Social Media ROI

This study surveyed over 3,800 marketers with the goal of understanding how they are using social media to grow and promote their businesses. On the following pages, you’ll discover:

-The top 10 social media questions marketers want answered: We analyze thousands of open-ended responses and summarize all of the major questions that marketing pros want answered.

-The time commitment: We examine the weekly hours marketers invest in their social media efforts. This analysis will be helpful for marketers just getting started or those seeking support staff.

-The benefits of social media marketing: This rather beefy section reveals all the major advantages marketers are achieving with their social media efforts. We also look at how time invested, business size and experience affect the results.

-Commonly used social media services: Discover which tools marketers are using and how their usage is changing this year. We also examine which tools experienced marketers are using.

-Social media sites people want to learn more about: In this section, we examine the up-and-coming tools (such as Google+ and photo-sharing sites like Pinterest) that marketers are most interested in learning about.

-Other analysis: We also examine social media outsourcing and how marketers plan on using other forms of marketing. In addition, we take a look at how business-to-business (B2B) companies differ from business-to-consumer (B2C) companies and whether the size of a business has any bearing on results. We also highlight significant changes since our 2011 study.

How to use this report: Regardless of your experience with social media marketing, there’s something here for you. If you’re a beginner, take a look at the time commitment, benefits and tools that your peers are using. If you’re experienced with social media, compare yourself against other marketers, see what tools they’re looking at next and see whether you’re achieving the same benefits as your more experienced brethren. If you’re a social media pro, there’s tons of material here to help you develop lots of “how-to” products. You’ll want to pay close attention to the top 10 questions section.

Major findings

Here’s a quick summary of our primary findings:
• Marketers still place high value on social media: A significant 83% of  marketers indicate that social media is important for their business.

• Measurement and targeting are top areas marketers want to master: Forty  percent of all social media marketers want to know how to measure the return  on investment (ROI) of social media and find customers and prospects.

• Video marketing holds the top spot for future plans: A significant 76% of  marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube and video marketing, making  it the top area marketers will invest in for 2012.

• Marketers seek to learn more about Google+: While only 40% of marketers are using Google+, 70% of marketers want to learn more about it and 67% plan on increasing Google+ activities.

• Top three benefits of social media marketing: The number-one benefit of social media marketing is generating more business exposure (reported 85% of marketers), followed by increasing traffic (69%) and providing marketplace insight (65%).

• Top five social media networks/tools for marketers: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube were the top five social media tools used by marketers, in that order.

• Social media marketing still takes a lot of time: The majority of marketers (59%) are using social media for 6 hours or more each week, and a third (33%) invest 11 or more hours weekly.

• Social media outsourcing underutilized: Only 30% of businesses are outsourcing some portion of their social media marketing, only a slight increase from 28% in 2011.

The above summary is merely a taste of what’s in this report. On the following pages, you’ll find nearly 70 charts that visually convey some fascinating findings. For example, we look at which social networks are used by those who invest the most time in social media marketing and the benefits achieved by those who’ve been at this for years.

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