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The State of Social Media Marketing in 2013

[fa icon="calendar"] 27-May-2013 10:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

Last week Social Media Examiner social media marketingpublished the results of their fifth annual social media marketing report. This year more than 3,000 marketers took part in the study and revealed some interesting facts about their activities and use of social media for marketing purposes as well as their efforts for the future and investment plans. The report basically covers the “who, what, where, when and why” of social media marketing. And there are some truly fascinating findings this year, which I am going to show you below.

Top social media questions marketers want answered:

  • 90% of marketers: What social tactics are most effective?
  • 88% of marketers: What are the best ways to engage my audience with social media?
  • 87% of marketers: How do I measure the return on my social media investment?
  • 84% of marketers: What are the best social management tools?
  • 83% of marketers: How do I create a social strategy?

Time commitment on social media:

  • 62% of marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more weekly.
  • 36% of marketers are using for 11 or more hours weekly.
  • 17% of marketers spend more than 20 hours on social media each week.

Benefits of social media marketing:

  • According to 89% of marketers increased exposure is the top benefit of social media.
  • 75% said increased traffic is the second major benefit of social media.
  • 69% are using social media to gain marketplace intelligence.
  • For 65% social media helps develop loyal fans (interesting note here: for more than 50% of marketers who have been using social media for at least 3 years social media has helped them improve sales).

Most-used social media platforms:

  • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging and YouTube are the top social platforms for marketers (in ranking order).
  • When asked to choose only one platform, for 49% of marketers Facebook is the most important channel, followed by LinkedIn (16%), blogging (14%) and then Twitter (12%).
  • In the B2C Facebook clearly dominates (67%). For B2B Facebook and LinkedIn are equally important (29%) at the top for the sector.

Social media sites on the rise:

  • 62% of marketers want to learn more about blogging, 32% about podcasting.
  • Google+ has dropped from 70% in 2012 to 61% this year.

Future plans:

  • 69% of marketers plan to increase their use of YouTube, making it the top investment area for 2013.
  • 66% plan on increasing Facebook and blogging activities in 2013; 65% LinkedIn, 64% Twitter.
  • 24% plan on increasing their podcasting activities, which represents almost a five-fold increase.


For some more details check out this review video or download the whole report here (free until May 30th).



What do these findings mean for your future activities?

Here are Social Media Examiner’s tips:

  • Prepare for online disruption (e.g. Facebook messaging will replace email).
  • Add value to make meaningful and authentic connections.
  • Hire passionate community managers to improve your Facebook activities.
  • Optimise social channels for lead generations.
  • Don’t ignore SlideShare – the “sleeping giant” among the social networks.
  • As a B2B brand you can no longer ignore Facebook.
  • Carefully craft your messages and word your content to spur conversations and so purchases.
  • Track the real business metrics (e.g. brand awareness, customer retention, lead generation) to deliver measurable results of your social media activities.
  • Always be honest and answer your customer’s questions to build trust.
  • Put your community’s need at the center – offer value by e.g. providing real-time customer support and tips.
  • Don’t forget the power of email for launching a new product.
  • Stop focusing so much on the tools and platforms, but on your goals.
  • Integrate blogging with content marketing.
  • Have an effective time-management strategy to keep up with all activity (e.g. have an editorial calendar for Facebook).
  • Stop exaggerating – a negative comment is not the end of the world!


Did any of these findings shock you? Is there a tip that you don’t really agree with?

Image courtesy of smarnad/

Topics: Social Media, Marketing

Iliyana Stareva

Written by Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is Chief of Staff to the EMEA President at ServiceNow. Before that, she held global and EMEA-wide positions at Cisco and HubSpot. She is also certified by the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP)®. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

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