Social Media Marketing Trends and Frustrations

According to the Chief Marketer 2012 Social Marketing Study, polling active marketing professionals at brands and agencies distributed across a range of industry verticals, 76% of overall respondents to the survey said their brands were conducting some level of marketing within social media, and a further 16% reported plans to begin do so by the end of this year, making for a potential social marketing contingent of 92%. By contrast, only 6% of those polled said they were not doing anything to market within social and did not plan to do so this year.

Is Your 2012 Marketing Social?

   Response

% of Respondents

All Respondents

   Yes

76%

   No, but we will add this year

16%

   No, and no plans to add

6%

B2C Pure Play

   Yes

79%

   No, but we will add this year

15%

   No, and no plans to add

4%

B2B Pure Play (Ex. Agencies)

   Yes

68%

   No, but we will add this year

16%

   No, and no plans to add

10%

Source: ChiefMarketer, October 2012

Problems of measurement figure large in the pain points of marketers who are running social marketing campaigns, followed closely by the strains those campaigns put on their in-house resources. More than half of respondents cite the difficulty of calculating an accurate return on their social marketing outlays as a prime frustration with the channels. That difficulty in turn grows out of their second most often expressed complaint in this year’s survey: the difficulty of accurately tracking sales to social campaigns. Those response rates held true for both B2C and B2B marketers.

Beyond the bottom line, marketers are also troubled by issues of content: specifically, by the amount of time their staffers spend curating social media and by the need to keep social media supplied with a constant stream of new, fresh, engaging content. A small but telling portion of the total response group (17%)said that they basically “don’t know what kind of content to create” for their social accounts.

Greatest Frustrations With Social Media

% of Respondents

Frustration

56%

Hard to calculate true ROI

55%

Hard to link social engagement to sales

39%

Curating social content is too time consuming

35%

Constant need for fresh content is overwhelming

25%

Difficult to manage multiple social platforms

22%

Corporate not persuaded social is necessary

21%

Not enough followers/ likes to justify the social effort

18%

Don't know what kind of content to offer in social media

15%

Unsure which channels our customers are in today

13%

Setting rules for brand social participation too difficult

10%

Exposes brand to too much criticism or negative comment

Source: ChiefMarketer, October 2012

The greatest number of respondents overall said they were concentrating their social marketing efforts in the three largest U.S. social networks, says the report. Among B2C-only respondents who are now doing social marketing, Facebook use shoots to 94%; Twitter hovers at 78%; but LinkedIn drops to 39% of the brands polled. But among pure-play B2B respondents, LinkedIn is the channel of first choice, outpacing both Facebook and Twitter.

Worth noting, says the report, is the fact that after the Big Social Three, the social media platform most often reached for are the video sharing and aggregation sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, with almost half of all marketers reporting posting clips to aid their marketing efforts.

This is also the first CM Social Marketing Survey to ask about Pinterest, which barely registered as a blip on marketers’ radar last year. Now, 30% of all marketers polled said their brands use the photo and video-sharing service, which reported 23 million U.S. users in August.

Concentrating Social Marketing Efforts (% of Respondents in Group)

Social Medium

B2C

B2B (excludes agencies)

Facebook

94%

77%

Twitter

76

77

LinkedIn

39

85

Video sites

45

43

Pinterest

39

20

Google +

32

26

Local social sharing mobile

15

6

Photo

13

8

MySpace

4

2

Source: ChiefMarketer, October 2012

 Considering the strategy behind their social media efforts, respondents most often pointed to a need to reach customers at multiple touchpoints to maximize the impact of their campaigns and messaging. The second most often-cited rationale is customer behavior. Respondents also said customers have come to expect that their brands will have a social presence, and more than half pointed to the benefits of the two-way marketing conversations that social media enable.

The chance to take a campaign or message viral in social media has dropped off somewhat. Marketers may be starting to appreciate the difficulty of taking an idea viral in an increasingly fragmented social or digital landscape. 

