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The State of Social Marketing 2014

Discover The State of Social Marketing 2014, as told by your fellow marketers. Where does your social media marketing strategy stand?

Socialbakers conducted a social media pulse check across 82 countries and 20 industries to discover what marketers are focusing on, and more importantly, what they’re not. Did you know that 86% consider competitive social analysis important, but only 1/3 use paid tools to conduct said analysis! Imagine a lawyer who says a strong defense is important and then turns to Wikipedia to build a case. No thanks, I’ll Google the Constitution myself. Here's what over 500 of your peers had to say about the state of social media marketing.

Data Point Two This means nearly 70% of marketers aren’t willing to put their money where their mouth is! Marketers who fly blind without the support of benchmarking data are at a huge disadvantage. Knowing what your competitors are doing on social and how your brand compares is critical for setting and reaching relevant KPIs. Free analytics tools have a place in marketing, but not for those who want a true competitive advantage.

Data Point One 62% say customer acquisitions via social marketing is a “very important” goal for 2014, but only 29% say the same about social customer care. As brands mature on social media, so do their goals. Remember the days when “likes” seemed to be the only thing that mattered? While social ROI is a smart goal, brands must not neglect the importance of social customer support. As our Socially Devoted initiative highlights – if you don't support customers on social, they'll be less likely to support you with their voices or wallets.

Data Point Three It's no surprise that 80% of marketers, regardless of company size, say Facebook is a high priority. What's surprising is that only 14% will give Google+ a high priority in 2014 and 23% will not consider the platform at all! This data supports the trend to continue treating Google+ as an SEO tool, not a popping social network.

Data Point Four For those of us with start-up experience we know how many hats a CEO can wear, including the social media one. Support for social marketing is diversified with company growth to include other supporters such as Head of Digital, roles most likely created from said growth. While the benefits of a data-driven social media strategy seem obvious to most marketers, even some big companies struggle to create a company culture that supports social.

Data Point Five With so many advancements in publishing tools it's surprising that 41% exclusively publish and manage content directly to native platforms. This means zero support for reporting team performance, organized collaboration, easy scheduling, and managed post approval. This tactic waves a huge red flag for large teams looking to streamline social efforts and avoid confusing communication. We of course recommend using publishing tools.

Who Did We Ask?

When we say global, we mean global. 82 countries are represented in this survey reflecting a variety of industries including Education (13%), E-commerce (9%), Software (9%), Travel (9%), Nonprofit (9%), and Retail (7%). Company size doesn’t matter when it comes to social media presence so we asked the Davids (less than 50 employees) and the Goliaths (over 5,000 employees). We owe a great debt to the 500+ marketing professionals who contributed to this report. As a thank you, they received the complete survey results in advance of this release. So, don't miss out next time and take part in our upcoming surveys.

Stay tuned for more data driven insights into The State of Social Marketing 2014. Our next stop – social advertising trends!

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  • Eric Burgess

    Why is the forth section called "Nobody Cares About Google+" when clearly in the graph, marketers actually care LEAST about tumblr! Myself included.

  • Carly Guglielmelli

    Interesting conversation here! Thanks for giving input.

    @Scott Ayres - I agree. Marketers producing content (everyone, right?) should not overlook the fact that Google takes social signals from G+, not from Facebook. The SEO implications are huge, but the authentic feeling of a social network is not.

    @Jack Humphrey - Great insight re: "the only social site to establish, track, and reward authorship with search rankings." Based on the fact that Google sets the rules for Google, means any company with SEO goals (again ... everyone, right?) should not overlook G+. However, the stats don't show that only 14% of surveyed marketers are on G+, but rather, that only 14% consider the network as a high priority for 2014. It's the 22.8% who will give G+ no priority that are interesting. Perhaps they don't produce content? Perhaps they have little support for social initiatives? One thing I can confirm, however, is that this data was collected from marketing experts working for hugely successful multi-national corporations and start-ups alike. It's the State of Social Marketing whether you think it's on a good path or not.

    @José Pinto - Considering that video content (YouTube) is more time consuming to produce than images (Instagram) it's interesting to hear of so many companies who will prioritize YouTube in 2014. Hopefully, this equates to better and more interactive brand experiences for all!

    Be sure to check back next week for a follow up series focused on social advertising.

  • José Pinto

    Facebook has the advantage of being the big one and the former one.
    But, as part of the same home, seeing Youtube's rank gives a better forecast than it appears for Google+. What do you think ?

  • Jack Humphrey

    What's amazing to me is how you were able to find close to 500 of the most clueless marketers on the Planet. 14% on G+, huh? If only we could find out who owns Google+. If only Google+ were connected to the World's search engine. And the World's video site. And if only G+ could be the only social site to establish, track, and reward authorship with search rankings. Gee, wouldn't THAT make it the most important network to focus on by 100% of the study sample? If only any of the above were true...

    On the other hand, you have Facebook. Cesspool of the lowest common denominator. A place to connect with your past. A place where ad blindness is epic, privacy is a joke, and where marketers have to pay to connect with the people (who asked to follow them) to have any chance of reaching them. Oh, and the World's search engine? Not taking any signals from Facebook pages anymore. Only from Google+.

    You didn't survey true marketing experts. You surveyed people stuck in the year 2010.

  • Scott Ayres

    Interesting data. I think those producing content (ie blogs) should put more focus into Google+ than those that don't produce content. Mainly for SEO reasons. As much as I love G+ it's not really social in the way Facebook is. Sure people connect and etc, but not on the personal level they do on Fb.

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