Many businesses have planned strategies for using popular social media websites like Facebook and Twitter to help promote their messages, offers and products, but how are their approaches typically targeted? A survey conducted by R2Integrated in 2010 entitled The Social Media Marketing Survey was carried out to discover not only how organizations were dividing their effort and investment between different social networks, but also what their objectives were. The results of this survey are very interesting to anybody wondering what their competitors might be doing and considering embarking on their own first foray into social media centric marketing.
Social media can be used to a number of ends in business. Some companies use strategic based campaigns to directly make sales, or to populate their databases with contacts they can follow up as leads. Others have softer business and marketing objectives such as increasing brand awareness, creating a coherent online presence customers can relate to, or providing a mechanism for customer feedback.
The responses given in The Social Media Marketing Survey showed that the largest percentage of businesses with these strategies list as their top priority in their use of social networking sites the ability to communicate, because these sites provide a good base that they can publish content on. 31% of the respondents in the survey listed this as the main reason they use social media. Next down in the survey results, 27% of the businesses asked said that their primary social media marketing objective was to generate leads, whether in the form of having people join their mailing lists or by expressing an interest in them through devices like the Facebook “like”.
The third most popular reason for using social media in a marketing strategy, given as a top priority by 19% of respondents, was monitoring the reputation and impact of their brand. This is essentially like a free form of market intelligence, because by searching for an reading user generated content such as tweets and blog posts about their company, products and services, a business can easily measure the effectiveness of their marketing and the credibility they hold in their niche.
Despite the fact that most respondents listed their main focus when using using this medium as something other than direct sales, the survey found that 36% of the businesses they spoke to claim to have converted traffic from Facebook, Twitter or their blog into actual sales, meaning that even where this is only one of the secondary objectives to a social media based marketing campaign people are making real bottom line money off of the back of their social networking efforts.
As well as he priority ranking of different types of social media objectives, the survey also asked which sites the businesses use most in their campaigns.46% of respondents listed Facebook as the main website that they used for their marketing efforts. After Facebook at the top of the survey came Twitter, LinkedIn and then YouTube, receiving 21%, 20% and 3% of responding business’ votes as their most important social media outlet respectively.