You’d be hard-pressed to find a person that doesn’t use some form of social media these days.
A business’s main operative is to get more customers, and the way to do that is through advertising, so of course, they would take advantage of this free platform. Social media has therefore become a serious marketing platform for most businesses that at once thought social media was just a place for people to interact and share life moments.
When surveyed, a whopping 96% out of more than 3700 businesses reported that they had had some presence on social media within the past five years. What does that look like for the future of social media?
Well, to answer that, we’ll first have to look at how these marketers are using them.
In the survey, they investigated how much the businesses were using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, review sites, or any forums. 64% of businesses stated that they spend at least six hours a week on a social media outlet. 19% of businesses even claimed over twenty hours a week! Six hours between more than 2,000 businesses and twenty hours between more than 700 businesses can add up to a heavy social media footprint.
But will this presence stick around?
Well, it was reported that 69% of these businesses claimed that social media was helping them gain loyal customers, 77% claimed it increased their traffic, and 90% claimed it increased exposure. So, you can count on this method sticking around and, even more, businesses pursuing it. As of right now, Facebook is by far the most used social media outlet, but that may change in the future.
66% of marketers claimed that they want to increase their presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. 52% of marketers claimed they want to increase their presence on both Google+ and Instagram. 50% of marketers claimed they wanted to increase their presence on Pinterest. Less than half claimed that they wanted to increase their forum, social review, social bookmarking, vine, geo-location, or Snapchat presence.
Facebook is holding strong as the most used social media outlet, but that doesn’t mean that these sites will not be receiving heavy use as well.
So, what are the companies putting on these social media outlets? Well, as of right now, 71% are using visuals, 70% are blogging, 57% are using videos, and 10% are making podcasts. However, despite its second-place rank, blogging was actually voted as the most important form of content by 45% of companies. Visuals, which came in as the most used form of content, were rated most important by just 34%.
Marketers want to increase all of these options across the board. When asked what form of content they would like to learn more about, 72% said videos, 69% said blogging, 68% said visuals and 43% said podcasting. You can count on all of these options increasing as well.
Businesses are even going as far as to pay for ads with companies such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and various other sites. Facebook is the most popular in this field as well, with 84% of companies using their ads. It was also reported that 53% of companies plan on increasing the amount that they use Facebook for ads.
However, just as with the social media presence itself, ads are projected to be used more across the board. Google ads by 38%, Twitter ads by 31%, LinkedIn by 29%, YouTube by 26%, and promoted blog posts by 24%.
Other ad options such as Pinterest, podcasts, Instagram, SlideShare, StumbleUpon, and Foursquare were reported to be increasing slightly as well.
So, when all is said and done, we should expect a heavier marketing lean on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, review sites, or any forums. You should expect more blogging, visuals, videos, and podcasts through the methods. You should expect more ads on sites such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Essentially, today’s social media sites are going to be playing a big role in marketing, and we should be ready for it. Facebook, especially, is and is going to remain, a big player. Most companies, 67%, did report, though, that they would not quickly adapt to a new social media outlet until it has been tried and proven to be effective.
About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.