For the past six years, the entire social media industry has relied on Social Media Examiner’s annual industry reports to gain insight into the most (and least) popular tactics used by marketers. They gathered data from 2887 marketers about the various factors affecting their social media campaigns to wind up with 50 pages of undiluted social media statistics that will drastically improve the intelligence you base major decisions off of.
There is no question that the biggest changes yet have popped up in the brand new 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report and I’m certain that you’re going to be reconsidering at least a couple aspects of your social media strategy.
Social Media Statistics 2014: Major Findings
92% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business, up from 86% in 2013.
At least 89% of marketers want to know the most effective social tactics and the best ways to engage their audience with social media.
68% of marketers plan on increasing their use of blogging, making it the top area marketers will invest in for 2014.
When forced to only select one platform, 54% of marketers selected Facebook, followed by LinkedIn at 17%.
Only 34% of marketers believe their Facebook efforts are effective.
58% of marketers stated that original written content is the single most important form of content, followed by original visual assets (19%).
43% of marketers feel like their Facebook efforts are working, an increase from 37% in 2013.
52% of businesses with 1000+ employees agreed that Facebook marketing is effective, compared to only 34% of the self-employed.
Social Media Statistics 2014: Mobile Marketing
43% of marketers surveyed have a mobile-optimized blog, up from 28% in 2013.
B2B marketers were a little more likely to have their blogs mobile-optimized (50%), compared to B2C marketers (38%).
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
The top two benefits of social media marketing reported by marketers are increasing exposure and traffic.
92% of marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their business.
Most marketers are using social media to develop loyal fans (72%) and gain marketplace intelligence (71%).
More than half of marketers who’ve been using social media for at least 3 years report it has helped them improve sales.
Over 95% of marketers indicated their social media efforts increased exposure for their businesses with as little as 6 hours per week.
Over 93% of marketers that used social media marketing for one year or longer report it generates exposure for their business.
Over 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media by spending as little as 6 hours per week.
More than half of marketers with at least one year of social media experience were generating leads with social platforms.
Social Media Reduces Marketing Costs
Nearly half of those who spend at least 6 hours per week on social media efforts saw a benefit of reduced marketing expenses.
57% of businesses with 10 or fewer employees agreed social media reduced marketing expenses, while only 40% of businesses with 1000 or more employees agreed.
83% of marketers agreed that they had integrated their social media and traditional marketing activities, slightly up from 79% in 2013.
Improved search engine rankings were most prevalent among those who’ve been using social media for one year or longer, with over 58% reporting a rise.
Over 84% of participants found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media marketing.
How Much Time Are Marketers Spending?
For people just beginning with social media (less than 12 months of experience), 51% spend 5 or fewer hours per week.
65% of those with 2 or more years of experience spend 6 hours or more per week on social media activities.
Of those spending more than 40 hours per week doing social media marketing, 68% are under the age of 40.
Of those with at least 1 year of experience, 69% or more found social platforms provided marketplace insight.
At least 74% of those spending at least 6 hours per week were more likely to gain marketplace insight.
69% of those using social media for at least 1 year found it useful for building a loyal fan base.
Of those spending at least 6 hours a week, 78% found benefit compared to 56% of those spending 5 hours or fewer per week.
Social Media Statistics 2014: B2B vs. B2C
B2C marketers (77%) are much more likely to develop a loyal fan base through social media than B2B marketers (64%).
B2C are more focused on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. B2B are more focused on LinkedIn, Google+ and blogging.
B2B marketers are more likely (74%) to increase blogging activity compared to B2C marketers (63%).
B2C marketers are using Facebook ads more (94%) than B2B marketers (82%).
B2C marketers are more likely to use original videos (63% B2C vs. 56% B2B) and original visual assets (63% B2C vs. 56% B2B).
B2B marketers were more likely to use curated content (78% B2B vs. 69% B2C).
Which Social Media Platforms Do Marketers Value Most?
The most experienced marketers put the highest focus on content creation including YouTube (74%), blogging (71%) and podcasting (15%).
Marketers plan on increasing their use of blogging (68%), YouTube (67%) Twitter (67%), LinkedIn (64%) and Facebook (64%).
85% of marketers have no plans to utilize Snapchat.
68% of marketers have no plans to utilize geo-location.
7% of marketers plan on decreasing their use of Facebook. This is the first year that shows a decline.
While only 6% of marketers are currently involved with podcasting, a significant 21% plan on getting involved this year.
More than half of marketers chose Facebook (54%) as their most important platform, followed by LinkedIn (17%), Twitter (12%) and then blogging (8%).
B2C marketers are more interested in learning about Facebook than B2B (60% B2C vs. 50% B2B).
B2C marketers are more interested in learning about Pinterest than their B2B counterparts (51% B2C vs. 39% B2B).
B2C marketers are more interested in learning about Instagram (47% B2C vs. 35% B2B) than their B2B counterparts.
B2B marketers are far more interested in learning about LinkedIn than B2C (65% B2B vs. 52% B2C).
90% of marketers are using Facebook ads, followed by LinkedIn ads (20%) and Twitter ads (17%).
Content Marketing Statistics 2014
58% of marketers said original written content was their most important content, followed by original visual assets (19%) and then original videos (12%).
81% of marketers plan on increasing their use of original written content.
Nearly 3 in 4 marketers plan on increasing their use of original videos.
70% of marketers plan on increasing their use of visual images.
A third of marketers plan on increasing their use of original audio content.
Download The Entire 2014 Social Media Industry Report
You can download the entire 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner at their website for free until May 30. Which of these stats are the most useful or surprising to you? Let us know in the comments below!