Posts Tagged ‘MarketingProfs’
With 92% of companies now incorporating social media into their marketing efforts, it’s no longer sufficient to just “be there” on social networks. Today’s most effective marketers are optimizing content across channels, coordinating search and social marketing activities with traditional PR, and measuring their web presence and performance with sophistication.
The first step to improving digital marketing results is to understand the emerging trends and best practices. This post, along with 79 Remarkable Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012 and 87 More Vital Social Media Marketing Facts and Stats for 2012 previously published here, provide a solid foundation for that understanding.
What do buyers really want from social media marketers? What’s the key to generating more inbound marketing leads? What is the source of the largest share of social traffic to websites? (It’s not what you almost certainly think.)
Find the answers to these questions and many, many more here in over 100 engaging and intriguing social, search, content, inbound, email, mobile and other marketing stats and facts from the past few months.
25 Social Media Facts and Statistics
1. While 76% of marketers believe “they know what their consumers want” in terms of social media content and interaction, only 34% have actually asked those buyers. (e-Strategy Trends)
2. At least on the B2C side, there is a disconnect between what marketers think consumers think is important and what consumers actually value. Marketers believe the highest consumer priorities on social media are insights for buying decisions (59%) and customer service (58%). Consumers actually place the highest value on deals and promotions (83%) and rewards programs (70%). (e-Strategy Trends)
3. B2B buyers are most likely to share useful vendor content via email (79%), followed by LinkedIn (53%), Twitter (39%) and Facebook (18%). (Earnest Agency)
4. While three-quarters of marketers consider measurement of social media impact important, 70% say that measuring those results is difficult. (Marketing Charts)
5. 79% of marketers measure website traffic from social media, and 68% track engagement metrics on social networks, but just 26% measure the relationship of social media activity to leads and sales. (Marketing Charts)
6. Just 4% of marketers said their companies were “very effective” at measuring social marketing in 2012. While 47% felt somewhat good at social measurement in 2011, just 38% said the same in 2012. “Nearly half of respondents (47%) feel they or their companies are either not very good at social marketing measurement, or do not measure well at all.” (Marketing Charts)
7. Ever feel frustrated and less productive than you’d like to be at work, even though you’re working hard and putting in a ton of hours? There’s a reason for that! Interruptions (like email and social media) are messing us up. Consider:
- • The typical worker is interrupted once every 28 minutes on average.
- • 28% of the average work day is spent on interruptions and recovery time.
- • 45% of workers believe they are expected to work on too many things at once.
- • And tasks done in parallel take on average 30% longer to complete than those performed in a sequence.
8. Everyone knows women vastly outnumber men on Pinterest, but how about on other social networks? Women make up the larger share of users on Facebook (58% to 42%) and are a slightly larger share on Twitter (52% to 48%) while men are the predominate users of LinkedIn (63% to 37%) and Google+ (71% to 29%). Furthermore, half of all Google+ users are under 25 years old. (iMedia Connection)
9. Social CRM is still confusing. Only 16% of companies say they currently have a social CRM system in place. 21% plan to implement such a system in the coming year, but another 17% “don’t know what a social CRM system is and why businesses need it.” (Convince & Convert)
10. Only a quarter of all U.S. small businesses (20-99 employees) and a third of midsized companies say they use social media “to engage with customers and prospects in a strategic and structured way.” Another 20% of both groups say they use social media, but in an ad hoc manner. (eMarketer)
11. Despite growing interest in the concept of social business, less than 20% of U.S. companies have integrated social media with their customer service, sales, or product development processes. (eMarketer)
12. Worldwide, 86% of companies have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, while just over half use YouTube and Linked and only slightly more than a third have a presence on Pinterest and/or Google+. (eMarketer)
13. More than 80% of small to midsized businesses (SMBs) plan to increase their use of social media in 2013. Not suprising, considering that 87% of SMBs say that social media has helped them either somewhat or a great deal in th past year. Of those using this channel, social media accounts for 32% of SMB marketing activities. (Marketing Charts)
14. Okay, so most marketers have now embraced social media. But why? 84% of marketers say they use social media to “reach customers at multiple touchpoints,” while 62% want to reach customers where they spend time and 56% say that “customers expect them to be on social media.” (Marketing Charts)
15. Still, not every small business should be using social media—or at least not using it as they are currently. 79% of small business owners on Twitter post just once per day or even less frequently, yet one out of three want to spend less time on social media. These business owners would be best advised to either spend their time on other tactics or hire someone who knows and enjoys social media to interact on their businesses’ behalf. No deposit, no return. (Leaders West)
16. Social media may be good for 99 things, but lead generation ain’t one of them. According to research from MarketingSherpa, just 12% of marketers rate social media as “very effective” for lead gen while 27% say it is “not effective.” The only tactic that fares worse is print advertising (9% very effective vs. 30% not effective). (B2B Lead Blog)
17. Which social network sends the largest share of website traffic? The answer is…unknown. Literally. The well-known social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit account for, combined, on average, less than half of all social traffic. The majority (as much as 70%) is “dark social”—links shared through email or instant messaging that generally get lumped in with “direct” traffic in analytics programs like Google Analytics. (The Atlantic)
18. The most popular social media sites for distributing B2B content are LinkedIn (used by 83% of B2B marketers), Twitter (80%) and Facebook (also 80%). After that, it falls off sharply; 61% use YouTube, 39% are on Google+, 26% utilize Pinterest (really?) and 23% share content on SlideShare. (MarketingProfs)
19. Using social media boosts website traffic: companies gain a 185% lift in Web traffic after achieving 1,000 Facebook likes, and businesses with 51 to 100 Twitter followers generate 106% more traffic than those with 25 or fewer followers. (MarketingProfs)
20. 92% of U.S. companies now use social media in their marketing efforts. (Heidi Cohen)
21. Different social media channels serve different purposes. Blogging is generally seen as most valuable for SEO, YouTube for content marketing, and social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn most helpful for branding and engagement. (Heidi Cohen)
22. Globally, eight different social networks have now reached the 100 million user mark. Three of those (Weibo, the fourth-largest social nework, RenRen at #5 and Badoo at #7) are primarily used by non-English speakers. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
23. The average user spends nearly seven hours per month on Facebook, but just 21 minutes on Twitter, 17 on LinkedIn, and only three minutes on Google+. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
24. Social media now accounts for 18% of all time spent online, and the average American spends 6.9 hours per month on social networking. But we are spending less time on the phone, sending/reading email, and watching TV than we did just a few years ago. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
25. One-third of CEOs fail to consider their compananies’ social media reputation when making business decisions. (The Backup List)
12 WPO, Inbound and Content Marketing Stats
26. Leads from inbound marketing cost on average 61% less ($135 vs. $346) than outbound marketing leads. (Earnest Agency)
27. Though it varies across industries, of course, 24% of overall marketing spending last year was on digital/online marketing. Social media and SEO together account for 70% of that spending. (iMedia Connection)
28. Blogging generally gets the largest share of inbound marketing budgets, followed by social media, SEO (if calculated separately from blogging) and PPC advertising. Most outbound marketing spend is on telemarketing, followed by direct mail and trade shows. (iMedia Connection)
29. 57% of companies say they generated sales through their blogs, and an identical share have closed business through LinkedIn. 48% have generated customers through Twitter and 42% through Facebook. (iMedia Connection)
30. Why web presence optimization metrics are vital: half of marketers say tightening integration between social media and traditional marketing is a key goal for 2013, yet nearly a third identify that as one of their top social marketing challenges, and a whopping 57% way measuring social ROI is a challenge. (Convince & Convert)
31. 9 out of 10 marketers say they measure social presence (e.g., number of followers and fans) and social media-driven website traffic, but only about half measure share of voice and sentiment. (Convince & Convert)
32. Need more evidence that measuring social media ROI is hard? While about 90% of all companies do some form of social media marketing, just one out of eight measure the revenue impact directly from social media. (eMarketer)
33. The two biggest challenges faced by B2B content marketers are producing enough content (cited by 29% of marketers) and producing the kind of content that engages (18). Only 2% of marketers say that finding trained content marketing professionals is a big challenge. (MarketingProfs)
34. More content = more leads. On average, companies “with 51-100 web pages generate 48% more traffic than companies with 1-50 pages.” What’s interesting though is the differential is larges for very small companies (those with less than 10 employees), likely because larger companies make greater use of lead gen tactics like tradeshows, webinars and video. (Polaris B)
35. Lots more content = lots more leads. Companies with 101-200 web pages generate 2.5x more leads than those with 50 or fewer pages. More landing pages and more blog posts also mean more leads. On average, companies that have published 200 or more total blog posts generate 5X as much traffic as those with 10 posts or fewer. (Polaris B)
36. Inbound marketing leads cost on average 62% less than outbound-generated leads, and the “big three” inbound channels—blogs, social media and SEO—all cost less on average than any outbound channel. (Polaris B)
37. The financial services (75%), insurance (50%) and software (50%) industries are the most advanced when it comes to having separate content marketing strategies for each channel through which they distribute content. Companies in these industries are also the most likely to have formal content marketing editorial calendars. The automotive (14%) and banking sectors (14%) were the least likely to have separate strategies in place. (MediaPost)
8 SEO Stats and Facts
38. SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation for B2B companies. 59% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on their lead gen goals, followed by social media (21%) and pay per click (20%). Not surprisingly, 98% of B2B marketers plan to maintain or increase SEO budgets next year. (Marketing Charts)
39. SEO also has the biggest impact on B2C lead gen. 49% of B2C marketers rank SEO tops for impact on lead generation, followed by pay per click (26%) and social media (25%). (Marketing Charts)
40. Agencies do SEO better. 21% of marketers who work with agencies on SEO report being highly satisfied with their program performance, compared with 11% of those who do SEO in-house. (Marketing Charts)
41. 78% of Internet users say they use the web for product research, and almost half (46%) of all searches on the average day for information on products and services (iMedia Connection)
42. Search is as popular as ever, but the percentage of searches actually done on search engines declined slightly in 2012 (by about 1%). More searches are taking place on websites (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, and on Amazon.com, which is the top destination for product search). Still, organic search on search engines drive 50% of all referring traffic, compared to less than 8% for social media. (MediaPost)
43. SEO is rated as the most effective lead generation tactic, with 34% of marketers calling it “very effective” while just 7% say it is not effective. The next-most-effective lead gen tactics are paid search (32% vs. 9%) and webinars (30% to 6%). (B2B Lead Blog)
44. Demand for SEO skills has never been greater. SEO job postings on job board indeed.com increased 1900% last year and people with ‘SEO’ in their LinkedIn profile have increased by 112%. Still, few SEO jobs pay six figures. (Conductor Blog)
45. The largest number of SEO job openings are in New York and San Francisco, with Boston at #5, Austin at #11 and my own Minneapolis at #12. (Conductor Blog)
3 SEM Facts
46. Think AdWords isn’t important? For “commercial” searches on Google, actual organic links can take up less than 20% of the screen real estate and links. (Founder’s Blog)
47. Agencies do SEM better. 20% of respondents working with agencies for PPC report being highly satisfied with their program’s performance, compared to 15% who manage pay-per-click programs in-house. (Marketing Charts).
