While advertising dollars are pouring into social media, most marketers still aren’t quite sure what they’re getting for their investments. An estimated one-third (34%) of marketers say
they have seen a return on from their social media spending.
According to a new survey of around 2,300 marketers around the world by ExactTarget’s "2014 State of Marketing"
report, that proportion is on the low side, considering the high rate of adoption for social media disciplines in general.
78% of marketers surveyed said they are currently engaged in
social media marketing, 57% are using social media for advertising, and 60% are engaged in social media listening. That means roughly half of marketers who use social media (for any kind of
marketing-related purpose) see any direct benefit from it. Further, just 31% think social listening is fully effective, and 23% think social advertising is effective. But 66% said that social media
indirectly impacts their business performance.
On the positive side, another 52% of marketers surveyed said they expect social media to generate ROI in the future, yielding a grand
total of 86% who believe social media is currently or will eventually provide ROI -- beating out mobile at 80%.
Most marketers (57%) plan to increase their spending on social-media
marketing in 2014, and 55% plan to spend more on social-media advertising, according to ExactTarget. That’s close behind data and analytics (61%), marketing automation (60%) and email marketing
To that end, 57% of marketers surveyed say their companies have dedicated social-media teams, although some can be quite small: 45% of companies have a social media team of one
person (making the word “team” a bit of a misnomer), while 40% have a social team of just two to three people.
In terms of platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
dominate current efforts, with adoption rates of 89%, 87%, and 75%, respectively; YouTube isn’t far behind with 72%, while Google+ is used by 50% of marketers and Pinterest by 40%. Turning to
the future, 18% of marketers surveyed said they plan to introduce Google+ marketing campaigns in 2014, while 17% will begin using blogs, and 16% will adopt Pinterest.