It’s common knowledge now that social media has increased our ability to build and maintain relations with people. Before the advent of Facebook and Twitter, did anyone ever tell you they had more than 1,000 friends?
Social media has accelerated relationships and knowledge sharing, and it has given marketers a new channel for communicating with current and potential customers — it personalizes the “brand” and helps companies spread their message in a relaxed and conversational way.
But how exactly are marketers leveraging social media? Social Media Examiner set out to answer some questions: How much time do my peers invest in social media marketing? What benefits are they achieving? Where will they focus their efforts in the future?
The free Social Media Marketing Industry Report for 2010 (PDF) offers some great insights into the growth of the social Web and the specific tools marketers are using to spread their messages. Said Michael Stelzner, the founder of Social Media Examiner: “Social media is hot. And for businesses it represents a marketing opportunity that transcends the traditional middleman and connects companies directly with customers. This is why nearly every business on the planet — from giants like Starbucks and IBM to the local ice cream shop — are exploring social media marketing initiatives.”
Major findings in the report include:
- Top three questions marketers want answered: (1) How do I measure social media return on investment? (2) What are the social media best practices? and (3) How do I best manage my time with social media?
- Marketers are mostly new to social media: A significant 65% of marketers surveyed have only been involved with social media marketing for a few months or less.
- How much time does this take? The majority of marketers (56%) are using social media for 6 hours or more each week, and nearly one in three invest 11 or more hours weekly.
- The top benefits of social media marketing: The number-one advantage of social media marketing (by a long shot) is generating exposure for the business, say 85% of all marketers, followed by increasing traffic (63%) and building new business partnerships (56%).
- The top social media tools: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. and blogs were the top four social media tools used by marketers, in that order.
- Blogging on the rise and MySpace shrinking: A significant 81% of marketers plan to increase their use of blogs, while 72% have no plans to use MySpace and 9% will actually decrease their use of MySpace.
- Social media tools marketers most want to learn about: Social bookmarking, Twitter, and Facebook were the networks and tools marketers most want to learn more about.
- Social media outsourcing underemployed: Only 14% of businesses are outsourcing any aspect of their social media marketing.
Download the free Social Media Marketing Industry Report for 2010 (PDF).
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The great folks at Flowtown created this infographic based on the data from the report. Click on the image to see the full-sized version: