2socialThe 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Michael Stelzner surveyed over 3000 marketers with the goal of understanding how they are using social media to grow and promote their businesses. The report, sponsored by SocialMedia Examiner, provides insight about:

  • The top social media questions marketers want answered;
  • The time commitment which needs to be invested in their social media;
  • The benefits of social media marketing;
  • Most-used social media platforms and future trends;
  • Social media sites marketers want to learn more about other analyses, e.g. social media outsourcing and how B2B companies differ from B2C companies and more…

The key findings include:

  • Marketers place very high value on social media: A significant 86% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business, up from 83% in 2012.
  • Tactics and engagement are top areas marketers want to master: At least 88% of marketers want to know the most effective social tactics and the best ways to engage their audience with social media.
  • YouTube holds the top spot for future plans: A significant 69% of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube, making it the top area marketers will invest in for 2013.
  • Marketers want to learn most about blogging: While 58% of marketers are blogging, 62% want to learn more about it and 66% plan on increasing blogging activities in 2013.
  • Podcasting set to explode in 2013: Only 5% of marketers are involved with podcasting, yet 24% plan on increasing their podcasting activities in 2013— almost a five-fold increase—and 32% of marketers want to learn more about it.
  • Facebook and LinkedIn are the two most important social networks for marketers: When forced to only select one platform, 49% of marketers selected Facebook, followed by LinkedIn at 16%.
  • Most marketers aren't sure their Facebook marketing is effective: Only 37% of marketers (slightly more than one in three) think that their Facebook efforts are effective.
  • Increased exposure is the top benefit of social media marketing: A significant 89% of marketers stated that increased exposure was the number- one benefit of social media marketing.
  • •The above summary is merely a taste of what's in this report. On the following pages, you'll find nearly 70 charts that visually convey some fascinating findings. For example, we look at which social networks are used by those who invest the most time in social media marketing and the benefits achieved by those who've been at this for years.

Besides these interesting insights, the report provides the “Top 5 social media questions marketers want answered”, too. As the social media marketing industry continues its massive expansion, the needs of marketers shift.

Take a look at the top issues marketers are facing today with social media marketing, especially since at least 83% of marketers surveyed felt they are struggling to answer all of the following questions:

#1: TACTICS: What social tactics are most effective?

The number-one question marketers want answered (90%) is which tactics work best. This high number is likely in response to the constant changes taking place across many social networks.

#2: ENGAGEMENT: What are the best ways to engage my audience with social media?

Figuring out how to best connect with people remains high on the list of questions marketers want answered (88%). As more and more businesses become social, those who best engage will stand out.

#3: MEASUREMENT: How do I measure the return on my social media investment?

A significant 87% of marketers want to know how to measure their return on investment for social media activities. This question has been top of mind for marketers for the last three years. Clearly very few marketers have figured this one out.

#4: TOOLS: What are the best social management tools?

As interactions increase and newer social networks continue to grow, the need for tools to simplify the job of social media marketers becomes more important. A whopping 84% feel like they don't know what tools are best.

#5: STRATEGIES: How do I create a social strategy?

Creating a social strategy is still a major concern for marketers (83%). This is a positive indicator that marketers are now thinking about social media within the larger umbrella of marketing and trying to determine smart strategies. Respondents were also asked how they plan to change their social media use in the near future. Marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube (69%), Facebook (66%), blogging (66%), LinkedIn (65%), and Twitter (64%), in that order. A significant 80% said they have no plans to utilize daily deals or will reduce their efforts. Sixty-five percent have no plans to utilize geo-location.

By MediaBUZZ