48. Search (paid and organic) is a leading driver of new customer sales, while email matters most for repeat business. Social media isn’t a significant driver of either type of sale, though of course it is vital for support SEO, brand image (which leads to higher PPC click-through rates) and customer service. (Marketing Pilgrim)
3 Email Marketing Stats
49. There are 62 billion emails sent every day. The average worker receives 112 emails and spends 28 of his or her time on email each day. (Visual.ly)
50. Email is the most common lead gen tactic, used by 81% of marketers. (MarketingSherpa)
51. SEO drives traffic, but email drives conversions. While 43% of marketers say that organic search drives the greatest volume of traffic to their websites, only 29% say that traffic converts at the highest rate. On the other hand, though just 22% cite email as their largest web traffic generator, 25% say those visits convert at the highest rate. (MarketingSherpa)
7 Business Blogging Stats and Facts
52. Just 139 of the Fortune 500 corporations maintain public-facing blogs, only 29 more than in 2009. (e-Strategy Trends)
53. Only 185 of the Inc. 500 (fastest-growing companies) had a blog in 2011, down from 250 firms in 2010, despite the fact that 92% of all companies with blogs say it has been successful for their business. (e-Strategy Trends)
54. Meanwhile, 55% of small businesses have a blog. (Leaders West)
55. On average, companies that publish 15 or more blog articles per month generate five times more Web traffic than companies that don’t blog at all, and those that blog 9-15 times per month generate three times more traffic than companies that don’t maintain blogs. (MarketingProfs)
56. Companies that publish new blog posts just 1-2 times per month generate 70% more leads than companies that don’t blog at all. (MarketingProfs)
57. 57% of companies that blog have acquired a customer through their blogs. (Polaris B)
58. Blogs are the core of social media marketing. Among companies that use social media in their marketing efforts, 59% rank their company blog as critical or important to their business, higher than any other social sharing site or network. (Heidi Cohen)
8 Facebook Facts and Statistics
59. There are one billion posts per day made on Facebook. The average user spends nearly 7 hours per month on the social networking site, and one out of every five pageviews on the Internet is on…Facebook. (Visual.ly)
60. Three out of four American moms use Facebook. (iMedia Connection)
61. Facebook accounts for one out of every five pageviews on the Internet. It’s used by more than half of all people in North America, more than a third of all citizens in Australia and New Zealand, and more than a quarter of the population in Europe. (iMedia Connection)
62. Of Facebook’s one billion-plus users, 57% access the site at least occasionally from mobile devices. The most popular operating systems for mobile Facebook access are iOS (26%) and Android (21%). (Jeff Bullas)
63. Among Facebook marketers, 64% have used Facebook Events to inform fans about online or offline events, making this a far more widespread tool than display ads and targeted posts. (Marketing Charts)
64. 90% of small businesses are on Facebook, and roughly two-thirds post more than once per week. (Leaders West)
65. All of the Ad Age Top 100 Advertisers have now established Facebook pages for their brands. (WordPress Hosting SEO)
66. Facebook grew 18% in 2012 and accounted for more than half of all social content sharing. (AddThis Blog)
6 Twitter Stats
67. There are 400 million tweets per day on Twitter. A million new Twitter accounts are opened each day. The average user spends nearly and hour and a half on the site each month. (Visual.ly)
68. Twitter now has more than 500 million users worldwide, including more than 100 million in the U.S. Twitter’s second-largest user base is in Brazil. (Jeff Bullas)
69. Almost two-thirds (64%) of Twitter access is via Twitter.com (web access), while 16% of use is mobile and 10% is via Twitter clients like HootSuite and TweetDeck. (Jeff Bullas)
70. What’s the most popular marketing tactic on Twitter? 30% of marketers report using hashtags tied to specific campaigns, while 26% use Promoted Tweets. (Marketing Charts)
71. Twitter grew 55% in 2012 and accounted for 15% of all social content sharing. (AddThis Blog)
72. 42% of companies have acquired at least one customer through Twitter. (Polaris B)
6 LinkedIn Facts
73. LinkedIn has more than 150 million users, but less than 20% have reached the level of having 500 or more first-degree connections, and only 8% are using the paid premium version. (Jeff Bullas)
74. Also, only 51% of LinkedIn users have “complete” profiles, and just 52% spend two hours or more per week on the site. (Jeff Bullas)
75. The most popular use of LinkedIn is for researching people and companies (77%). Other popular uses include building relationships with industry influencers (50%), finding job opportunities (38%) and increasing brand recognition in the marketplace (37%). Just 28% of companies say they have generated identifiable business opportunities on the site. (Jeff Bullas)
76. The most popular marketing tactics on LinkedIn are the use of LinkedIn groups (cited by 33% of marketers) followed distantly by InMail messaging (14%), LinkedIn Events (13%) and LinkedIn ads (10%). (Marketing Charts)
77. LinkedIn is the most powerful social site for driving B2B sales. Pinterest is most valuable for driving B2C business. (Heidi Cohen)
78. Want to connect with top-level executives? 26% of Fortune 500 CEOs are on LinkedIn. Less than 8% are on Facebook. o% use Pinterest. (Heidi Cohen)
3 Google+ Statistics
79. Google+ has more than 400 million users, with 100 million accessing the site each month. The typical user is a male in his late 20s with a technical position or background. (Jeff Bullas)
80. Google+ users tend to be more technical than Facebook users. The top three brands on Google+ are Android, Mashable, and Chrome; on Facebook, the three most popular brands are Coca-Cola, Disney, and Starbucks. (Jeff Bullas)
81. 12 of the top 15 interest categories on Pinterest are related to commerce, including jewelry and accessories (#1), flowers and gifts (#2), food (#4), books (#7), travel (#8), apparel (#11), home furnishings (#14) and toys (#15). (Jeff Bullas)
3 Pinterest Facts
82. Mothers are 61% more likely to use Pinterest than the average American. Pinterest ranks as the #1 “family and lifestyle site” for moms – ahead of Disney Online. (iMedia Connection)
83. Pinterest’s user base is 79% female, and Apple-centric. The iPad is the most device for mobile access (55%), while an additional 17% of mobile access is through the iPhone. (Jeff Bullas)
84. Pinterest grew an astounding 379,599% in 2012. The biggest driver of growth was pins of food photos. (AddThis Blog)
6 B2B Marketing Facts and Stats
85. 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say when they are ready to make a purchase, they will find a vendor. 81% use search, 59% look for peer recommendations, and 41% read content from “thought leaders.” (Earnest Agency)
86. For purchases over $10,000, 70% of buyers review four or more pieces of content before making a decision. (That actually sounds quite low, doesn’t it?) The most popular type of content: white papers, read by 88% of buyers. (Earnest Agency)
87. Traditional marketing tactics are not dead. 74% of B2B marketers rate direct mail as very effective, while 72% say the same about live events and 71% call email marketing critical. (Earnest Agency)
88. 75% of B2B marketers use SEO for lead generation. 72% utilize social media, and 54% have embraced content marketing, while just 15% of marketers say they are using mobile marketing. (MarketingSherpa)
89. B2B marketers are spending more on content marketing. “On average, B2B content marketers are spending 33% of their marketing budgets on content marketing (in 2012), up from 26% (in 2011, and) 54% plan to increase content marketing spending next year.” (MarketingProfs)
90. The most popular B2B content marketing tactics are the use of social media other than blogs (used by 87% of B2B marketers), articles on their own websites (83%), eNewsletters (78%) and blogs (77%), followed by case studies, videos and externally published articles, all at about 70%. On the other end of the scale is gamification, used by just 11% of B2B marketers. (MarketingProfs)
3 Video Marketing Statistics
91. 75% of senior executives watch videos on business sites every week. 65% go on to visit a vendor’s website after watching a video. (Earnest Agency)
92. 71% of American Internet users watch online videos; 28% do so on a daily basis. (iMedia Connection)
93. YouTube is the world’s second largest social media site, with 800 million unique monthly visitors, and the second largest search engine. (Heidi Cohen)
