The social media jungle is a fluid thing. While your social media marketing will always remain a crucial part of your business survival, it is equally important to stay abreast of the current mindset. In some recently released research, SproutSocial went out and took the pulse of both the consumer and of marketing professionals in an attempt to gauge where things are and how marketers can adapt. The following is taken directly from their published findings:
- SproutSocial asked more than 2,000 social marketers how they approach structure, goals, and content. We asked about their priorities and what they need to do their best work. Then we cross-referenced their efforts against what consumers actually want.
- Consumers want brand awareness and consideration stage content from brands on social. But 80% of social marketers are hyper-focused on awareness activities, leaving out the consideration piece of the puzzle.
- The social marketer’s #1 challenge is still ROI. Return on investment is the top concern for 55% of social marketers. This makes sense for two reasons: they aren’t meeting the full needs of their social audience with both brand awareness and consideration content; and they’re defining ROI wrong to begin with.
- Where there is alignment: customer service. On the front lines with customers and prospects everyday, an overwhelming majority (88%) of social marketers understand the importance of customer service on social; nearly half (45%) of consumer respondents have reached out to a company on social.
- Employee advocacy is the new influencer marketing. Social marketers see the value in employee advocacy as a cost-effective, scalable alternative to influencer marketing. Seventy-one percent of social marketers use employees as influencers or advocates today, or want to in the future, while only 19% of marketers surveyed had the budget for an influencer program. This shift reflects consumer tastes: 61% of consumers said they would be more likely to research a product or service recommended on social by a friend vs. 36% for influencers/celebrities.
- Social marketing departments are under-resourced. More than half of social marketers don’t have access to all the software they need, and 65% of social marketers indicate needing a dedicated resource for content development.
- Facebook remains a dominant force in marketing strategies and consumer behavior. A whopping 97% of social marketers list Facebook as their most used and useful social network, and Instagram blows Snapchat out of the water by social marketer usership and consumer adoption. In fact, 83% of marketers use Instagram and 13% use Snapchat; 51% of consumers use Instagram and 30% use Snapchat.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer