Marketers Like Social Media but Don't Spend Much Time On It; ROI Remains Iffy
Most businesses are adopting social media for marketing purposes, reflecting a generally positive sentiment about its utility, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into high priority when it comes to allocating resources and time spent, according to a new study from the Software & Information Industry Association and Lopez Research.
The SIIA study, titled “The State of Email, Social Media and Mobile Marketing Survey,” is based on a poll of 106 marketing executives conducted by Lopez Research for SIIA. As noted, the survey found widespread recognition of social media’s potential as a marketing tool: roughly 90% use social media to market their business, and 75% said it has had a positive impact or will have a positive impact on their business, versus just 1% who said it has a negative impact.
However, the vast majority of businesses spend less than 20 hours per week on marketing via social media, with the single largest response segment (35%) spending less than five hours per week. Over half of those polled say their businesses spend less than 10 hours per week on social media. This is especially noteworthy because the majority of these businesses have elected to keep social media marketing in-house: over 70% of respondents said they’re not outsourcing their social media responsibilities.
One of the main reasons driving adoption of social media is that it’s cheap -- or at least, is perceived that way -- with 49% of respondents saying their marketing costs had remained the same. However, there is still a wide range of opinion about how to handle measuring return on investment, with respondents pointing to metrics including Web traffic, number of conversations, qualified leads, customer retention, brand awareness, and good ol’ revenue.
Looking to the future, over 70% of respondents said their companies would increase use of Twitter and LinkedIn, while 60% plan to increase their use of Facebook.