6 Mobile Marketing Stats and Facts
94. Of the four billion mobile phones in use globally, more than a quarter (27%) are smartphones. Half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices. (iMedia Connection)
95. The top online uses of mobile phones are gaming (61% of users do this), checking the weather (55%), maps and search (50%) and social networking (49%). (iMedia Connection)
96. Despite the growing popularity of local mobile search and social activity, only 3% of U.S. small businesses use geolocation services. (eMarketer)
97. Mobile marketing is “becoming mainstream” for small to midsized businesses (SMBs). 18% said they were “very likely” and 31% “somewhat likely” to incorporate mobile elements in their advertising and marketing efforts to reach potential customers in the coming year. Meanwhile, 7 in 10 plan to either maintain or increase spending in this area (Marketing Charts)
98. Is mobile marketing effective for lead generation? The jury is still out. In a recent survey, 15% of marketers rated mobile marketing as “very effective” for lead gen while an identical share said mobile is not effective. (B2B Lead Blog)
99. 30% of all the time spent on mobile device use is on social networks. (MediaPost)
And Finally, 3 Other Miscellaneous Online Marketing Stats
100. While 45% of all B2B businesses have now implemented some type of marketing automation software, less than 20% of SMBs have done so. However, smaller companies that have embraced marketing process automation are nearly 50% more likely to report revenue growth above plan than those that haven’t. (MediaPost)
101. Half of all employed people in the U.S. have been with their current employer for less than five years. The average tenure for all employees is 4.6 years. Professionals in architecture and engineering (7 years) and management (6.3 years) tend to have the longest tenures, while occupations with the shortest tenures include food service (2.3 years) and sales (3.4 years). (westXdesigns)
102. Social media crisis management in crisis? More than 10% of companies report they will not take any action to respond to a damaging article or social media post. Worse, less than two-thirds of B2C executives and just 43% of B2B leaders even believe their companies could respond to a negative post within 24 hours. (The Backup List)
With more than 80% of b2b and high-value consumer purchasing decisions now starting with online research, content marketing is hot. Consider:
Buyers want content. According to J-P De Clerck, “87% of surveyed buyers look for advice before buying a product, service or solution. The first source when doing so: Web searches. With 71% of respondents who look for information, searches are by far the main source of information. Search and content are by definition very integrated.”
Marketers are producing more content. Recent research from MarketingProfs found:
- • On average, B2B content marketers are spending 33% of their marketing budgets on content marketing, up from 26% last year.
- • 54% plan to increase content marketing spending next year.
- • All content tactics are being used more frequently than they were last year, with the use of research reports, videos, and mobile content having increased the most.
Content is replacing advertising. Writing in Forbes, Michael Brenner explains how content (which buyers seek out) is more valuable than advertising (which many buyers ignore or even try to avoid): “Great content and engaging stories help your company’s content get found and get shared. When great content is shared, commented on or liked, it is no longer your content alone. It is their content. And user-generated content is trusted more than advertising or promotion.”
As content proliferates, standing out becomes more difficult. It requires originality, deep understanding of customer needs and motivations, and the cultivation of a network to share and amplify it. But most fundamentally, it has to flow well, to follow the basic rules of spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Faced with an overwhelming array of choices, buyers first prune their lists of any obvious “no” options. Vendors can be excluded out of hand for many possible reasons: their prices are too high, they lack expertise in the buyer’s industry, their products are missing critical features, or…their content is sloppy. It’s similar to a human resources manager reviewing a hundred resumes for a single open position: those with spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors get tossed in the first review cycle.
Though marketing content can come in a wide variety of forms—text, video, podcasts, infographics, animation—virtually all content starts with writing. Poor writing leads to ineffective content; content that doesn’t get shared, doesn’t get ranked, doesn’t get (widely) read, and doesn’t compel action.
So, the basis of producing interesting, shareable, actionable content is solid writing. To help make your content “must read” rather than “just toss,” avoid these xx unfortunate, grating and all-too-common writing mistakes.
1. “A lot of.” Granted, there are times when it’s okay to use this phrase (and a lot of people would agree with that), but in general, it’s abused. Avoid unless it’s really the best fit in context. It’s informal and imprecise, e.g., “a lot of marketers are embracing content marketing.” That’s true, but not helpful. Is 100 “a lot” of marketers? Is 72%? Or better yet, 72% of b2b marketers in small to midsized companies?
2. “Things.” Ugh. This is bad—rarely do we write about “things.” Features, attributes, concepts, attitudes, perspectives, capabilities, options, topics, specifications, qualities, and benefits yes, but “things” no. This is particularly awful when combined with #1 above. Which is better? “A lot of things make XYZ software stand out” or “Several unique features make XYZ software stand out.”
3. “Good.” Double ugh. This is one of the most overused words in the English language, despite a wealth of superior and more precise synonyms. A “good” meal may be delicious, tasty, scrumptious, satisfying, delightful, lip-smacking, or even extraordinary. A “good” writer may be brilliant, skilled, creative, original, capable, expert, talented, accomplished, prodigious, adroit, adept, widely published, often-quoted…you get the idea.
4. Misuse of “over” vs. “more than.” This one is somewhat subjective and tricky, but one general rule of thumb is to use “more than” before numbers and “over” before units, e.g., “We got more than 12 inches of snow” but “we got over a foot of snow.” Grammar Girl does an excellent job of describing the subtleties in this word choice:
“The AP Stylebook encourages you to look at your particular sentence and then pick whichever phrase sounds best…You always want to evaluate your phrasing for each specific sentence you’re writing…The AP guide suggests that ‘She is over 30′ sounds better than ‘She is more than 30.’ The AP’s second example is ‘Their salaries went up more than $20 a week.’ I do think it would sound odd to say ‘Their salaries went up over $20 a week.’ I would definitely pick ‘more than’ in that sentence. If you choose to agree with the majority of the style pros and use more than and over interchangeably, always read over your work and make sure the phrase you’ve chosen sounds right in your particular sentence…There’s ‘more than one opinion’ about this. I do think it would have sounded odd if I’d said, ‘There’s over one opinion.’ Don’t you agree?”
5. Misuse of hard / difficult / challenging. As the Oxford English Dictionary makes clear, as with “over” and “more than” above, the use of “hard,” “difficult” and “challenging” is subjective and depends to a degree upon author preference and which word sounds best in a given context. There are no hard and fast rules (though one would never speak of “difficult and fast” or “challenging and fast” rules).
Generally, “hard” is used with physical actions (e.g., “it’s hard to move a pile of rocks by hand”), “difficult” implies trickiness (“maneuvering a large boat through a narrow waterway is difficult”) and “challenging” is used in intellectual and sporting situations (“it’s challenging to out-coach Bill Belichick”). Ultimately though, this word choice requires judgment; it can be hard, difficult or challenging to select the right word at times.
6. Misuse or non-use of adjectives. Too often, writers skip needed adjectives or use fluffy, pointless descriptors in place of meaningful words. “XYZ provides the best service in the industry” is an example of both sins. First, “best” in this case is worthless puffery. Now, if XYZ won a Best Customer Service award from a recognized organization, then by all means, let people know! Otherwise, skip the self aggrandizement.
