A (Brief) Survey of the State of Social Media in Marketing

 

Blog August 29

Social media is now used by 93 percent of marketers according to an HWPCC News article. What was once derided as nothing more than a series of networks used to post pictures of cats and sandwiches now is a valuable tool for global marketing services. Below are bullets that will parse through facts and statistics that explain the current value of business related social media and how the mechanism is primed for further growth.

 

  • Users of social networks represent the largest captive audiences on the web

Facebook has 1 billion global users, YouTube has 800 million and Twitter has 200 million according to a TECHi article. These captive audiences check their accounts multiple times a day and absorb influence both directly and indirectly. Facebook pages for brands, company videos and corporate Twitter accounts are all direct ways marketers can influence consumers but indirect influence can be equally powerful. Indirect influence on social media includes recommendations from friends and mentions from the people you follow. A Marketing Profs article explained the value of trusted social media connections by citing a study that “54% [of consumers] say smaller communities have greater influence on a topic than larger ones.” Support from brand advocates goes a long way in reinforcing your message on a micro level.

 

  • Social media is a primary asset used to build brand awareness

Between posting images on Pinterest and Tumblr, videos on YouTube and text on Twitter and Facebook, social media allows companies to utilize a variety of forms across multiple platforms to increase brand awareness. Successful brands have social media presences with reaches wide enough that they connect with their intended audience.

A social media presence has now become important enough that 82% of consumers say that they trust a company more when the CEO or high level executives take an active role in social media according to War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing. Social media provides consumers with more transparent access than company issued press releases. Press releases are sanitized as to drain most of the personality from quotes, but the direct access that social media allows gives a truer rendering of the person or brand.

For consumers who have their interests piqued, social media can act as the brand extension that provides an extra layer of depth. Social media provides a more personal dimension that is not typically available on a company website. Positive personal experiences from other consumers go a long way in alleviating any purchase trepidation.

 

  • Beyond Facebook and Twitter, the “secondary” social media networks yield dramatic results

An article from a marketing expert named Heidi Cohen cited a study of 500 high profile companies and found that 90% of these companies used at least one social media network. While this is certainly progress, the disclaimer limiting social media operations to one network is something that will change as companies grow their presences and branch out to the “secondary networks”. Networks like Pinterest and Tumblr are less well known than their bigger brothers but should prove to be increasingly valuable in the coming years because of their stickiness. Amongst social networks, registered users spend the most time on Pinterest and Tumblr, devoting an average of 89 minutes a month to each, as compared to 21 minutes for Twitter according to a TECHi article.

Another underutilized social media asset is blogging. Blogs are a valuable customer acquisition tool and according to a TopRank Online Marketing statistic, “B2B companies with blogs generate 67 percent more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms.” High value pieces of content like blogs and infographics often experience the added benefit of picking up viral traction when shared through social media.

 

Managing multiple social media platforms might feel like a juggling act but expanding your social presence globally can feel as daunting as juggling chainsaws. Learn how Lionbridge can help with your Global Social Media.