Sunday, July 1, 2012

Understanding Social Media and the Statistics

The Holy Grail of Social Media is justifying the outlay and effort spent, on a business level.

There are no shortage of statistics that prove the value of Social Media. Here are some of them:
  • Social media users revenue grew at 19% vs. non-SM users 6% 
  • Client base of SM users grew at 21% vs. non-SM users 
  • 61% of LinkedIn users gained a client through SM,
  • 35% of Facebook users gained a client,
  • 47% of blog owners gained a client,
  • 36% overall gained clients, through a social network. 
The sources were a 2011 Hubspot Report, 2010 Socialware Survey, and a 2009 Pershing-Aite Study. Most businesses realize the potential of social media to enhance their bottom line.

Even the largest companies understand that the investment in manpower (social media work is labor intensive) is vital.

In fact, "research conducted by Buddy Media shows that Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are always considered while making marketing strategies in bigger companies.

94% of the participating companies said that Facebook was the top priority when it came to social media marketing." Other statistics that this study ferreted out were more telling.

The respondents in this particular study were Chief Marketing Officers, and when asked what their purpose for using social media was, only 38% said for sales.

Another telling stat is that 35% of these CMOs reported they had no strategic plan for social media use. These study results were reported in a recent Geeks4Share article.

Another report, this one a Forrester study, reported by Mashable, concluded that just 49% of CMOs and Marketing VPs had fully integrated social media in to their brand building efforts.

Just about all of them realized the potential and the change that social media has made in how consumers and brands engage, but almost half were baffled about how to use it to make a dollars and sense difference.

There has been a lot of talk about the effectiveness of social media this week as GM pulled their advertising dollars from Facebook on the eve of their IPO.

On Social Media Today, Steve Olenski addressed it in The Real Reason GM Left Facebook.

If you are a GM fan, and have frequented their fan pages, you can attest that they never seemed to engage much--using them generally as broadcast tools.

This is too much like traditional media--one way communication, instead of the more personal dialogue that social media offers. So their strategy needs tweaking.

Overall, the numbers in this article seem to tell us that companies know they should market with social media, but do not know how to do it. In fact, half of the business to consumer marketers surveyed agreed with the statement “Social media has the potential to build my brand, but I’m not sure how to capitalize on it.”

That last statement excites me for the future we can expect from social media. Most social media devotees, like myself, realize that companies often do not understand how to implement social media-- at all!

The larger ones, of course, have figured out some things, but it seems there is a lot of opportunity to help businesses put an effective social media plan in place that drives traffic, engages customers, and encourages brand loyalty.

1 comment:

  1. Social media statistics from The Social Habit by Edison Research includes several very interesting data points about Facebook, Twitter buy likes and followers and beyond.