Social media is one of the most popular marketing channels existing today. Yet, some business and organization leaders have questioned how effective it is in reaching their marketing objectives. Is it worth the financial and human resources investment?
The newly released 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner provides us with some insight on social media usage and behavior. The study surveyed more than 4,800 marketers with the goal of understanding how they’re using social media to grow and promote their businesses.
Increased exposure and traffic are the top social media marketing benefits for the past five years. Increased exposure grew to 93% from 87% in 2018 and increased traffic improved to 87% from 78% last year demonstrating that positive results are possible even in a crowded social media landscape.
The next two important increases:
- Generated leads increased to 74% from 64%.
- Improved sales rose to 72% from 53%.
Even though Facebook and Instagram are the top two platforms used by marketers, it’s worth noting that Instagram grew from 66% to 73% and Twitter fell from 62% to 59%.
Facebook is number one for both B2C and B2B marketers, however, when separating B2C and B2B responses, the number two spot for B2C is Instagram at 78% while B2B's second spot is LinkedIn at 80%.
Overall, YouTube is still the number one video channel marketers prefer, with Facebook's native videos coming in second. When the study separated B2C and B2B responses, B2C marketers use more Instagram stories and Facebook native video while B2B marketers use more LinkedIn native video.
Of the platforms marketers regularly use for social media ads, Facebook is way ahead of the other contenders. However, when separating B2C and B2B, the study shows that B2C marketers are more likely to use Facebook and Instagram ads while B2B marketers are using more LinkedIn ads.
As with many studies of this nature, I always question the ROI (return on investment) for marketing activities. Is social media marketing worth the financial and human resources investment?
Even though we see some ROI results in the first chart, “Benefits of social media marketing,” this next chart demonstrates how marketers need to up their measurement activities.
In response to the study's question, “I am able to measure the return on investment (ROI) for my organic social media activities,” only 44% agreed they were able to measure their organic social activities. This is a challenge that has plagued marketers for years.
Social media marketing is a necessity in most marketing mixes today. Yet, the return on investment still eludes many of us.