Michael Stelzner at the WhitePaperSource has produced a pretty in depth report on the social media marketing industry. 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?