According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 59% of American Internet users say they use at least one (1) social networking site (SNS). And apparently marketers are taking note as more and more companies, both here and abroad, are using social media to acquire new customers.
Everyone knows social media with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube leading the way, have become a part of our lives, for better or worse. I surely don't need to start throwing numbers around. You know the facts, you've seen the numbers, you've heard the buzz... social media is here to stay and marketers are taking notice... as you will see from the chart below
As per the article in eMarketer... A survey conducted by Regus, an office services firm, revealed that on average 47% of businesses worldwide successfully used social networks for customer acquisition in 2011, which was an average increase of 17.5% over 2010. In the US, the increase was even greater as businesses saw an increase of nearly 23% over 2010.
The other interesting finding that came out of the survey was the fact that in developed countries/markets such as the US, China, Japan and the UK, social networking sites had a significant impact on customer acquisitions as companies that used SNS saw an increase in revenue over the previous year when compared to those companies that did NOT utilize social media marketing.
Of course it all comes down to what a given company/advertiser wants out of social media marketing.
Do they just want a presence?
Do they also want to use it as a revenue-generating tool?
What are the goals of the company when it comes to social media marketing?
As I've said a thousand times, and will keep saying until I die, social media marketing when used in conjunction with other marketing/advertising mediums can be a very effective tool. However it cannot nor ever will be the panacea that cures all your marketing ails all by itself.