Social media marketing, like all other form of marketing, is a blend of art and science.  Throughout this week, we’ll be examining a few recently released report to look at the science side of this particular discipline.  Today, we’re looking at Social Media Examiner’s 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.  This is their third annual report of this kind.  This year, they surveyed 3300 marketers.  Of those surveyed, an overwhelming 93% indicated that they were employing social media for marketing purposes.  This shows that without a doubt, social media is part of mainstream marketing.

Despite that, not everyone has the same level of experience in social media marketing.  Of those surveyed, half had less than 1 year of experience.  Keeping that in mind, the data not only shows the state of the industry, but it also shows where the opportunities lie.

SME2011_1

Social media is still in its infancy in being part of the marketing mix.  Currently, social media is largely leveraged to gain general exposure and increase new users.  The opportunity here is that social media has the potential to be an on-going engagement with existing users.  As we all know, it’s far cheaper to keep a consumer than to try to gain a new one.  So, social media still has a lot of room to grow.

SME2011_2

Facebook by far is the most popular social media tool right now.  It’s also interesting to note that there is a difference between B2B and B2C marketing.  LinkedIn is far more popular with the B2B marketers.  This makes sense because every marketing tactic is about targeting.  LinkedIn is a forum where business professionals are already at, thus making it a perfect forum for B2B marketers.

Of all the different tactics, YouTube / Video was the top area of focus, with 77% surveyed indicated that they intend to increase their efforts.  This likely highlights the growth in adjacent technologies, namely smartphones.

This was followed by Facebook, blogs, and Twitter, not so surprisingly.  Nevertheless, traditional digital marketing remains to be an important tool.  SEO and email marketing are both areas marketers intend to continue to increase focus on.  This is natural if you think about it because people are searching online for information and it takes email addresses to sign up for social media tools!

However, traditional paper marketing is likely to continue to fall out of favor with marketers.  Direct mail and print ads both are areas where over 10% of those surveyed intend to lower their investment…


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