost all respects, accounted for only 15% of businesses but 24% of sales. ‘Transactors,’ somewhat less active online but the group most involved in online selling, also overindexed in sales. The least involved groups, ‘viewers’ and ‘commentators,’ also exhibited the worst business performance.”
Here’s What’s Really Going On In Online Media Consumption by Business Insider
Of the four largest daily print newspaper websites (the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and USA Today), only the New York Times has gained visitors in the past 12 months — and that growth has been modest. Among weekly news magazine websites, The Week (focused on multi-source aggregation) has shown dramatic 170% growth in the last 12 months as Newsweek.com, once the leader in this segment, has seen a 17.5% decrease in traffic. Visits to the Huffington Compost are up 86% in the past year.
The Ultimate List: 300+ Social Media Statistics by HubSpot Blog
If this post hasn’t satisfied your data fix, knock yourself out with this extensive collection of videos, infographics and presentations compiled by HubSpot with still more social media stats and figures like: Twitter has 50% more activity on weekdays than on weekend days. Facebook is the most popular way to share information, followed by email, then Twitter. More than twice the amount of information is shared on Twitter as on Digg. 48% of bloggers are US-based, 2/3 are male, and 75% are college graduates. 35% of traditional journalists also blog. Social networks Bebo, MySpace and Xanga attract the youngest audience; Delicious, LinkedIn and Classmates.com have, on average, the oldest demographics. More than 210 billion emails are sent daily, which exceeds the number of “snail mail” letters sent each year. Etc.
Can the financial return on expenditures for social media business activities– in marketing, PR, customer support, HR, product development or other areas — be accurately measured? Can social media costs be justified on the P&L, so that as belts get ever tighter in this stagnant economy, these projects and tasks can be spared the budget axe?
Among social media pundits, the debate rages on. The “yes” crowd argues that of course social media can be measured, and must be in order to demonstrate value to the business. You wouldn’t buy a new machine tool or enterprise software application without an ROI analysis, so why should social media be any different? Executives don’t care about shiny sparkly things or the latest fads or buzzwords; you’d better know what you want to accomplish, be able to quantify both expenses and revenue, and have the analytics in place to track results before even murmuring the words “social media” in the presence of C-level types.
The “no” group will counter that the metrics and tools haven’t yet matured, or that social media is too amorphous to even be measurable, or that it is rapidly becoming simply part of the plumbing or wiring of a modern organization, making ROI immaterial.
My own thoughts (for what they’re worth) on the matter are that:
- • It’s challenging to measure the true ROI of social media activities with any precision because social media is as much (if not more) about influence than direct action. For example, if John Doe clicks through to your website from a tweet and buys something, that’s easy to measure. But if John Doe is influenced to buy from you based a tweet—but completes the purchase through another unrelated channel—there’s no way to assign the value of that sale to Twitter.
- • That said, there are many aspects of social media that can and should be measured, both to show results and to help guide future activities (e.g. determining which topics generate the highest traffic and comment activity on a company blog, what time of day is most productive for tweeting, etc.). In other words, the statement “ROI is challenging to measure accurately” shouldn’t be confused with “don’t bother trying measure anything.”
- • Metrics can be useful to help determine what to do more of, less of, or differently, but should not as the basis for whether or not to engage in social media. At this point, the adoption of social media tools is so widespread as to constitute just another communication channel. It makes no more sense for a business to shun social media until ROI can be demonstrated than it does to demand an ROI analysis for installing phone lines or email.
So much for my thoughts. What do other pundits have to say? Below are summaries of a variety of posts on the topic of social media ROI measurement from luminaries such as Danny Brown, Brian Solis, Erik Qualman, Michelle Golden and Sharlyn Lauby divided into their respective camps: yes, no, and maybe.
Is social media ROI measurable? Yes.
The Real Cost of Social Media by Danny Brown
This isn’t strictly speaking an ROI article, but Danny does dive into the “I” part of that measure, detailing the true costs (investment) of social media participation.
