Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were the most popular social channels in 2013
In 2014, these are the percentages of marketers who plan to introduce social channels in their marketing strategy: • Google+ (18%) • SlideShare (17%) • Blog (17%) • Podcasts (17%) • Pinterest (16%).
With Google offering extra search juice to content authors for posts shared on Google+, content marketing is propelling Google+ back into the spotlight. If content marketing has a place in your 2014 plans, you may want to consider growing your Google+ presence alongside your breadth of content.
Brand advocates are looking to your social presence for a consistent stream of information that offers truly valuable content. These advocates don’t need to be advertised to, but they can help promote you if you answer their questions and contribute meaningfully to social conversations.
Social media alone may not fill your sales funnel, but a social strategy is necessary for a well-rounded brand voice that meets customers wherever they spend time online. You can favor Pinterest, Slideshare, YouTube, or any combination of the social channels mentioned in the following chart, as long as your brand fans favor it too.
Breaking Social Ground
Forty-six percent of marketers agree that social marketing is core to their business. They chose the following explanations for why social is so important: • Social indirectly impacts your business performance (66%) • Social is a critical enabler of products/services your business provides (25%) • Your business’ primary revenue source is directly linked to social marketing (9%).
Interestingly, dedicated social teams are almost as common as dedicated email teams (57% of respondents have a social team; 59% have an email team). And those social teams are roughly the size of most email teams—typically 3 people or less. Since email is a longtime marketing staple, it’s worth noting that marketers are dedicating similar resources to newer social marketing efforts.
While marketers devote substantial time and resources to social, they don’t agree on its effectiveness: 34% of marketers say they’re currently seeing ROI from social media marketing, while 52% believe these efforts will eventually produce ROI. Just 31% think that their social listening is fully effective, and 23% find their social advertising effective.
To produce more ROI from social, marketers need a strong strategy in place to drive measurable results. Starting with one or two social channels and firming up a strategy on a small scale can help maximize social resources, and also lead the way toward joining those 34% of marketers who currently see ROI from social marketing.