The way social networks have impacted our personal and professional lives is far greater than most of us could have anticipated. While we were battling with our friends over getting cut from their top friends list on their Myspace profile, we couldn’t have imagined the impact of social media today. The evolution of social networks in the past 10 or even 5 years has been truly remarkable.
Social Media Examiner’s 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report holds valuable insight into how marketers are incorporating social media, how much time they’re spending and what is on the horizon.
With 92% of marketers reporting that social media is important to their business, it’s clear that marketers believe social media holds weight, but what is the true impact on their business?
Top 5 Benefits of Social Media Marketing
The 3,700 marketers surveyed as part of this report had a wide range of experience and goals for social media. However, the actual impact that social media had on their business can be broken down into 5 easy to understand benefits.
#1 – Increased Exposure
With a whopping 91%, increased exposure was the top benefit that marketers participating in this report have seen from deploying social media marketing efforts. Many of the respondents stated that as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media created an increase in exposure.
Social media marketing presents a unique opportunity for companies to stay top of mind with current customers and get on the radar of new customers on their preferred platforms.
#2 – Increased Traffic
70% of marketers found that social media activities increased traffic to their website while 75% of businesses engaging in social media activities for a year or more reported an even bigger increase in traffic.
Encouraging social media users to leave a social media platform and visit your website is no easy undertaking. A solid mix of engaging content and well formulated ads with a compelling call to action can help encourage consumers to visit your web properties.
#3 – Developed Loyal Fans
Not surprisingly, B2C marketers (73%) were more likely to develop a loyal fan base than B2B marketers (63%).
It is no mystery that most social media users engage on social platforms for personal needs first. B2B marketing often involves multiple decision makers at different stages in the purchasing journey. Fortunately, social platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook are beginning to make it easier for marketers to target audiences based on interests, job titles and demographics. This opens the door for B2B marketers to segment individual messages based on need.
#4 – Provided Marketplace Insight
68% of marketers felt that social media provided market insight that they did not previously have or reaffirmed what they already knew.
Social media enables you to see your consumers in their true habitat. It is easy to uncover who else they interact with, what their favorite movies or tv shows are, where they work, the list goes on and on.
#5 – Generated Leads
Over 50% of marketers who have been utilizing social media for over a year were generating leads through social media.
Of all the benefits in the top five list, this one has the largest impact on the bottom line. In order to generate qualified leads through social media, your community has to trust you, be engaged and have a need for what it is that you offer.
What other benefits made the top ten list?
- Improved Search Rankings – 58%
- Grown Business Partnerships – 55%
- Established Thought Leadership – 55%
- Improved Sales – 51%
- Reduced Marketing Expenses – 50%
Additional Report Must-Knows
Top 3 Most Important Social Platforms For Marketers
- Facebook – 52%
- LinkedIn – 21%
- Twitter – 12%
B2C Vs B2B: Platform Breakdown
B2C and B2B marketers may be using the same social media platforms, but their efforts differ between platforms and which they consider to be the most important.
Investing in Paid Social
The vast majority of marketers surveyed (84%) said that they use Facebook Ads , with Google ads in at a cool 41% and LinkedIn ads at 14%.
Looking for More Social Media Insights?
To learn more about how your marketing peers are performing on the top social platforms and what is on the horizon for 2015, download the full report from Social Media Examiner.
A primary takeaway from this report is that many marketers are finally beginning to justify time and resources invested on social media marketing because they’re finally able to quantify a return based on objectives.
What results from this survey surprised you the most?