20 Metrics To Effectively Track Social Media Campaigns by Search Engine Land
Chris Bennett lays out the list of metrics he uses to analyze, track and “prove ROI’ from social media marketing. Compelling piece except for his use of the phrase social media campaign (argh).
Kim Cornwall Malseed summarizes the social media wisdom and ROI results gleaned from a panel of b2b marketing pros including Holger Schulze of SafeNet, Frank Strong of Vocus and Susan Cato of CompTIA. She reports on the revenue achieved, social media strategies used and measurement systems employed for tracking.
ROI: How to Measure Return on Investment in Social Media by Social Media Today
In this long but worthwhile post, Brian Solis reviews the evolution of social media measurement forms (e.g. “return on engagement”), the disconnect between social media marketers (most of whom can’t measure ROI) and CMOs (most of whom expect it), then offers his recommendations for improving the measurement of business objectives from social media.
While acknowledging that tight precision is impossible because the same measures from different tools rarely match exactly (and multiple tools are still needed to end-to-end social media tracking), Angel Djambazov nevertheless makes a strong case for developing ROI metrics for social media campaigns. Quoting Brian Solis and others, Angel points out that particularly in this economy, even great ideas without a hard-number rationale are likely to get slashed; ROI measurements are needed because CMOs demand them. The post also includes some strategies, tactics and tools to assist in social media measurement.
Social Media Monitoring Techniques by WebFadds
Scott Frangos presents a concise but clear outline of basic social media ROI measurement objectives, tools and analytics.
Counterpoint: Why you can calculate an ROI in social media – and why you should do it by iMedia Connection
Uwe Hook responds to the post from Ben Cathers (in the “No” section below) on why social media ROI can’t be measured, laying out a roadmap using metrics such as frequency, yield, sentiment analysis, NetPromoter score and customer lifetime value.
Socialnomics: What Social Media Success Looks Like by Fuel Lines
Michael Gass shares a social media ROI argument in video format. “Socialnomics: Social Media ROI showcases what social media success looks like. Social Media ROI: Socialnomics is by Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business author Erik Qualman. This video highlights several Social Media ROI examples along with other effective Social Media Strategies.” Though a few of the examples are vague or misleading, most are compelling. However, after showcasing companies that have achieved remarkable, quantifiable results through social media, Qualman provocatively asks, “Why are we trying to measure social media like a traditional channel anyway? Social media touches every facet of business and more an extension of good business ethics…When I’m asked about the ROI of Social Media sometimes the appropriate response is…What’s the ROI of your phone?” He seems to suggest that while ROI is measurable, it’s immaterial. Hmm. You can find more of Eric’s insights on his Socialnomics blog.
Making sense of social-media ROI with Olivier Blanchard by SmartBlog on Social Media
Rob Birgfeld talks with Olivier Blanchard, introduced as “perhaps the most sought-after expert for those looking to connect the dots between social media and return-on-investment.” Perhaps. Blanchard contends that most self-proclaimed social media “experts” have difficulty articulating ROI because they have no business management background (agreed, I’ve seen these types — which is why our agency has an MBA who helps clients with social media). With that background, he argues that “the question can be answered in about three minutes. All it takes is someone on the social-media side of the table who understands how to plug new communications into a business from the C-suite’s perspective.” He also makes the case that being able to prove social media ROI is essential. The post just doesn’t specify how to do this.
Social Media ROI — No.
Social media (finally) returns value by The Communicator
Peter Schram doesn’t come right out and say that social media ROI can’t be measured, but rather that organizations should “focus on five key areas where social media will create actual value” that aren’t strictly about sales ROI, including corporate reputation, employee engagement and customer service.
“What’s the ROI of Social Media?” Is the Wrong Question by Golden Practices Blog
Michelle Golden makes a compelling argument that ROI calculations apply only to discrete projects with a beginning, middle and end, such as a direct mail campaign. Social media is a tool, not an event, so such calculations don’t apply.