Second, the sentence above begs the question: the best what service? Dental service? Excavation service? Software implementation service? Prospective customers actually search for phrases like those, so including the most specific adjective is essential for search optimization. But no visitor worth attracting ever searches for “the best service.”
7. Incorrect subject/verb agreement. Skilled writers knows what this means. See the problem?
8. Improper use of single vs. double quotation marks. “Quotes are always set within double quotation marks.” Single quotation marks are used only for quotes within quotes, e.g., as Chris Smith wrote, “in my interview with Pat Jones, Pat insisted ‘Capable writers understand the proper use of quotation marks.’ I think that’s true.”
9. Mistaking your vs. you’re. This is elementary English, yet it’s disturbing how often the wrong term is used in place of the other. “Your” is possessive, “you’re” is a contraction for “you are.” You’re going to look like an idiot if your writing includes this mistake.
10. Improper hyphenation. Hyphenation is another practice that’s not that difficult but nevertheless often done wrong. Hyphenate terms when using them as adjectives (“she’s attending a high-level meeting”) but not when using them at nouns (“he is performing at a high level”).
11. Mixing first-, second-, and third-person voice. No writer should mix voices, writing from different perspectives within one piece. We don’t often use first-person voice on this blog. You should be consistent in your writing.
12. Using passive vs active voice. Is it improper for one to employ the passive voice, needlessly adding words to a sentence? Yes, so use the active voice.
13. Incorrectly spelling out (or not spelling out) numbers. Spell out numbers less than 10 (one, two, three) but use numerals for larger numbers (39, 139, 1,339, etc.).
14. Getting “you and me” vs. “you and I” wrong. This is another area of common confusion that should be easy. When in doubt, leave out the “you” and then see whether “I” or “me” fits the sentence. “You and I should go to the park” is correct because “I should go to the park” is correct. “She sent it to you and me” is right because otherwise she would have sent it to me, not sent it to I.
15. Improper use of “who” vs. “whom.” So many people find this situation so confusing that the use of “whom” is rapidly disappearing. Shame though, as it’s a perfectly fine word, and the rules for using “whom” vs. “who” are in general no more complex than those for the proper use of “you and me” versus “you and I” above.
In this case, determine whether the sentence in question would make more sense using he/she versus him/her. For example, “To whom should I mail this?” (I should mail it to him.) “Who will sign for the package?” (She will sign for it.)
16. The unnecessary use of “that.” Unnecessary “that”—let me assure you that we don’t make this mistake. Necessary “that”—we don’t use this word improperly because that would be annoying.
17. Repetitive word usage. Consider the following two examples:
Facebook is on a roll. Facebook now has more than one billion users. It’s hard to imagine any competitor overtaking Facebook.
Facebook is on a roll. The world’s largest social network now has more than one billion users. It’s hard to imagine any competitor overtaking Mark Zuckerberg’s creation.
Synonyms are a writer’s (and reader’s) friend. Use them. Sometimes it requires a bit of creativity, other times it’s as simple as checking thesaurus.com, which should be a prominent bookmark in every writer’s browser.
Proper writing alone won’t win every battle for business or search engine rank, but shoddy, sloppily produced clients will often guarantee a loss. Avoiding the sometimes simple but too-common mistakes above is a baseline for content marketing success.
For an expanded and far more amusing list of common writing mistakes to avoid, check out How to Write Good. Among their words of wisdom:
- • Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
- • If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be by rereading and editing.
- • And always be sure to finish what
Note: a slightly shorter version of this compilation was recently published as a guest post on Jeff Bullas’ blog.
Social media and inbound marketing techniques have been a boon for marketers. Not only do leads generated through social and content marketing cost half as much as traditional outbound-generated leads (see below), they also close at higher rate (again, see below).
And social media isn’t just about lead generation of course. While prospective buyers are using search and social to research products and services before making purchase decisions, marketers and PR professionals can use those same tools to research buyer wants and needs. And their competition. And…even social media itself.
Which brings us to this post. Wondering which social network is most effective at generating b2b leads? What marketing technique generates leads with the highest close ratio? What the best day of the week is for Facebook posting? Which U.S. city produces the largest share of “pins”on Pinterest?
Find the answers to those questions and many, many more in this collection of 72 fascinating social media marketing facts and stats for 2012.
Social Media / Social Networking
1. The average midsize or large company (1000 employees or more) has 178 “social media assets” (Twitter handles, employee blogs, etc.)–yet only 25% of companies offer social business training to their employees. (Marketingeasy)
2. B2b marketers believe social media is critical to organic search success. Marketers rate social media as the second-most imporant factor (64%) in search, behind only strong content (82%). (BtoB Magazine)
3. Although Facebook is the most important social media lead generation tool for b2c marketers (with 77% saying they had had acquired a customer through Facebook, compared to 60% for a company blog), among B2B companies, LinkedIn was the most effective, with 65% having acquired a customer through the professional network, followed by company blogs (60%), Facebook (43%), and Twitter (40%). (Marketing Charts)
4. The best way to “go viral” is to engage millions of users, each of whom share through small networks. “Online sharing, even at viral scale, takes place through many small groups, not via the single status post or tweet of a few influencers…Content goes viral when it spreads beyond a particular sphere of influence and spreads across the social web via ordinarily people sharing with their friends…the median ratio of Facebook views to shares (is) merely 9-to-1. This means that for every Facebook share, only nine people visited the story. Even the largest stories on Facebook are the product of lots of intimate sharing—not one person sharing and hundreds of thousands of people clicking.” (Ad Age)
5. LinkedIn generates more leads for b2b companies than Facebook, Twitter or blogs. Yet only 47% of b2b marketers say they are actively using LinkedIn vs. 90% on Facebook. (Social Media B2B)
6. One-third of global b2b buyers use social media to engage with their vendors, and 75% expect to use social media in future purchases processes. (Social Media B2B)
7. “Best in class” b2b companies are significantly more likely than average firms to integrate their social media efforts with their email marketing (65% vs. 51%), SEO (61% vs. 49%) and webinars (47% vs. 31%). (MarketingProfs)
8. As for “best in class” practices, 51% of best-in-Class companies use website social sharing tools, compared to 36% of average firms while 49% use keyword-based social media monitoring, compared with 39% of their more average peers. (MarketingProfs)
9. Top executives need to be involved in social media. 77% of buyers say they are more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media. 94% said C-suite social media participation enhances a brand image. And 82% of employees say they trust a company more when the CEO and leadership team communicate via social media. (eMarketer)
10. 70% of marketers plan to increase the number of different social platforms they use in 2012. (ClickZ)
Want more registrations on your website? Consider offering a social login (i.e., the ability for visitors to register at and log in to your site using one of their existing social network profiles rather than creating a new login):
11. 86% of people say they are bothered by the need to create new accounts at websites. (MarketingSherpa)
12. 77% responded that social login is “a good solution that should be offered.” (MarketingSherpa)
13. 21% of “best in class” companies use social sign-in, compared to 8% of average-performing firms. (MarketingProfs)
14. Only 27% of B2B leads are sales-ready when first generated. This makes lead nurturing essential for capitalizing on the other 73%. But 65% of B2B marketers have not established lead nurturing campaigns. (MarketingSherpa)
15. SEO-driven leads have the highest lead-to-close rate (15%) among common lead generation sources. Paid search leads average a 7% rate, while outbound marketing leads (e.g., direct mail, telemarketing) close at a 2% rate. (Econsultancy)
16. B2C Facebook interaction is 30% higher than average on Sundays. (Mindjumpers)
17. Though nearly every large charity and university in America has a Facebook presence, less than 60% of the Fortune 500 do. (Mindjumpers)
18. 95% of Facebook wall posts are not answered by brands. (Mindjumpers)
19. Though Facebook continues to add users, U.S. members are becoming less active there. Between mid-2009 and late 2011, “messaging friends declined 12%, searching for new contacts fell 17% and joining a group of Facebook users dropped 19% in the U.S.” (MediaPost)
20. 70% of local businesses use Facebook.The U.S. has the largest number of Facebook users. The country with the second-largest Facebook population: Indonesia. (Jeff Bullas)
21. Facebook is the leading source of referred social media traffic to websites, at 26%. Twitter is second at 3.6%. (Pooky Shares)
22. Facebook marketing is a specialized skill. For those looking to outsource this function to a professional consultant, expect to pay $500-$1,500 for initial page setup and anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 per month for ongoing content management and curation. (Mack Collier)
23. 52% of consumers say they have stopped following a brand on Facebook because the information it posted had become “too repetitive and boring.” (SMI)
24. There are now roughly 100 million active Twitter users (those who log in at least once per day). (Mindjumpers)
25. 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter, and 20% have closed deals. (Mindjumpers)
26. 40% of Twitter users rarely post anything but primarily consume content there. 55% access Twitter via a mobile device. (Mindjumpers)
27. 92% of retweets are based on “interesting content.” Only 26% are due to inclusion of “please RT!” in the tweet. (Mindjumpers)
28. Twitter now has 200 million users, including 8% of the U.S. population. About one-quarter of all users are considered “extremely active,” checking in several times per day. (Jeff Bullas)
29. 55% of all Twitter users use the service to share links to news stories, and 53% retweet others. (Jeff Bullas)
30. 77 of the world’s 100 largest companies maintain a corporate Twitter account. But media outlets are the most active users. (Jeff Bullas)
