More than 3,000 leading social media marketers contributed to the Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, with 89 percent reporting that social media usage generated more exposure for their businesses. Increased web traffic was the second major benefit, with 75 percent reporting positive results.
Most marketers are using social media to gain marketplace intelligence and develop loyal fans, 69 and 65 percent, respectively.
While not much has changed since 2012, developing loyal fans is now seen as slightly more important than developing leads. And it’s no surprise. While it takes time to develop loyalty among your customer base, it pays off. More than half of marketers who have been using social media for more than three years report it has helped them improve sales, and more than half of those who spend 11 or more hours on social media each week find these same results. While 57 percent of marketers who responded to the 2013 survey did not report improved sales, it may be because they lack tools to track sales.
Increased exposure is another real winner. Even marketers who spent as little as 6 hours a week on social media reported increased exposure for their business. 6 hours a week could also lead to new business partnerships, new leads, increased web traffic and reduced marketing expenses.
Sixty-two percent of marketers who’ve been using social media for two years or more reported improved search rankings, with marketers selling to other businesses slightly more likely to see this benefit than those selling to consumers (60 percent compared to 56 percent).
In addition to getting to know their consumers, social media provided 68 percent of marketers with marketplace insight. At least 71 percent of those marketers spending at least 6 hours a week on social media were more likely to gain marketplace insight, with Business-to-business companies 71 percent more likely to use social media for intelligence gathering versus 66 percent of Business-to-consumer companies.
But ultimately, usage of social media leads to developing a loyal fan base, which leads to better sales. Of those who have been using social media for at least 1 year, 63 percent found it useful for cultivating loyalty. And six hours a week seems to be the magic number. For those spending at least 6 hours, 69 percent saw benefits, with only 49 percent of those who spent 5 hours or less reporting a positive result.
Infographic courtesy of Wishpond.