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What’s happening in social media

This article by Frank Strong observes some recent developments in social media

April 2012


Whats happening in social media


Google+ has potential, email marketing is still prevalent, and more social media surprises in a new report.

Social Media Examiner recently released its 4th annual survey of social media marketing; 3,800 marketers answered the survey.

Perhaps it's not statistically valid, but the survey has an impressive number of respondents and provides a solid indication of the state of social media. Several things jumped out at me:

1. Social media remains important to business. It's no surprise that 83% of marketers either agreed or strongly agreed that social media is important to business. What is surprising is 54% of solo business owners strongly agreed with this statement. That means small businesses with limited time and resources see the most opportunity in using social media. Is that because social media is low cost or valuable?

2. Professionals spend less time on social media in 2012. Just 38% of marketers spend one to five hours weekly on social media. 26% spend six to 10 hours, and as little as 15% spend 20 or more hours each week on social media.

This amazes me because it strikes me as too little time. Maybe experienced professionals have social media all figured out and don't need to spend any more time on it - everyone is an expert now - but I doubt it. It takes a lot of time to build engagement on social media.

Marketers and PR pros must commit to daily engagement, or they are wasting time. This survey found that "by spending as little as 6 hours per week, 61% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media." If there's a proof point for spending more time on social media, that's it.

3. Google+ has potential, despite the critics. 40% of respondents currently use Google+, and another 70% said they want to learn more about the tool. The Google+ naysayers are out in force, but with tight integration and sharing across Google's Web, it's certainly an opportunity worth watching.

4. Email marketing is still prevalent. 87% of respondents still use email, which makes a good case for integrating social media with email marketing..

5. B2B marketers have been using social media longer than B2C marketers. 18% of B2B marketers, as opposed to 14% of B2C marketers, say they've used social media for three or more years. This fascinates me, given the plethora of blog posts and questions that examine this issue with the premise that B2B marketers question the value of social media marketing. The fact remains that social media is social, which means it's about people connecting. Even B2B companies consist of people.

6. YouTube is the top site to increase investment. 76% of marketers said they would increase their investment in YouTube marketing. This is the second year in a row that YouTube topped the charts.

Greg Jarboe is great person to follow for YouTube marketing tips; he literally wrote the book on how to spend an hour a day marketing on YouTube.

Read the full report.

Frank Strong is director of PR for Vocus.


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