In May 2014, Social Media Examiner published the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. It's pretty darn long, 52 pages to be exact. So we thought we'd review the report and give you the highlights. Below is what we found to be most important takeaways that you should be thinking about when approaching your social media efforts in order to stay ahead of the game.
This study surveyed over 2800 marketers with the goal of understanding how they are
using social media to grow and promote their businesses.
HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD YOU BE COMMITTING?
A significant 64% of marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more and 37% for
11 or more hours weekly. Personally, we don't fall into either of these groups. If a great strategy is developed from the start, we believe that a company can spend less than 1 hour per day managing all of their social media efforts.
Apparently age matters. There's a direct relationship between a marketer's age and the time spent marketing with social media. The younger the marketer, the more time he or she spends on social media. There are probably arguments to be had here whether the younger group is giving social media more importance, or simply not as efficient as the older group.
SOCIAL MEDIA BENEFITS
The top two benefits of social media marketing are reported to be increasing exposure and increasing traffic.
It takes time to develop relationships that lead to sales. However, a large percentage of marketers who take the time often find great results. For example, more than half of marketers who've been using social media for at least 3 years report it has helped them improve sales.
These stats touch on one of the biggest struggles we see in social media today, how to connect your efforts to ROI. It's what all business owners want, right? We are finding that the tools which are available to social media marketers are making it more and more possible to connect these together. But like all things, it takes time. If you're doing social media right, time must be spent developing the right audience and the ideal content mix that your audience will enjoy engaging with.
Obviously you must use the combination of pages which are going to serve your audience best. To figure out which sites are ideal for you, get to know your target market. Who are they? Where are they spending their time? That's where you should be.
And as we always say, you have to be active on Google+. The SEO benefits are undeniable.
LEAST UNDERSTOOD SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Google+ took first place as the platform marketers most want to learn about, displacing
blogging as the leader from the 2013 report.
But as we said before, you should really be using this platform for SEO purposes. Here is a blog post which gives you 6 simple steps to get involved on Google+.
PAID SOCIAL MEDIA
The overwhelming majority use Facebook ads (90%), followed by LinkedIn ads (20%) and
Twitter ads (17%).
We've all heard about the restrictions that Facebook places on user's Newsfeed. Unfortunately, just because someone follows you does not mean they will see your posts. Until they start engaging and telling Facebook that they like your content, it's highly possible that your posts will rarely appear in their Newsfeed. This is why it's important to put aside a small budget for advertising on social media. We suggest starting out with $50 per month and growing from there.
Here are some instructions for efficiently advertising on Twitter.
TYPES OF CONTENT
This study found that the most important type of content for marketers is original, written content.
While we agree that this type of content is very important, it's more important to have a diverse content mix that engages and entertains your audience. At Social Haven, we've seen the highest level of success when only 20% of your content speaks directly about your business.
Blogging holds the top spot for future plans: A significant 68% of marketers plan on increasing their use of blogging, making it the top area marketers will invest in for 2014. We are so glad to hear this! Blogging is truly one of the best ways to provide your audience with interesting, informative content (and get people to your website).