This week I have looked at the benefits of social media marketing and how much time to devote to social media marketing as reported in a recent survey done by Michael A. Stelzner and sponsored by Social Media Examiner entitled 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report: How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses. The survey showed that the social media platforms most commonly used by marketers are Facebook (92%), Twitter (84%), LinkedIn (71%), Blogs (68%) and YouTube and other video (59%). When you compare this list to the popularity of these social media platforms the results are not surprising but not every marketer or business benefits equally from each platform.
Facebook is by far the most popular platform and social media tool for users and social media marketers. Marketers across all levels of experience have listed Facebook as the most used social media tool. With over 500 million users and over half of them logging on every day Facebook is overwhelmingly the place where marketers want to be. With business pages Facebook makes it easy for companies to establish a presence and to interact with their fans. 92% of social media marketers use Facebook but 96% of business-to-customer companies prefer it as opposed to 88% of business-to-business companies.
Last year Twitter was the most popular platform for marketers and edges out Facebook 97% to 95% for marketers with more than three years of experience. Twitter is a powerful platform for connecting to others interested in researching and finding products and information. In contrast to Facebook only 82% of the business-to-customer companies prefer Twitter as opposed to 86% of business-to-business companies.
LinkedIn has established itself as the social media platform for professionals and that is clearly evident by the results of this study. 84% of business-to-business companies, who are more likely to want to interact with other business professionals, utilize LinkedIn as opposed to only 57% of business-to-customer companies. 84% of veteran marketers with over 3 years of experience use LinkedIn as opposed to 62% of the beginning marketers. Another significant statistic is 80% of the self-employed and 78% of small businesses are more likely to use LinkedIn.
In my previous blog, How Much Time Should You Devote To Social Media Marketing? I observed that veteran social media marketers used blogs more often, 86% to 54%, than beginning marketers. It is also true that those who spend more time per week on social media are more likely to spend it on blogging, 82% as opposed to 56% for those who spend little time on social media. Blogging takes more time and it makes sense that those who blog spend more time on social media. It is also significant that marketers with more than three years’ experience have seen the value of blogging and are devoting more time to it.
YouTube and other Video
Because video is so time consuming this tool is used overwhelmingly by marketers spending more than 40 hours per week on social media, 78% as opposed to 44% for marketers spending less than 5 hours per week. Large businesses with over 1,000 employees are more likely to use on-line video with 82% of them planning to increase their on-line video use next year. Overall 77% of all social media marketers plan on increasing on-line video marketing next year.
What Social Media Tools Should You Use?
It is important to have at least some presence in the top 3 platforms, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but your exact mix may differ depending upon your size and market goals
- Individuals and Small Businesses:
Twitter and LinkedIn are very powerful tools for reaching out and you need to be active on these platforms. Blogs are the best way to attract traffic and increase search engine results.
Twitter and LinkedIn are again your best bets while using regular blogs to build content and to increase your organic traffic. Besides you need something to tweet about.
It doesn’t matter if you are a mass marketer or a neighborhood pizzeria you need to have a Facebook Page. Other tools like Foursquare and Groupon would also be helpful. Don’t ignore blogging and Twitter, these are powerful marketing tools, especially if you are a small company.
- Nonprofits: Think of yourself as a business and see where you fit in. Attracting donors is like selling to customers so tools like Facebook to interact with your fans, and blogs and twitter to promote your message, are a good bet.
- YouTube and Video:
Video can be used by any size business or cause. The cost and production can be daunting to some but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to use video on the internet and it is not the exclusive province of large companies. For some ideas take a look at our free E-Book: 10 Things You Can Do With Video on the Internet.
What social media tools are you using on the internet? What has been to most useful for you?
Image Media Partners is a social media consulting company that helps businesses and organizations plan, manage and execute their social media marketing plans. Contact us if you would like to know how we can help with your social media strategy.
Graphic Credit: Michael A. Stelzner