31. Meanwhile, 62% of the Fortune 500 have an active Twitter account. (Business Insider)
32. Most professional consultants charge $500-$1,000 to set up a Twitter account (optimized bio, custom background etc.) and $500-$1,500 per month for ongoing management (dependent on level of activity and amount of content). (Mack Collier)
Google and Google+
33. Google’s search engine is used by 85% of global Internet users every month. (MediaPost)
34. Google+ is expected to reach 400 million users by the end of 2012. It’s membership is 63% male, with the largest cohort in their mid-20s. While the largest block of users by country are in the U.S., the second largest is India. However, only 17% of users are considered “active.” (Jeff Bullas)
35. Google+ is the tool that most marketers (70%) say they want to learn more about in 2012, following by blogging (cited by 59%). (ClickZ)
36. The image-based social network has grown 4,000% in the past six months, now boasts more than 4 million users, and keeps those users engaged: the average Pinterest user spends nearly an hour-and-a-half per month on the site, behind only Facebook and Tumblr. (Jeff Bullas)
37. 83% of Pinterest users are women. In the U.S., the most popular categories are Fashion, Desserts, Clothes and Birthdays. (MediaPost)
38. But in the U.K., the five most popular topics on Pinterest are Venture Capital, Blogging Resources, Crafts, Web Analytics and SEO/Marketing. (Pooky Shares)
39. 22% of all pins come from New York, followed by Los Angeles at 15%. A higher percentage come from Minneapolis (10%) than from San Francisco (8%)–even though Pinterest is based in Palo Alto. (MediaPost)
40. Pinterest is virtually tied with Twitter (at 3.6%) for the amount of referred social traffic it sends to websites. (Pooky Shares)
41. Tumblr grew 900% in 2011 and now has 90 million users. However, just 2% of members account for more than 40% of all traffic. (Jeff Bullas)
42. The five most popular tags for Tumblr posts are GIF, LOL, Fashion, Art and Vintage. The U.S. has the largest share of users, followed by Brazil. (Jeff Bullas)
43. 4.8 billion people now own mobile phones. Just 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. (Mindjumpers)
44. One-third of smartphones globally use the Android OS. (MediaPost)
45. The number of tablets in use in the U.S. rose from 34 million in 2011 to 55 million this year and is expected to reach 108 million by 2015. (TMGmedia)
46. Mobile commerce is projected to ten-fold from 2010 ($3 billion) to 2016 ($31 billion). (TMGmedia)
47. While three-quarters of b2b marketers are aware of the growing importance of mobile devices, only 23% rate mobile search as either “important” or “critical” to their search marketing objectives. (BtoB Magazine)
48. Just 16% of b2b marketers are producing mobile-specific content as part of their content marketing efforts. (Smart Insights)
49. Although the percentage of visits to b2b websites coming from smart phones has increased nearly 50% in the past year, they still represent only about 1 out of every 24 sites visits on average. (Webbiquity)
SEO and Search Marketing
50. 57% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on their lead generation goals. (Mindjumpers)
51. Though half of all b2b digital spending is focused on search and most websites are organically optimized, only 65% of b2b marketers have ever used pay-per-click advertising. (BtoB Magazine)
52. Search provides the highest quality leads. According to research by HubSpot, “SEO leads have a 15% close rate, on par with the close rate for direct traffic, and ahead of referrals (9%), paid search (7%), social media (4%), and outbound leads (2%).” (Marketing Charts)
53. Social media sites and blogs reach 80% of all U.S. internet users. (Mindjumpers)
54. Social networks and blogs account for 23% of all time spent online — twice as much as gaming. (Mindjumpers)
55. “Increased frequency of blogging correlates with increased customer acquisition, according to…HubSpot. 92% of of blog users who posted multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog, a figure that decreased to 66% for those who blogged monthly and 43% for those who posted less than monthly.” (Marketing Charts)
56. The most popular frequency for blog posting is weekly (60% of bloggers). Just 10% post daily. (Marketing Charts)
57. Blogs are the single most important inbound marketing tool. “When asked to rank the importance of the services they use, 25% of users rated their company blog as critical to their business, while a further 56% considered them either important (34%) or useful (22%)” for a total of 81%. (Marketing Charts)
58. B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms. (Social Media B2B)
59. For those looking to outsource, a professional consultant will generally charge $1,000-$3,000 for setting up a blog, $1,000-$3,000 per month for ongoing content development/editing, and ballpark of $200 for a single guest post. (Mack Collier)
60. The average budget spent on company blogs and social media has nearly doubled in the last two years, and two-thirds of marketers say their company blog is “critical” or “important” to their business, since 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog. (Business2Community)
61. Only 23% of the Fortune 500 (largest companies) maintained a blog in 2011, while 37% of the Inc. 500 (fastest-growing companies) did so. (Business Insider)
Video and SlideShare
62. 52% of b2b marketers use video as part of their content marketing mix. (Smart Insights)
63. Video production costs vary widely, depending on length, quality, type of content and other factors. High-end animated videos can cost $20,000-$30,000, while simpler interview-type videos can be under $1,000. Common 2- to 3-minute videos with a mix of live action and simple animation typically cost $2,000-$5,000. (Mack Collier)
64. SlideShare draws 60 million visitors per month; but most importantly for b2b marketers, it attracts 3X more traffic from business owners than any other social media site. (Jeff Bullas)
65. On social networking sites, men and women are about equally willing to share their real names (both about 87%), political and religious affiliation, and the brands they like (~77%), but men are far more likely than women to share their physical address (11% vs. 4%), their current location (35% vs. 20%), their phone number 15% vs. 4%), and their income level (16% vs. 5%). (AllTwitter)
66. Contrary to what you’ve probably been told, longer format video may actually drive higher engagement: “different types of content yield different sharing behaviors. Breaking down video behavior within StumbleUpon, videos viewed between two to three minutes found a spike in sharing out to social media, whereas videos viewed beyond four minutes see direct shares increase by five times. Longer, arguably more involved, content may drive viewers to more intimate sharing routes.” (Ad Age)
Inbound and Content Marketing
67. 90% of b2b marketers do some form of content marketing. 26% of b2b marketing budgets are invested in content, and 60% of b2b marketers say they plan to spend more on content marketing in the coming year. (Smart Insights)
68. The most popular content marketing tactics used by b2b marketers are article posting (used by 79% of b2b marketers), social media excluding blogs (74%), blogs (65%) and enewsletters (63%). Just 10% use virtual conferences. (Smart Insights)
69. The average cost to generate a lead through inbound marketing ($143) is about half the average for outbound marketing ($373). (Econsultancy)
70. Small businesses, on average, spend twice the share of their lead generation budget (43%) on inbound marketing as do large companies (21%). Small organiations spend more than twice as much on social media and 3X as much on blogging as their larger counterparts, while big businesses spend three times as much on trade shows and nearly twice the share of their budget on direct mail as do smaller firms. (Econsultancy)
71. More is (often at least) better. Businesses with 40+ different landing pages/offers generate 10X more leads than those with five or fewer landing pages, and those with 200 or more total blog posts generate 3.5X more leads than those whose blogs have 20 or fewer posts. (Econsultancy)
72. 84% of b2b companies are using some form of social media marketing. However, “best in class” companies generate over 3X their share of all leads (17% vs. 5%) from social media as do average performing companies. (MarketingProfs)
73. 90% of b2b marketers are doing some form of content marketing, and b2b marketers spend on average 26% of their marketing budgets on content. The most effective content marketers spend twice as much as their less effective peers on content development, and consider buying stage when developing content. (B2B Marketing Insider)
74. It shouldn’t be a surprise, but content has to be good in order to be effective. B2b buyers say that less than half of vendor content is useful–and vendors who produce such low-value content are 27% less likely to be considered and 40% less likely to win the business. “Good” content is concise, entertaining (includes stories), more educational than promotional, and is contextually personalized. (B2B Marketing Insider)
75. 59% of marketers plan to increase their frequency of content publishing this year. (ClickZ)
76. Why content marketing matters: 44% of traditional outbound direct mail is never opened, which is a waste of budget, paper and postage. 86% of people now skip through television commercials with a DVR. And 84% of 25 to 34 year olds have exited a favorite website because of an irrelevant or intrusive ad. (Business2Community)
Media and Online Advertising
77. Most “national” newspapers are still quite regional: the Chicago Tribune gets socially shared at above average levels only in Illinois, the Washington Post only in Virginia, D.C. and Maryland, and the New York Times only in a clump of northeastern states and Hawaii (though the Wall Street Journal is very popular in Arizona). Fox News is most popular in the southeastern U.S. plus Nevada and Alaska, while the Huffington Compost is widely share along the Interstate 35 corridor (Minnesota to Texas), Florida, Oregon, Maine and the rustbelt. (Forbes)
78. Online CPM rates have little correlation with actual advertiser value delivered. Nearly one-third of all display ads are never seen (defined as 50% of the pixels in view for at least one second). But contrary to popular belief, “below the fold” ads don’t necessarily have lower impression rates than those placed high on the page. (MediaPost)
79. Leaderboard (728 x 90 pixels) and medium rectangle (300 x 250) ad sizes have the highest view-in rates. Coupon and directory sites have the highest ad view rates, both over 80%. In contrast, a sponsor’s ads had just a 27% likelihood of being seen on pet-oriented sites. (MediaPost)
Recent research from MarketingProfs shows that 84% of B2B companies use social media marketing in some form, and the figure is likely higher for B2C firms. But that’s a bit like saying that most Americans exercise regularly; it’s probably true, but there is a big difference between walking the dog around the block a couple of times per week and training for a triathlon.