Reasons For Going Social (% of Respondents)

 

Reason

25%

Supplement paid media

25%

Corporate leadership expects

39%

Reach new audiences

41%

Cheap/ cost-efficient marketing

42%

Get customer feedback

51%

Viral spread

53%

2-way conversation

56%

Customers expect us in social

62%

Reach customers where they spend time

84%

Offer multiple touchpoints

Source: ChiefMarketer, October 2012

Driving traffic to a web site outpaces all other goals for 56% of respondents, followed by generating sales leads, and identifying brand fans. About a third of those polled said their brands were using social to promote new web content and to monitor social conversations. More than a quarter of marketers report they’re still in mass-building mode, with 28% this year saying one aim of their social efforts is to amass likes and follows.

For B2B marketers, social is useful primarily to drive web traffic. But it’s almost equally used as a channel for generating leads for future sales. In a likely nod to the rise of content marketing as a prospecting tool, 39% report using social channels to promote their brand’s content.

Objectives in Using Social Marketing

Objective

% of Respondents

Drive web traffic

56%

Generate leads for future sales

43%

Identify & speak to brand fans

37%

Promote Web content

32%

Monitor social conversations

32%

Amass likes/followers/fans

28%

Sell directly in social channels

25%

Keep pace with competitors

23%

Get customer feedback

23%

Drive opt-ins for othermessaging

20%

Source: ChiefMarketer, October 2012

 More than two thirds of marketers polled said they make sure to give web visitors that option to post content to their personal social accounts. That outweighs by a good amount the number who said they include links to their brand’s social accounts in all their messaging, online or offline, and those who enable easy social sharing of their email messaging, an updated version of forward-to-a-friend capability.

Almost as many respondents reported encouraging fans to engage with their brands in social via deployment of unique rewards. These can be special content or sneak peeks at new products. For 38% of social marketers, those rewards can include coupons, discounts or price-related offers targeted specifically to social fans, usually for a Facebook like or some other social action.  

General Social Tools & Tactics

Tool or Tactic  

% of Respondents

Facebook & Twitter icons in our messaging

52%

Social sharing buttons in our email messages

49%

Unique rewards for engagement on our social accounts

47%

Coupons/discounts/offers targeted to social fans

38%

Coupons/discounts/offers that can be shared to social graph

29%

Coupons/ discounts/ offers to local social networks (e.g.,Foursquare)

8%

Source: ChiefMarketer, October 2012

Asked to name the metrics that they most commonly rely on to gauge successful social campaigns, respondents who do social marketing continue to look at raw numbers first. 68% of respondents say they track the incremental growth in likes, follows or fans to measure a social marketing campaign. A much smaller percentage keep count of shares, forwards and retweets of their social content to determine how successfully they’ve engaged advocates in their social campaigns.

About a third of social marketers say they look at the lift social campaigns may produce in their brand’s awareness or favorability ratings to determine marketing benefits from social. And slightly more than a fourth of all respondents consider more direct indicators of customer engagement in evaluating campaigns.

Use of those metrics appears to hold steady for both B2C and B2B marketers. Where the two business types diverge is in their reliance on social media for leads and trackable sales, 34% of pure B2B marketers using the social channel say they judge the success of a campaign in part on the number of qualified leads it produces. By contrast, only 18% of B2C marketers say they look for qualified leads from their social efforts.

Metrics Used For Social Success

(% of Respondents)

Measurement Metric

68%

Total number of likes/followers/fans

39%

Shares, forwards, retweets

34%

Visits to social pages

34%

Brand awareness/ favorability metrics

31%

Qualified leads from social media

27%

Engagement (e.g. Facebook "wants", pinning photos)

24%

Incremental sales attributed to social

19%

Time spent with social media

12%

Unqualified leads from social media

11%

Engagement with branded content (e.g. Facebook app)

8%

CRM/ customer satisfaction metrics

Source: ChiefMarketer, October 2012

 Please visit here to sign in for access to the free complete PDF Report.

Recommend (3) Print RSS