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Where Are Businesses Going With Social Media Marketing?

[fa icon="calendar"] 27-Jun-2017 09:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

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92% of marketers say that social media marketing is important to their business.

Can't say that I'm surprised. We practically live on social now. And Facebook. I feel like Facebook rules the world. 

Social media marketers, on the other hand, spend 6 to 11 hours weekly trying to catch consumers on social. 20% of them spend even more than 20 hours a week with social media marketing activities, particularly focusing on increasing exposure (88%) generating traffic (78%), develop loyal fans (69%) and gain market intelligence (66%). 

This all comes from the 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner

Let's take a loot at the major findings.

5 Social Media Marketing Highlights

You can't get away from visuals 

85% of marketers use visuals in their marketing and 73% plan on increasing their use of visuals.

For the first time, visual images surpassed blogging as the most used content format. 

Your next play should be live video 

61% of marketers plan on using live video services such as Facebook Live and 69% want to learn more about live video.

YouTube doesn't seem that promiment even though 65% of marketers want to learn more about it and 70% of them planning to focus more on video next ahead of visuals and blogging. 

Your next network of focus should be Instagram 

54% of marketers are using Instagram, 63% plan on increasing their Instagram activities and 71%  want to learn more about Instagram.

You shouldn't underestimate Facebook (but do it right)

When asked to select their most important platform, 62% of marketers chose Facebook, followed by LinkedIn at 16%. For the first time since this research started, Facebook has surpassed in importance in B2B over LinkedIn. That tells your something.

However, 40% of marketers don't know if their Facebook marketing is working and 53% have seen declines in their Facebook News Feed exposure. 42% are not sure if their Facebook marketing efforts are working. 

You need Facebook ads to compete

93% of social marketers regularly use Facebook ads and 64% plan on increasing their Facebook ads activities.

Instagram is at 24%, followed by LinkedIn at 16%. So quite the difference. 

Most Used Social Networks 

When comparing the data in the report from last year, here's how networks are performing. 

  1. Facebook rose from 93% to 94% in 2017.
  2. Twitter declined from 76% to 68% in 2017.
  3. LinkedIn dropped from 67% to 56% in 2017
  4. Instagram jumped from 44% to 54% in 2017
  5. YouTube declined from 53% to 45% in 2017
  6. Pinterest dropped from 40% to 30% in 2017
  7. Snapchat rose from 5% to 7% in 2017

But there are differences between B2B and B2C. Facebook and Twitter are still at the top, but LinkedIn comes next with B2B, followed by YouTube, then Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat.

5 Areas of Social Media Marketing Improvement

The top areas that marketers want to improve are:

  1. What tactics should I be using given how social changes all the time, so what works? (93%)
  2. How should I connect with people and engage my audience well? (91%)
  3. How do I measure the ROI of my social media marketing? (89%)
  4. How should I use paid ads best for exposure and acquisition and which platforms? (88%)
  5. How do I find my ideal prospects and customers on social networks? (87%)

The last one I always find interesting given that 73% of marketers admit to regularly analysing their social media marketing activities. 

However, 48% of marketers say that social hasn't helped them generate any new sales, even though social has helped 69% generate new leads.

What's Next?  

  • Facebook messenger and similar apps: 74% of marketers want to learn more. 
  • Virtual reality and 360 video: 71% of marketers want to learn more. 
  • Artificial intelligence and bots: 59% of marketers want to learn more. 

So we'll be ruled by even more technology that automates communication and experiences. Exciting times. 


There's more in the research if you want to dig into the details (for example, posting frequencies, networks usage comparisons, hours spent on social by org size, content formats and more). I always find it a fascinating study. 


What works for you in social media marketing? 


Topics: Social Media

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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