And just as there are significant differences in the results one will obtain from an intense training regimen vs. the occasional stroll, the MarketingProfs study points out that the “best in class” B2B social media performers are producing more than three times the number of leads from this channel than are “laggard” firms. In fact, another recent study from HubSpot reveals that 63% of B2B companies aren’t generating leads from social media at all.
In social media, as in physical training, it takes time to see substantial results. And so, just as it’s easy to slip off a training schedule, it can be tempting for busy marketers who aren’t seeing an immediate payback from social media efforts to neglect those efforts. This is apparent from the large number of abandoned blogs, orphaned Facebook pages, silent Twitter feeds and the like littering the social media landscape.
I recently did some “spring cleaning” on my Twitter account using Twit Cleaner and was stunned—though perhaps I shouldn’t have been—to discover that hundreds of those “following” me hadn’t tweeted a thing in the past 30 days, 90 days, 180 days, even a year or more.
Billy Mitchell recently commented on this phenomenon as well, writing that “Although social media marketing continues to be a hot topic among B2B marketing professionals, a surprising number of B2B companies are (either) not planning to start, late to get started, only going through the motions with little or no results (or) have already given up.”
The good news is that, just like there’s never a bad time to start exercising (unless you’re in a body cast perhaps), there’s never a wrong time to step back, reassess, and re-launch social media marketing efforts. The first step is to take a look at your social media program and determine if you’ve got a results problem that’s really an activity problem. And understand that if that’s the case, you’re not alone.
I recently conducted a competitive analysis on behalf of a client looking at 10 companies in the IT management software market. Note that these weren’t hair salons or auto body shops or some other type of business whose core isn’t the online world; these are companies whose buyers were trading messages using now-obscure online communication protocols since before the Internet had a name, and long before the term “social media” was introduced. This is a group of companies that, although primarily SMBs, should be fluent in online and social communications.
So while certainly not a scientifically valid sample, the findings about social media use among these 10 companies are nevertheless telling:
- • Two of the vendors’ websites have no social media buttons/icons/links at all, and three have only a limited social presence on their sites (e.g. social account links only on their Home and Contact pages).
- • Only four of the 10 have blogs, and of those, three have had a total of four or fewer new posts in the last 60 days.
- • Three of the companies aren’t on Twitter. Of the seven who are, three have fewer than 100 followers. Six of the seven companies tweet, on average, less than once every four days.
- • Though nine of the 10 companies are on LinkedIn, though only three have complete, optimized company profiles and product listings. Eight companies have 50 or fewer followers.
- • All of the companies can be found on Facebook, but only three have complete or professionally designed pages. Three others have unmanaged “community pages” which the companies don’t maintain and may not even be aware of. Four of the 10 pages have fewer than 10 “likes.” Four have no wall posts at all, and four more have fewer than 10 posts over the last 60 days.
- • Seven of the ten companies have no presence on Google+, and only one has a complete, optimized profile there.
What should you do if your company’s social media strategy isn’t firing on all cylinders, or how do you avoid this fate if your company is just getting started in social media?The topic of social media marketing could fill a book (and has in fact, several), but here is a seven-step approach to get things moving in the right direction.
1. Research your company’s social media landscape, so you understand where your prospective buyers are congregating and active.
2. Listen to the conversation for a while before jumping in, so you get a solid sense for the tone, etiquette and group dynamics of each social venue as well the popularity of various specific discussion topics.
3. Develop content that answers the questions you see being raised. The more relevant your content is to the concerns of your prospective buyers, the more likely it is to be read and shared. In order to produce content on a regular basis without breaking the bank, find ways to re-use and re-purpose existing content (e.g. a white paper can be re-used as a presentation, a couple of blog posts and a bylined article) and spread the workload among several internal subject matter experts, so one writer becomes overwhelmed.
4. Respond to questions and engage your buyers and influencers in social media. Reach out. Interact. Build relationships. That will encourage followers to share your content and customers to reinforce your messages.
5. Convert followers to known prospects or even customers through targeted calls to action. This is where the “R” happens in social media ROI. Any time you are able to engage prospective buyers with your content, give them an easy (but not obnoxious) way to perform a conversion action: sign up for your newsletter, subscribe to your blog, register for a webinar, download a white paper, or start a free trial. Make the action fit the content. Experiment. Keep it fresh.
6. Measure. The ultimate measure of social media success is leads or sales, but there are dozens of intermediate measures that, while not success metrics in and of themselves, are crucial for letting you know how your current efforts are working. What should you do more of, less of, or do differently? Running a social media program without metrics is like driving a car with no gauges. Not a good plan.
7. Persist. Building readership for a blog takes time. Building a significant presence on any social network takes time too. Establishing credibility, cultivating relationships, optimizing your online presence…none of this happens overnight. Stick with it. The losers are those with abandoned blogs, silent Twitter accounts, orphaned Facebook pages. Those who score in social media are often those who just keep shooting.
While most companies have now adopted social media marketing practices of some sort, many are still struggling to see the hoped-for results. If your company is in that group, you aren’t alone. Keep at it. Learn. Experiment. Measure. Tweak. Prevail.
For anyone in marketing or PR being asked to make “data-driven” decisions “based on the numbers” (and doesn’t that include pretty much everyone in marketing and PR these days?), the sources below provide a vast wealth of data, statistics and research results, as well as a bit of interesting social media trivia.
How are consumers and b2b decision makers using social media in their buying processes? Which social media platforms are most effective at influencing buyer behavior? How do the audiences differ across various social networks? How do social media marketing strategies in small businesses differ from those in larger enterprises? Although social media has been the hottest topic in marketing this year, what other tactics are critical to adopt, maintain or expand?
Discover the answers to all of these questions and more here in more than 40 of the best resources for social media and marketing stats, facts and research of the past year.
Social Media Facts and Stats
10 Interesting Social Media Statistics by Jeff Bullas
Social media networks and blogs consume nearly 25% of people’s time online. The number of people who are visiting social media sites has increased by 24% over the last year. The average visitor spends 66% more time on these sites than they did a year ago. Facebook is the world’s most visited social media brand with 54% of the worlds internet population visiting the brand. And much more.
Americans spent nearly a quarter of their time online on social networking sites and blogs in 2010, up from 15.8 percent just a year earlier—a 43 percent increase. 40 percent of U.S. online time is spent on just three activities: social networking, playing games and emailing. Mobile internet activity is different, however, with the dominant share of time (42%) spent on email, and just 11% on social media.
20+ mind-blowing social media statistics revisited by Econsultancy
More than 700,000 local businesses have active Pages on Facebook. 70% of bloggers are organically talking about brands on their blog, and 38% of them post brand or product reviews. At its current rate, Twitter will process almost 10 billion tweets in 2010.
Social Marketing Lifts Organic Conversions by MarketingSherpa
***** 5 Stars
Still don’t think social media is important for marketing your business? According to MarketingSherpa research, marketers working in social media report an average 27% conversion rate for organic search traffic, while those not using social media reported a 17% rate. Adam T. Sutton concludes, “Clearly, SEO is more effective at attracting attention and ultimately converting people. However, social media is more likely to increase positive thinking around a product and brand.”
How much are you worth? Find out in this report. The median salary for a social media marketer in the Minneapolis area is $63,179, just a shade below the national average of $64,000. However, that figure rises if you work for a company generating at least $10 million in annual revenue, or you’re in management (in which case it’s $109,000). Salaries are lower in certain regions (e.g. Houston—but consider there’s no income tax in Texas) and highest, shock of shocks, in Silicon Valley where the median social media marketer’s salary is nearly $78,000.
Facebook, Twitter Growing As Video Referral Sources by MediaPost Online Media Daily
How should you expect to promote that cool new video? Well, about two-thirds (64%) of the traffic from third-party sites to video sources currently comes from Google, followed by Yahoo (11.9%), Facebook (4.3%), Bing (2.6%), and Twitter at 1.2%. However, Facebook and Twitter send the most-engaged traffic as measured by average viewing spent time per visitor.
Are Twitter Followers Better Than Facebook Fans? by eMarketer
Yes—sort of. According to an ExactTarget survey, Twitter users who follow a brand are more than twice as likely as Facebook users who “like” a brand to say they are more likely to purchase from the brand after becoming a social media follower. And a third of Twitter followers say they are more apt to make a recommendation about brands they follow, compared with 24% of email subscribers and 21% of Facebook fans. However, marketers need to keep in mind that Twitter’s user base, particularly active Tweeters, is much smaller.
Social Media 3Q Update: Who Uses Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, & MySpace? by Social Media Today
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn continued to add users in the second half of 2010, albeit at a slower pace than in previous quarters. Facebook reaches 57% of the U.S. population, and the average visit length is 23 minutes (versus 13 minutes for Twitter and 10 minutes on LinkedIn). The fastest-growing demographic group on Facebook is no longer women over 55 years old–it’s now users under 18. Young adults (but not teens) are fueling growth on Twitter.
Roundup of the Top Internet and Social Media Statistics by Awareness Community
A goldmine of social media trivia, e.g.: Classmates.com has the oldest demographic of any major social network. Twitter has the fifth oldest. 75% of small businesses in the U.S. have a company page on at least one social networking site (but only 39% blog and just 26% tweet). 35% of bloggers are professional journalists. 5% of Americans had heard of Twitter in 2008; that figure rose to 87% last year. 80% of Twitter use is on mobile devices.
Social Media Gender Roles Follow Traditional Offline Trends by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Recent research from the University of Texas suggests that many of the actions people take on Facebook follow traditional psychological and physiological gender roles. For example, women (63%) are more likely than men (56%) to post comments and likes to their profile, suggesting that women show a greater tendency to engage in personal communication. Women are also more likely than men to share pictures. The types of photos women post most frequently are described in the study as “affectionate,” such as pictures of family gatherings or friends hanging out and having a good time. Men, on the other hand, generally post photos that reflect hobbies and landscapes. Men are also more likely to post videos as opposed to still images, oriented toward pop culture, sports, entertainment or politics.
The State of the Blogosphere 2010 by Brian Solis
Frequent best-of contributor Brian Solis shares stats from Technorati showing that nearly half of all bloggers are U.S.-based, with another 29% in Europe. Bloggers are social and outspoken; the two most common motivations given for blogging are “to meet and connect with like-minded people” and “to speak my mind on areas of interest.” The largest share of bloggers have been at it for 2-4 years, though 35% of corporate bloggers have been blogging for 6+ years. Nearly half of all bloggers use WordPress, and roughly three-quarters promote their posts via Twitter.
6% of Adult Americans Use Twitter by Roy Wells
Roy Wells reports on research from the The Pew Internet & American Life Project detailing Twitter use in America. 8% of all Internet users are on Twitter, but the group is skewed more toward women (10%) than men (75), the young (18-29 year olds are most heavily represented) and urban. 62% of respondents said they post updates related to their work life, activities or interests, with 12% doing so on a daily basis.
Who Really Uses Twitter, and How? by Pamorama
Pam Dyer puts her own unique spin on the Pew Twitter report, noting that 55% of these Twitter users share links to news stories, with one in eight doing this at least once per day. 53% retweet material posted by others, while 52% send direct messages to other users.
The title is a tad misleading; while younger Internet users (aged 18-33) are blogging somewhat less than in 2006 and gravitating to Facebook, there has been an uptick in blogging among those 33 and older, and blog readership is up among all age groups. Not surprisingly, email and search are the most common online activities among all age groups.
The Difference Between Friends, Fans and Followers by Brian Solis
Brian Solis contends that “The future of business is tied to how the 3F’s (friends, fans and followers) convert into the 4A’s, action, advisor, affinity, and advocacy, regardless of network.” And which tool works best for that? When asked if they were more likely to purchase from a brand after becoming a subscriber, fan or follower, 37% of Twitter users said “yes” (strongly agreed), versus 17% of Facebook users and 27% of email subscribers. Asked if they would recommend a brand based on their social media connection to it, 33% of Twitter users responded affirmatively versus 24% of email subscribers and just 21% of Facebook users.
A Year in Numbers: Top 10 Marketing Charts and Research Articles of 2010 by MarketingProfs
Noting that social media was the hottest topic on MarketingProfs last year, featured prominently in 7 of 10 articles, Ann Handley share some key stats, for example: if you’re going to market on Facebook, be prepared to offer special deals. 40% of Facebook users said their motivation for liking a brand there was “to receive discounts and promotions,” 36% said it was to get a freebie (sample, coupon, trial etc.), and 30% said it was to get updates on upcoming sales. Email open rates continue to decline from 14% in the second half of 2007 to just 11.2% in the latter half of 2010. Among small companies, 39% used Facebook for corporate purposes while 31% had a company Twitter account; those figures were 63% and 47%, respectively, in large companies. Less than 30% of respondents in either group said their company maintains a blog.
Social Media Use in Big Companies
Social Media Facts & Figures for B2B Sales by Inside View
You’ll learn from this fascinating infographic that Forrester Research estimates that $716 million was spent on social media marketing in 2010, and the figure will reach $3.1 billion by 2014. At that point, social media will be a bigger channel than email or mobile, though still far smaller than search or display advertising. Among the global Forture 100 companies, 65% use Twitter, 54% are on Facebook and half post videos to YouTube. 79% of the Fortune 100 use at least one of these social media sites, and 20% use all of them.
Fortune 500 Social Media Use: Twitter Overtakes Facebook by MarketingProfs
60% of Fortune 500 companies now maintain an active Twitter account, up from 35% a year ago. Meanwhile, 56% of those enterprises have a Facebook profile.
Social Media Use in Small Companies
How social sharing is working for SMBs by iMedia Connection
Simon Grabowski reports that the data should persuade even small businesses to “get social” with their email and other marketing tactics. 57.5 percent of internet users, or 127 million people, will use a social network at least once a month in 2010; that figure is projected to rise to two-thirds by 2014. According to MarketingSherpa, 49 percent of Twitter users said they made an online purchase because of an email, compared to 33 percent of all email users. And email messages that include at least one social sharing option generate a more than 30 percent higher click-through rate (CTR) than emails with no social sharing options.
54% of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) were using social media to promote their businesses as of September 2010, double the number using these sites in December 2009. And it’s working for them: 60% credit social media with positively impacting their businesses, 46% said their company’s brand awareness has increased and 36% have attracted new business as a result of their social media efforts. LinkedIn is the most popular site, with 73% of small businesses using it, followed by Facebook at 64%, and Twitter, used by 63% of respondents.
Study: Social Media Affects SMB Purchasing Decisions by HubSpot Blog
Younger buyers rely more heavily than their older counterparts on social media as key influence in SMB purchasing decisions–but not by all that much. Just over 50% of buyers under 40 use social media, versus 35% for more senior buyers. Regardless of age group, personal recommendations from company or industry colleagues are rated the most influential information source, while retail websites are least relied upon.
Websites and email are far and away the highest-priority marketing tactics for small businesses; 93% of respondents to a Constant Contact survey last fall identified their website as one of their “most important marketing tools” while 92% said the same for email. Just 63% put social media marketing on the list, though that was up from 51% in a similar survey done in early 2010. In larger businesses, 95% said websites and social media were among their most important tools, with 82% also putting social media in that category.
B2B Marketing and Social Media
The B2B Marketer’s “New Normal”: How to Use Social Media to Generate Leads by iMedia Connection
***** 5 Stars
In this must-read post for anyone in B2B marketing, Courtney Wiley reports that “the B2B buying process is fundamentally changing.” 93% of B2B buyers use search to begin the buying process and 37% post questions on social networking sites when looking for suggestions. In response, B2B spending on social media is expected to rise 67% over the next three years, with digital and online marketing spending predicted to increase 64%. Nine out of ten B2B buyers say that when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find vendors. As for specific tactics, “43% of B2B marketers prefer Twitter when it comes to social media marketing; 32% leverage LinkedIn to generate leads; 16% engage customers on Facebook, and 8% rely on blogs…100% of large and enterprise B2B firms realize the most value with Twitter as their #1 lead-gen tool.”
