Posted March 25, 2009 12:25 am by with 6 comments

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Michael Stelzner at the WhitePaperSource has produced a pretty in depth report on the social media marketing whitepapersourceindustry. The industry now has enough years on it that this research is becoming more valuable to help make sense of this fast growing and often unwieldy area of the marketing mix.

The report is based on interviews of over 900 social media users of varying degrees. The findings are interesting in some areas and not so surprising in others. Some highlights include:

  • The Top 10 social media questions that marketers want answered
  • Experience levels are low with 72% of the marketers questioned having just started or only being involved in social media for a few months
  • As a surprise to me, owners of 2- to 100-employee businesses were the most experienced (29.3% reporting doing social media marketing for years)
  • Another startling finding was people aged 60 to 69 were significantly more likely to be just getting started with social media marketing than other age groups. In all honesty, I can’t imagine my parents on Facebook or Twitter!
  • After only a few months and with as few as 6 hours a week, more than half of marketers have generated qualified leads with social media marketing
  • The top 4 social media tools were Twitter (81%), blogs (79%), LinkedIn (78%) and Facebook (77%) topping the list of the Top 10. Owners preferred LinkedIn.
  • The least understood outlet are social bookmarking sites

As it is with all research it is important to see how it measures up to your particular situation. These are interesting bits of data and can be convincing to the many new users that are currently just feeling their way around. It’s probably fair to say that almost everyone is feeling their way around social media though because the rules are being written and rewritten even as you read this.

Any advice for social media success?

  • I ve noticed more and more people getting away from the discussion AND getting away from a message besides “Earn $27,000” tomorrow. The great things about social media is that properly implemented, you do not need tricks, you (AKA your business) only need to know who you are and strive to learn who your clientele are. The answer to both of those questions needs to be as narrow as possible at first.
    I believe if you keep in touch with the major trends and try to innovate along those lines, marketers and businesses will succeed in this burgeoning industry.

  • This actually pretty good information. I sort of had a feeling that this is how it was, but still surprised to find that it’s true. Thanks for the summary – I never would have read the white paper!

  • Nice recap. It has been interesting lately with discussions of whether Social Media is even an “industry”. I believe that just like other business channels, success is measured by how effectively you see the results your company needs in order to justify the practice.

    It didn’t seem too long ago that most business marketing was done over the phone or through the post office, and then this funny phenomenon called “email” caught on and the phone was never heard from again. And we have all seen the effect email has had on direct marketing. All good things take time, you just don’t want to wait too long to get on board.

  • This goes to show that social media is important and that the wise publisher should know how to take advantage of social media.

  • This is the proof that “social” adv is replacing “pure” adv

    Roberto’s last blog post..First post on qmpeople blog. You’re welcome

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