Social Media Examiner has released their 2012 Social Media Industry Report with the self-proclaimed intention of identifying the “who, what, where, when, and why” of social media marketing. The data in this report is of particular interest to me because of its focus on how business interacts with social media, and not the consumer. Consequently, the information about usage trends, adoption rates, and exploration of the needs of marketers using social platforms for marketing purposes is very relevant to me as a brand manager, to MJR Creative Group as an agency, and for our customers seeking to more effectively market their products and services.
But how many of them are doing it with purpose and strategy? Anecdotal evidence shows that many of the respondents answering in the affirmative to this type of question have established their social presences on Twitter and/or Facebook (and to a lesser extent Google+, Pinterest, etc.), but a far smaller percentage are actually using social platforms for marketing in any meaningful and strategic fashion.
This disconnect between the very high percentage of marketers who feel social/inbound marketing is important and the percentage that are actually using it in a strategic fashion is borne out with data about actual time spent managing social efforts:
Time is one of biggest worries for marketers exploring social media, ranking as one of the top ten concerns about the marketing channel. However, as with most marketing efforts, time and money is what it takes to get the most out of the opportunity.
There is a direct relationship between the experience of the marketer in the social environment and the weekly time committment; more experience means more time spent on social media marketing.
Consistent, long-term time investment is an important factor for generating exposure and sales results from social marketing efforts.
Those who invest greater time also gain the most business partnerships, with B2B marketers seeing the best results.
Marketers are increasingly realizing the benefits of monitoring their social space to gain marketplace insights.
Again, the more time spent monitoring the greater the returns.
An important takeaway form this report is the tremendous benefit that is realized as your time commitment to managing your social media programs increase. This presents a tremendous challenge to business as staffing remains tight. Social platform development, customizing social monitoring and and analytics tools, content creation, and strategy and planning are all key areas where strained marketing departments can benefit by outsourcing to a firm that has expertise in social media marketing.
- Bradley Fitzhenry, Brand Manager MJR Creative Group
Bradley on Google+