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4 Important Social Media Marketing Trends

May 14th, 2012 ::

social media marketing

If you’ve been feeling pressure to prove the value of your social media efforts to managers, don’t worry. You are in good company, as marketing managers are increasingly being asked to show how social media is affecting their company’s bottom line.

Read on to learn about this trend to produce measurable results from social media and to start reflecting on your own social marketing efforts.

Social Media Is Producing Increased Benefits

According to a Wildfire App survey, nearly all of the 700 marketers questioned find value from social media. In fact, 75% of them plan to increase social media spending this year.

And, just how are these marketers benefiting? Increased brand awareness and being able to engage directly with customers are at the top of the list.

Social Media Examiner’s 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report found similar results. In this study, 88% of marketers listed increased exposure as the number-one benefit of social media marketing.

How has your business benefited from social media? How can you demonstrate these benefits to management?

Businesses Are Investing More in Social Media

According to Borrell Associates, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB’s) plan to double their social media advertising budget this year, up an estimated $2 billion in the U.S. alone.

Similarly, Awareness Networks found that 70% of businesses plan to increase their social media marketing efforts, and half of marketers plan to enhance their social media management practices and tools.

Even though marketers are increasing their social media investment, Awareness found that 75% of businesses spend $10,000 or less – a relatively small advertising budget. So, where are these companies spending their increased investments? They’re spending more on people’s time to manage social media; however, three-fourths of the businesses only employ three or fewer employees to staff their social media efforts.

What resources – both human and financial – are being devoted to your company’s social media strategy? Are these resources yielding the results you want to see?

Measuring ROI Tops the List of Marketing Challenges

According to Awareness, companies of all sizes and experience levels are faced with the challenge of measuring ROI for social media. This uncertainty has led to only half of survey respondents measuring their social media efforts.

Altimeter Group also found that the majority of brands don’t have a system for social media measuring in place. Even the bigger brands aren’t measuring social media properly.

Those who do measure are barely scratching the surface of determining social media ROI. Most businesses know how to track their social presence and traffic, but they are unsure of how to measure lead generation and sales resulting from social media.

Does your company have a social media measurement system in place? What could you be tracking that you currently are not?

Integration Provides Greater Financial Results

According to a study by Insights Consulting, some companies still view social media from the sidelines, rather than integrating it fully with their overall marketing efforts. Less than half of the businesses surveyed have integrated social media into their business processes. And, 43% of U.S. firms are just getting started with their social media efforts, or are still in the process of evaluating whether social media is effective.

The most important information Insights discovered is that businesses that have already integrated social media into their operations are seeing greater financial results from their efforts than those who have not. It’s time to get off the fence!

How about your company? Are you still cautiously wading into social media waters, or do you already know how to swim?

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While marketers who struggle with pressure to show ROI from social media are not alone, it’s important to take the first step towards social media measurement. Use these insights to evaluate your own social efforts, and find ways to show your social media tactics are key to an effective marketing strategy.

Image courtesy of wizmarketings.com

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Marketing, Social Media | 3 Comments »

  • Dmoore

    http://www.crowdstir.com for small business social media management and marketing

  • http://wirewalkersva.com/ WireWalkersVA

    Hi Monika. Thank you for sharing these trends. This list will
    definitely help businesses of all sizes to check their own social marketing
    efforts. Social media marketing can be tricky at times – and yes, it is a
    struggle to show definitive results (or any result at all). I must say, the
    questions you indicated here at the end of each trends made me really ask myself.
    And I am proud to say that I have answered positively to most of them –
    although I know I have to revisit everything as you know, an effective tactic
    now may not be effective in another day. The key here, I guess, is to always be
    vigilant of the recent trends.

    • Anonymous

       Yes, it is super tricky – and, as you point out, keeping up with everything is exhausting!  Glad you found the blog post useful!