According to Google Trends, social media marketing as a topic if search interest recently turned nine years old (or is about to turn 11 years old, depending on when you place its origin). Facebook was opened up to the public in 2006. Twitter emerged at the SXSW conference in March 2007.
We’re now long past the days of having to “sell” business executives on the value of social media for marketing. As noted below, the practice is now ubiquitous, with almost 90% of businesses engaged social media marketing.
The questions today are more around how to evolve practices (in both content amplification and follower-building) for the maturing social media landscape, and how to best monitor results to support continuous improvement.
Here are three key findings from recent research, supported by nine useful social media stats, and recommendations on what to do with this information.
Buyers appreciate business social media use.
1. More than half of online adults (56%) use more than one of the top five social media platforms. (Small Business Trends)
2. Social media ads are tied with sponsored posts among the most trusted channels by consumers when making a purchase decision. Four channels were less trusted than social media ads: online banner ads, mobile phone ads, ads in podcasts and online pop-ups. (MarketingSherpa)
3. 59% of Americans with social media accounts think that customer service through social media has made it easier to get questions answered and issues resolved. (WordStream)
Social media is big with marketers, but a struggle for sales.
4. 89% of U.S. marketers with 100 or more employees use social networks for marketing purposes. (eMarketer)
5. Spending on social media marketing, as a percentage of total marketing budgets, has increased 234% in the past seven years, rising from 3.5% of marketing budgets in 2009 to 11.7% in 2016. (Skyword)
6. 19% of salespeople say they’re struggling to incorporate social media in their sales process. (Digitant)
Social media is part of the daily routine for digital natives, and is increasingly visual and mobile.
7. Millennials are most trusting of social media advertising when making a purchase decision; a majority (54%) say they trusted social media ads. Almost half of GenXers (46%) trust social ads, while less than a third (31%) of baby boomers do. Across all age groups, 43% of people trust social media advertising. (MarketingSherpa)
8. 82% of millennials and GenZers have at least 10 apps on their devices, and more than 80% of those apps are classified as apps that enable social media. (MediaPost)
9. Using video in social media increases sharing by a factor of 10. (HubSpot)
Among the actionable recommendations that can be drawn from these findings are:
- Your customers are almost certainly using multiple social media platforms. So even if your engagement efforts are focused on just a few platforms, use a social media monitoring tool to check for brand mentions, comments, support issues, etc. across all major social networks.
- Plan to increase your social media budget. Success in social media marketing today requires investments in technology not only for monitoring, but also social media management, analytics, and video/visual content production.
- Finally, plan to invest part of that budget in staff training as well. Technology won’t help much without a well-crafted social media strategy and knowledge of how to use tools to get results and measure them for continuous improvement.
This was the third post of the Spectacular Springtime of (Digital Marketing) Stats series on Webbiquity and elsewhere.