Last year we looked at a study about the state of social media marketing, looking at common questions businesses had about it. A lot has happened in the social media world in a year's time, and many businesses have gotten into the swing of things since then. However, Michael Stelzner, author of the study and founder of SocialMediaExaminer.com shared findings with us from this year's version of the study, and businesses still have plenty of questions.
"A year ago, businesses were uncertain about social media," says Stelzner. "Now it's here to stay and companies are rapidly adopting social media marketing. According to his findings, the majority of marketers surveyed (about 1,900) have either just begun using social media or have only been using it for a few months:
"Measuring the return on investment for social media is the hottest question on marketers minds right now," Stelzner tells WebProNews. "Most marketers are seeing great value with their social media campaigns, but they just cannot figure out how to measure their results." Here are the top ten questions businesses have about social media marketing, based on the analysis of 1,356 open-ended responses:
Top Ten Questions
1. How do I measure social media return on investment?
2. What are the social media marketing best practices?
3. How do I best manage my time with social media?
4. How do I reach my target markets with social media?
5. How do I generate traffic and leads using social media?
6. How do I implement social media tactics?
7. What are the latest social media trends?
8. How do I get started?
9. How do I integrate my social media activities?
10. How do I evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each platform?
One thing worth noting is that last year, the top question was related to tactics, but now it's ROI. Perhaps businesses have learned some effective tactics in a year's time, and have realized that these vary depending on needs and goals. Another significant change is that a year ago, one of the top questions was "Does social media marketing work?" and this isn't even on the list anymore. It's become abundantly clear over the past year that if you figure out how to do it right, it works. Brands have confirmed this time and time again.
Stelzner notes that his survey indicates marketing interest has fallen off significantly, with 81% either indicating they will not use MySpace or will decrease their use of it. "Another hot finding is that 81% of marketers will actually be increasing their use of blogs," he adds. "That came as a surprise to us."
It is indeed a bit surprising that so many would indicate an increase in blog use, but that is simply because their is this false notion out there that social networks are replacing blogs, and as we've discussed on numerous occasions, it's just not the case.
Stelzner's extensive report can be viewed here. It's full of interesting stats and graphical information.