Can social media efforts document improved sales and return on investment? Based on a study from the Social Study Examiner’s Michael Stelzner, the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report shows a number of interesting trends and statistics related to the ever-growing social media landscape.
The key findings seem quite natural as the social media landscape matures, while I especially fancy the marketeers optimism about growth of podcasts while they are not using the tool themselves. Oh, the irony. Not surprisingly, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogging, Google+ and Pinterest were the top seven platforms used.
The first thing I did after downloading the report (for free) was to search for anything related to increased sales. Documentation on increased number of leads, sales growth and ROI (Return On Investment) or any other kind of financial gain related to social media is important. Time is limited for a marketeer and if we cannot document ROI using social media we need to look at other ways to market our products.
Increased lead generation
The report states that 66% of the marketeers see an increase in lead generation by spending a limited amount of time using social media to nurture leads. And the marketeers with more experience in social media report better lead generation.
50% of the respondents reported increased sales. The success rate was also here increasing for the marketeers who have been using social media for more than three years – for those with five or more years of experience from social media a whopping 77% reported that they agreed or strongly agreed that their efforts increased sales.
But if only 50% report an increase in sales – there is room for improvement! Perhaps they do not have implemented tools to track leads? Or perhaps they are just not good enough at social media and need to sharpen their pencil.
An increase in numbers of business partnerships
The findings here were very clear. More time invested in social media gained more business partnerships. More than half of the marketeers with at least a one-year investment in social media marketing reported that new partnerships were formed.
An interesting note on this was that the marketeers in B2B achieved more (61%) than those selling to consumers (54%).
Does social media increase sales?
I think the answer to that is quite clear after having read the report. Success comes with experience and willingness to learn how to use the social media as a platform for marketing. But the report points out that there are a large number of questions raised by marketeers on tactics, engagement, measurement, tools and targeting the audience.
Where did I find the report?
I came across the report through the work of Jay Baer (http://www.convinceandconvert.com/author/jay-baer/ ) and his article about 9 New Social Media Statistics and What They Really Mean (http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-research/9-new-social-media-statistics-and-what-they-really-mean/).
This is an extract of his findings;
- 92% of marketeers say Social Media has generated exposure for their business
- 68% of marketeers plan to blog more
- only 43% of the marketeers have mobile-optimized their blog
- 72% of marketeers use social media to develop loyal fans
- 80% of marketeers link increased website traffic to social media
- social media marketing is converging with content marketing
- experienced marketeers are more likely to use YouTube, blogging and LinkedIn
- 21% of the marketeers plan to grow their use of podcasts in the future. This is perhaps a tad ironic since only 6% of the respondents actually use it themselves
- 64% of marketeers plan to increase their presence on LinkedIn
- 67% of marketeers plan to increase YouTube participation in the near future
PS! The report is free for download for a few more days! Go grab your copy at http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-marketing-industry-report-2014/