28 Awesome B2B Social Media Statistics by Social Media B2B
More than half (53.5%) of marketers currently use social media as part of their marketing strategy, up from 45% in 2009. However, B2B marketers are less active on social media than their B2C counterparts, with only 32% engaging on a daily basis compared to 52% on the B2C side. 36% of B2B executives report that there was low executive interest in social media in their company, compared with only 9% of B2C marketers who say the same. Nearly half of the B2B marketers using social media view LinkedIn as an effective channel, while only one in three say the same of Facebook.
17 Compelling And Highly Usable B2B Marketing Statistics by Modern B2B Blogs
B2B advertising spending on social media is forecasted to grow at an annualized rate of 21% through 2013. Odd as it sounds, the majority of B2B marketing budgets are still spent on off-line marketing tactics. 86% of B2B firms are using social media, compared to 82% of B2C outfits. And 93% of business buyers believe all companies should have a social media presence. However, 54% of CIOs prohibit the use of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook while at work. Seems like a bit of a disconnect.
B2B vendors still on the fence about social media need to take the plunge. J-P De Clerck reports here on research showing that “Three quarters of…buyers use a social media channel at some point in the information cycle…LinkedIn is used by 58% (!) of the respondents to find information or to talk to colleagues about solutions in the context of a purchase. Blogs represent 50%, Facebook 47% and even Twitter scores 41%.”
Old Spice and Skittles aside, online marketing isn’t just for B2C types as this post makes clear. For example: 84% of C-level executives find search very valuable in making business decisions. 83% of B2B buyers research online before making a purchase. There are 1.5 million business-oriented queries on YouTube every week. YouTube reaches 36% of all business decision makers (more than 10 times the figure for Forbes.com).
It’s Budget Season – B2B Marketing Budget Trends for 2011 by Everything Technology Marketing
After slashing marketing budgets by 8% on average in 2009, B2B technology marketers increased spending nearly 4% in 2010. According to IDC, “tech companies will allocate 19.3% of their total marketing budget to digital, up from 12.6% last year (2009). Within digital marketing, the largest share of the budget will go toward company websites (26.7%), followed by display ads (21.0%), email marketing (18.6%), search ads (13.6%), search engine optimization (7.6%), digital events (7.1%) and social networks (5.4%).”
2010 LinkedIn Marketing Stats That Matter For B2B by SmartBug Media
What’s the most important social network for B2B marketers? Brittany Brouse reports that “43% of employees at the largest companies in the US (think Gap, Microsoft and Google) report using LinkedIn for professional reasons. Only 11% say the same about Facebook and only 3% say the same about Twitter…100% of Fortune 500 companies have executives using LinkedIn. 50% of LinkedIn’s users are decision makers in their companies. 41% of people using LinkedIn for marketing have generated business with it.” Not convinced yet? There’s more.
PJA Social Media Index: Wave VI by Toolbox.com
***** 5 Stars
That title may be a snooze, but this study contains an incredible wealth of data on the use of social media by HR, IT and finance professionals. As a technology marketer, I’m particularly interested in the responses from the IT group. Among the findings: It professionals spend, on average, almost six hours per week consuming social media content, versus roughly four hours with editorial content and less than three-and-a-half hours on vendor content. More than 55% of IT professionals say they “use social media to make better decisions based on insights from like-minded professionals.” More than 53% say that either their company doesn’t have a social media policy or they are unsure if one exists.
B2B Social Media Marketing –Is it relevant? by CustomerThink
For those B2B executives who still “refuse to see the value social media can add to their marketing programs,” Merlin Francis has a few—actually quite a few—compelling facts to share, among them: 90% of B2B technology buyers view online video. 80% read blogs. 69% are active in social networks. In response, 60% of B2B marketers increased their spending on social media efforts last year, and there is growing acknowledgment that hard social media ROI isn’t everything; the top reasons cited for using social media marketing include demonstrating though leadership, generating greater awareness, and engaging customers.
Social Media Driving Sales Worldwide by MarketingProfs
Nearly half of sales professionals worldwide, and almost two-thirds of top performing sales people, say that “social media is integral to their success,” according to research from OgilvyOne. 25% of U.S. sales pros are on Facebook, while 20% are on LinkedIn and 8% Twitter. Most disturbing: while almost half of sales people say that they would like their companies to train them on using social media for sales, less than 10% actually get such training.
Marketing Strategy & Tactics
Marketers Put More Lead Gen Budgets Online by eMarketer
Marketing budgets continue to shift more from offline to online tactics. 68% of companies increased budgets for website development and content in 2010, making this the top area for increased marketing expenditures. The next three targets for increased investment were email marketing (54%), new media (e.g., blogs and mobile marketing—52%) and SEO (51%). Conversely, telemarketing and direct mail saw the biggest declines in spending.
Paid Search Gaining Respect, But Not Enough by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Pay per click (PPC) advertising is viewed as highly effective for generating leads, sales and website traffic. However, only about one out of five marketers in a recent MarketingSherpa survey said that PPC was helpful in generating offline sales, and even fewer believe it improves product reputation.
Searching For Online Leads And Where To Find Them by MediaPost Search Blog
55% of companies who use paid search increased their budgets in this area in 2010, up from 53% who did so in 2009. Just 22% decreased spending on PPC ads. Other findings Laurie Sullivan pulls from the eConsultancy study: “After natural search campaigns, email marketing is the second most widely used online lead generation method…Between 70% and 81% of companies generate leads online with the intention of converting them offline. Only 21% of advertisers surveyed say they work with specialist online lead generation companies, suggesting that this is still an emerging sector which hasn’t fully matured.”
Search Marketers Tap Social to Boost SEO by eMarketer
***** 5 Stars
71% of respondents to an SEOmoz survey (likely a somewhat more sophisticated group than average) say they are using social media as part of their SEO strategy. 53% are using blogging to help achieve SEO goals. The most popular SEO activities however were using Google Webmaster Tools to identify SEO issues and performing keyword research. Among the most interesting findings in the report, however, were those who failed to learn from the experience of others: 32% said they were adding rel=”nofollow” tags to internal links, while 21% were removing them, having realized how little effect this has on SEO. Also, 14% of respondents admitted they were buying links from other sites, while 12% were sending reconsideration requests to Google—likely after being banned for buying links.
Does Google Instant Generate Query Shares? by MediaPost Search Blog
Google’s share of the U.S. search market increased from 65.4% in August to 66.1% in September, just after Google Instant was launched. The effect of the annoying new feature has been a notable shift from organic results to paid; prior to the launch of Instant, clicks ran 82% to 18% for organic compared to paid search clicks. After the launch, the shares were 78% to 22%. Total U.S. search volume rose 16% from 2009 to 2010.
How Google Instant Changes Behavior by MediaPost Search Blog
Same topic and source as the post above, but with a different set of stats. Google Instant is bad for long-tail searches, but good overall for AdWords advertisers: overall impressions for paid search ads have increased by more than 9%, while clicks are up more than 5%. “Searchers search and click more as a result of Google Instant.” Furthermore, average cost-per-click rates have declined by 3%.
The smart but oblivious Rand Fishkin explores, though statistics, the relative business value of SEO vs. social media. When asked how discover new online products, a large majority of consumers chose search engines over social media sites. Even in the 18-24 year-old age group, where the gap was at its narrowest, search beat social 42% to 24%. Search traffic also converts better. But as Rand concludes, this isn’t an either/or proposition: both traffic sources have value.
11 Mind-Blowing Mobile Marketing Infographics by HubSpot Blog
59% of Americans connect to the Internet wirelessly (this includes laptops). MorganStanley predicts there will be more mobile than desktop Internet users by 2014. 75% of U.S. teenagers own cell phones. 72% of them text on their phones. 54% send a text at least once per day. Find all of these stats and more in this collection of cool and useful infographics about the mobile web market.
Other Downright Interesting Stuff
A big collection of awesome infographics, covering topics ranging from Twitter user types and the top earners in world football (soccer) to an explanation of how 3D technology works and the global popularity of World of Warcraft.
Best of 2010: Social Media Stats & Year in Review by Social Media Group
Leona Hobbs shares some interesting insights in her roundup of social media stats from last year, such as: Facebook is unsuprisingly the number one tool for sharing content, according to social sharing service AddThis, but the second-most popular tool? Email. Then Twitter. “Facebook” is also the most commonly used term in search.