Every year Social Media Examiner prepare and release The Social Media Marketing Report. It is based on a survey of 5,700 Marketers and is one of the longest-running studies in the industry. The report covers all of the major social media platforms, organic and paid, content marketing, and much more.
Why should you be interested The Social Media Marketing Report?
Because you are a marketer, you are in the marketing business.
You can paint, or craft a beautiful kitchen, or fit the best bathroom in a 100 mile radius. OK, but if nobody knows or believes this, it doesn’t matter squat what you can do, or how well. Because in 2018 it’s all about marketing. The next guy might not be half as good as you are but if he has a clean, conversion ready website and 2-3 highly active social media accounts, he wins, every time.
Learn to think like a salesman, sell yourself.
And how better to learn to think like a marketer than their own Industry report. A report that surveys marketers about what they think about the state of their industry. That’s what the Social Media Marketing Industry Report is, a glimpse behind the curtain. A look at how the marketing industry thinks about Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the rest.
What follows is a round-up of the aspects of the report I think matter to you, and how it should influence your marketing decisions in the coming year. The marketers surveyed for the report are paid to market full-time, they are the experts in their industry, use their knowledge.
2018 Social Media Marketing Report, and what it means to you.
Questions About Social Media
First of all, professionals in the marketing industry have questions to, just like you do. Questions about how best to use social media, and what the future holds for the platforms they use. You must have asked these questions yourself.
Every question on this list will be answered in posts on this website in the coming weeks and months. They are questions marketing professionals are asking, we should be asking them as well.
Social Media Effectiveness
Marketers seem to be agreed that social media is good for business;
87% – Increased Exposure
78% Increased Website Traffic
64% Generate Leads
Return on Investment (ROI)
This is a tricky subject. It’s far easier in the world of marketing agencies to quantify ROI, it’s a little more difficult for you as a small business owner. If you are running your own website and social media profiles then the best way to calculate ROI is to say that investment=your time. Even marketing professionals find it difficult…
Marketers were asked to rate their agreement with the following statement;
Statement: “I am able to measure the return on investment (ROI) for my social media activities.”
The amount of return from social media is very hard to put an exact figure on. Remember also that it is heavily weighted in favour of investment at the start. When you launch your social media campaigns on Facebook, or Twitter you will not see any activity at all, at least for the first few months. Social Media is the long game, and putting a time=money stamp on your efforts in the early days will only make you quit. Obviously, that would be a mistake.
The daddy of them all. 2.2 Billion users, 1.4 Billion per day. FACEBOOK. But all is not rosy in the Facebook garden, and it’s not just the data controversy. Marketers are less enthusiastic about it than they were in 2017;
Statement: “My Facebook marketing is effective.”
Although 39% of marketers believe their Facebook efforts to be effective, more than half are at least on the fence.
Statement: “My Facebook organic post reach has declined in the last year.”
In recent years and especially since 2017 Facebook has been reducing the number of people who see posts from Business Pages, in favour of showing them posts from their friends and family. Facebook say that is to provide a better experience for their users. In fact, it is to encourage/nudge/strong-arm businesses into buying advertising.
This is what is meant by a decrease in organic reach – it is the number of people who see your posts without you paying for it.
The Social Media Marketing Report:
A significant 52% of marketers surveyed said they saw their Facebook reach decline. Plus, 23% of marketers surveyed were unsure. When combined, 75% of marketers either don’t know or have seen a decline in Facebook organic reach over the last year.
Using Facebook to promote a small business has got harder, but it is still at the forefront of online marketing. Facebook can still be a powerful tool, you just need to learn how to use it.
What Social Media Platforms are Marketers Using?
These figures fluctuate over time, but most people could predict the popular platforms. My advice for start-up and small businesses would be to pick 2 platforms.
It is better to have a small number of active social media platforms than 10 empty ones.
Facebook and Twitter are the obvious choices for you. If you are in a visual trade (painting & decorating, kitchens etc.) Pinterest can be a good option. LinkedIn is a professional platform, something to think about when you are an established business. The age demographic for Instagram may be too young for you to target and YouTube requires a certain amount of technical know-how and learning time.
97% of B2C 9 (Business to Customer) Marketing Professionals are Focused on Facebook in 2018
Facebook is the most Important Social Media Platform in 2018 to All Marketers
The bar and Pie charts above are important to you because they illustrate how important Facebook is in your sector, Businesses that provide products and services to customers.
More Facebook Statistics from The Social Media Marketing Report…
50% of marketers have increased their organic activities on Facebook over the last 12 months.
62% of marketers plan on increasing their Facebook organic activities over the next year.
(Organic Activities refers to anything they do on Facebook that they don’t pay for)
The Pinterest Opportunity
81% of Pinterest users are Female
Median age of a Pinterest user is 40
Half of Pinterest users earn 50K or greater per year
10% of Pinterest households greater than 125K.
There is something to be said for choosing a social media platform that others in your industry have neglected. Especially if the majority of its users are in your target market.
Paid Social Media
The days of high engagement and ROI from organic social media campaigns may be behind us. The social media platforms need to generate revenue and they get that from business advertising.
Well designed campaigns can pay for themselves many times over. Clicks on posts can cost as little as 5 cents, generating 100’s of potential leads for just €20. The paid platform I recommend for small tradespeople is Facebook, it is head and shoulders above the rest for users numbers and ease of you for you. Targeting the type of person (age, gender, income, interests) and location (down to individual postal districts) has never been easier. The marketing industry agrees;
Marketers were asked to identify which forms of paid social media they regularly use.
Content is King
It was always true. The graph below shows that the marketing industry still relies heavily on the 2 content types key to Trade Marketing, Images and Blogging.
Marketers were asked by The Social Media Marketing Report to select the single most important form of content for their business, one choice only;
We all have smartphones now, and the cameras are more than adequate to document your work. Use these images on your website and social media to show off what you can do. Blogging is the detail, every job should have its own post on your website, or at least aim towards that.
A big thank you to Social Media Examiner and Michael A. Stelzner for producing The Social Media Marketing Report, it’s an invaluable hub of knowledge about the industry.