Recently, Awarness Inc released a report called The State of Social Media Marketing : Top Areas For Social Marketing Investment and Biggest Social Marketing Challenges in 2012.This report looks at key different areas of your social media strategy like monitoring, investments, human resource allocations and last but the most important one – the challenges.
I have been going through the report and something that caught my attention was, that companies have now realized that inorder to derive value through their social media efforts they need to allocate resources who understand and can work with social media.
The report is based on insights from 320 marketers (social marketing leaders, experienced professionals, novice and dabblers) on social media trends from 2011 and predictions for 2012. The It compares the state of social media in 2011 and expectations from 2012, based on this survey. Here I will attempt to bring out some key highlights from the report.
The big three social platforms in 2011 were Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, with YouTube and blogs following closely. In 2012, the social marketing leaders and experienced marketers will add new platforms to their arsenal, with the greatest inclination towards SlideShare. The novices and dabblers are playing catch-up on the Big Three, blogs and YouTube. According to the survey, it is quite obvious that all social platforms will grow in 2012.
In 2011, 78% were monitoring social media channels for brand mentioning at least a few times a week and 73% were monitoring industry conversations with the same frequency. According to the survey, these numbers will rise to 92% monitoring brand mentions and 87% monitoring industry conversations in 2012. Only 19% reported using a social media management platform in 2011. 25% plan to add social media management tools to their social marketing arsenal in 2012.
Two main challenges for 2012 – Resources and ROI
In 2011, 57% did not allocate budgets to social marketing, but relied on people resources. 18% of marketers spend between $1,000 and $10,000 on social media annually. Only 8% reported budgets of over $50,000 per year. In 2012,it is expected that we will see a more balanced approach between social media resources and investments in infrastructure. This will scale and prove the value of social initiatives.
Good news is that marketers are looking to invest heavily in social media marketing in 2012. Top social marketing investment areas are presence, frequency & processes. Leaders, experienced marketers and organisations with large social media budgets are, other than focusing reach and frequency, also paying attention to management and monitoring tools. While novices, dabblers and small budget companies are still mainly focused on reach and frequency and integration with the rest of marketing.
Close to 100% of the companies state they are measuring ROI, though they are still not willing to invest before they see the proof behind it. Leaders and experienced social marketers show deeper appreciation for social marketing ROI. These companies will set the metrics, methods and benchmarks that will establish social marketing as one of the viable, proven ways to drive value for organisations in 2012.
Executives and senior managers are looking for traction in three key areas – ROI, integration of social with lead generation and sales and lastly, expansion of social presence and reach.
In 2011, the primary measure of ROI was number of new fans and followers. For 2/3, the desired outcome was to drive traffic to owned media. 53% reported using engagement (social mentions of their brand), 40% measured share of social conversations and 38% of marketers monitored and reported on lead generation activities.
Some of the other concerns highlighted in the report for 2012 are managing and growing social presence and monitoring social media channels.
I found the report quite interesting and it was great to look at insights from different strategists ranging from newcomers to people who have been there and seen it all. I am happy to say that their combined insights have brought out some good points, which I am sure that you will find useful in strengthening your social media efforts!
Recommend that you too read the report for some fresh insights and views. Click here to download the PDF.