In a previous blog post, Jonas made a summary of a report called “The State of Social Media Marketing” from January 2012 in which he outlined the key points and conclusions drawn from the report. A couple of days ago, Awareness, Inc released the second part of the same report, which points out some useful statistics for the second half of 2012. In this blog post, I will highlight the most interesting ones.
The findings are based on a survey, conducted among 469 marketers from wide varieties of industries, company sizes and levels of social marketing expertise. Respondents came from a cross-section of executives, managers and those who support the social marketing functions within their organizations(45% – Executive or Senior Management, 28% – Mid-level Management, 15% – Marketing Support, 12%- Other)
As in the beginning of 2012 the big three – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – remain at the top positions. Interesting is that for next year, 66% of survey respondents are planning to invest in increasing presence across all social media platforms. As businesses mature their presence on social networks, they are starting to segment their approach by creating and managing multiple social profiles on each platform:
- 53% of respondents report 2+ accounts on Facebook with 13% having over 5 profiles.
- 45% report 2+ accounts on Twitter, with 11% reporting over 5 profiles.
Another interesting fact is that over 65% of respondents indicate that in addition to social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, they are using community platforms. There is a growing interest in social technologies like collaboration platforms (33%), social commerce platforms (23%) and innovation platforms (15%).
Social media monitoring continues to be an important component of social strategy. 80% of survey respondents state they monitor for brand mentions in real-time, near-time or a few times a week. An additional 13% state they plan to begin monitoring by the end of 2012. Similarly, 73% of brands are staying abreast of industry developments by monitoring on social media. An additional 17% plan to monitor for industry conversation by year’s end.
Marketers are still cobbling together paid and free tools to monitor and make sense of the social conversations. Monitoring platforms quoted by respondents include Google Alerts, Radian6, Awareness, TweetDeck, HootSuite, and SocialMention.
While 52% of senior management is trying to achieve revenue generation through social marketing, they have not yet invested the proper resources to drive this outcome. Over 76% of survey respondents have an annual budget under $10,000 for social marketing and a full 54% have no budget, relying solely on human resources to foster social marketing success. With no money or resources behind them, most social marketing initiatives remain small, with little to no direct impact on key business drivers such as leads and sales.
Over 80% of marketers allocate a team of 1-3 for social marketing initiatives. An additional 16% dedicate more than three resources to their social marketing efforts. However, when we analyze more mature brands, those with a budget over $100,000, 74% of marketers have a team greater than three people.
The report concludes that they expect to see companies apply greater resources, both financial and human, to social marketing as they mature. They also expect to see mature brands outsource greater portions of their social marketing efforts to outside agencies and consultancies.
A comparison of the investment priorities by level of social media maturity provides greater insights, as mature brands are focusing on different priorities. Mature brands cite an investment in enhancing the robustness of their social media monitoring, better integration between social and traditional marketing initiatives and continuation of platform expansion.
Novice brands are much more focused on increasing the frequency on content publishing, as compared to their more mature peers (57% vs. 30%). While mature brands are focused on monitoring, management and integration robustness (65%, 48% and 61%, respectively), their less experienced peers are not focused on these areas yet. It’s an investment priority for 37%, 39% and 51% respectively.
The biggest challenge for brands for the second half of 2012 remains Measuring ROI. For comparison, in the January edition – 56 % of survey respondents stated the same. The report concludes that “Many brands are concurrently stifled by their lack of resources, be that financial or by their lack of dedicated staff. To address the inability to measure ROI, brands must correctly tie social marketing metrics to important business metrics. It’s difficult to prove ROI without some investment, and harder to make a case for an investment without a clear ROI.”
If you find these highlighted insights useful, you can download the full report from here.