One of the best parts of my job as a Social Media Consultant is staying on top of current trends in social media for marketing. I know not everyone likes it when platforms change, but when information comes out that gives the big picture of the industry as a whole, I love it.
So when Social Media Examiner recently released its 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, I couldn't wait to go through its contents and find the information to share that will give you the best and fastest return on investment.
Here are 5 of the top findings that I think you will find interesting – and that you can put into practice right now to strengthen your company's marketing.
Social Media For Marketing: 5 Tips from Social Media Examiner's 2013 Industry Report
#1 – Videos are growing in importance
According to the report, a surprising 69% of marketers are planning to bump up their You Tube marketing, making this the single biggest area of focus for marketers.
If you weren't planning on increasing your use of video – you might want to reconsider. If your competition is including video on You Tube as a marketing tool and you're not, it will make your business look dated by comparison.
#2 – Podcasts are only getting hotter!
It seems like 2013 might be called the year of the podcast! The contrast between the current state and the plans for the future is pretty striking. Only 5% of marketers report using podcasting now as a form of social media for marketing, but 24% of marketers report that they'll be increasing their use of podcasting this year. Not only that, but 32% of marketers say that they want to learn more about podcasting.
It's easy to think that if you don't like podcasts, that you can skip it. But the fact is – your audience likely includes a mix of people with lots of learning types, including auditory. Podcasts are a great way for already busy business owners to gain and digest new information on the go.
#3 – Blogging is a must-have skill
Blogging isn't going away, not by a long shot. But if you're not comfortable with blogging – you're not alone. A whopping 62% of marketers want to learn more about blogging this year, and a staggering 66% will be increasing the amount they blog as well.
Are you comfortable blogging? Is it a skill you need to learn more about, or is it one that would make more sense to outsource to an experienced content marketer?
#4 – Marketers know the importance of tactics and engagement
In terms of techniques to master, 88% of marketers say that they want to learn the most effective social media tactics and how to engage with their audience in the best ways.
While some of the specifics of social media platforms change faster than many people would like, this is one area that really hasn't changed at all. The best social media marketing is all about engaging with your audience with quality, relevant content.
#5 – Is your Facebook marketing effective? Most marketers aren't sure!
It sounds strange to me – but many marketers don't know if their Facebook marketing is effective. In fact, only about 37% think that using Facebook social media for marketing is effective. Yikes!
If you fall into that camp, you'll want to connect with a consultant who can help you evaluate what your results are, clarify your goals, and make sure your social media marketing activities are as profitable and effective as possible.
Question: Which finding didn't surprise you (because it's an area you struggle with)? Leave a comment – I'd love to hear from you!