5 Problems With Measuring Social Marketing by Web Worker Daily
Aliza Sherman articulates some of the frustrations with any social media measurement, much less something as precise as ROI, including the fact that the term “social media” is nebulous and that many traditional marketing concepts (e.g., “reach,” “promotions” and “campaigns”) simply don’t apply to social media –and the industry hasn’t yet developed widely accepted new measures (though Daniel Flamberg attempted to answer this last challenge in 4 Social Media Mining Metrics).
Why you can’t calculate an ROI in social media – and that’s okay by iMedia Connection
Ben Cathers argues that, because the advanced analytics tools that would be required for such measurement have not yet been developed, “In many forms of digital media, you can spend 1 dollar knowing you will earn 1.30…Unfortunately, you cannot do the same in social media, just yet.” He suggests instead that marketers estimate the payback on social media by assigning a value to metrics they can track, such as each follower, each retweet, each “like” of an item, etc.
CEOs Love Pie: The B2B Social Media Case Study, Part 2 by iMedia Connection
In this follow-up post to Conversations that Aren’t about Mel Gibson: the B2B Social Media Case Study, Part 1, Eric Anderson writes that “today you can’t throw a virtual rock without hitting five blog posts about how we all need to simmer down about ROI,” and places himself firmly in the “simmer down” camp. He recommends instead serving them pie, as in pie charts showing measures like “the proportion of their paid impressions that can be replaced or augmented with free impressions. PR agencies have long been selling the value of this pie as earned media or ‘ad equivalency value,’ so CEOs are used to seeing it. They get it. Once you’ve done your social media market analysis, it’s relatively easy to project how big that social media pie wedge will be.”
Social Media ROI…Maybe.
Quantifying Social Results by eMarketer
eMarketer reports that while marketing pros generally agree that quantifying the benefit of social media marketing is important, they are split on whether it is possible. Measuring certain types of activity or behavior is easy; translating those measures into ROI, not so much. As this article notes, “There is a leap, however, between finding appropriate metrics and monitoring them on the one hand, and quantifying results on the other. Marketers must tie the social metrics they settle on directly to business goals, such as increased sales and leads, before social media return on investment can be quantified.”
A call for more accountable social media marketing by iMedia Connection
After acknowledging that “ROI is difficult, if not impossible, to measure with social media. An astounding majority of professionals do not even try to take it into account. According to a survey late last year from Bazaarvoice and the CMO Club, 72 percent of CMOs did not attach revenue assumptions to social media in 2009,” Jerry McLaughlin goes on to say that marketers must do it anyway. For example, one of his recommendations is to “reach specific social media goals with a tangible ROI, such as tracked discounts or coupons.” While that’s certainly not a bad suggestion, it covers only one very limited aspect of what social media marketing can do.
5 Ways To Set Goals & Measure Social Media Marketing Success by Smart Insights
Danyl Bosomworth summarizes a Jason Falls presentation on various ways to measure social media outcomes. While the post seems to suggest that measuring ROI is easy (measurement #5 casually includes “generation of sales and leads from blog visitors and from social interactions”), it also points out several other benefits that unquestionably have value (e.g., product innovation, branding and awareness, links for SEO benefit), though that value may be difficult to quantify. The message seems to be that if you can directly measure sales and leads then by all means do so, but recognize that social media can provide many other important though less quantifiable rewards.
Marketers Use Varying ROI for Social Media by Marketing Charts
According to a new study from King Fish Media, Hubspot and Junta 42 summarized in this post, most marketers perform some type of social media measurement (e.g., website visits from social media referral sites, new fans/followers, number of links shared, etc.). However, nearly half (43%) admit that they aren’t even trying to measure ROI. And only 29% say “they will have to show positive ROI to continue their social media programs.”
How CEOs are Using Social Media for Real Results by Mashable
Though Sharlyn Lauby shares numbers here from two CEOs able to correlate hard sales data with their social media efforts, she also points out that “even when there might not be data supporting a direct relationship between social media activity and sales, sometimes other metrics point to the connection” such as exposure, branding, customer satisfaction, recommendations, even employee recruiting. The conclusion seems to be that ROI may or may not be measurable, depending on a company’s specific circumstances — or at least that not all of the benefits of social media can be captured in precise sales and ROI figures.