Top Marketer Trends in Social Media

It shouldn't surprise anyone, but a new study surveying 900 marketers and sponsored by Social Media Success Summit 2009 shows that marketers are heavily invested in social media, to the tune of 88 percent using at least one social outlet. What is a little surprising is that 72 percent of respondents claim they have only been using these resources for a few months or less.

According to the study, the top social sites in use by marketers are Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, and Facebook, in that order. This suggests that long-standing rumors are true, that Twitter is flooded with marketers marketing to other marketers. While there are plenty of "normal" users out there, this is something to keep in mind when developing your Twitter strategy.

It's also interesting to note that the longer a business has used social marketing, the more time they spend promoting on these sites. Of those just getting started with social marketing, the median weekly time commitment is two hours per week. For those who have been active with social marketing for months, time spent grows to 10 hours per week. And for those reporting using the venue for years, time spent is 20 or more hours per week. This suggests these companies are seeing value, and possibly great return on their time investment. That said, the second most open-ended question asked by survey respondents was "How do I measure the effectiveness of social media?"

Some other notable findings from the study include:

  • The biggest group of those new to social media marketing are sole proprietors.

  • Those aged 60-69 are more likely to be just getting started, while those aged 30-39 are most likely to use the tactic.

  • Respondents cite "gaining attention for the business" as the number one benefit of social media marketing, followed by improving traffic and growing marketing lists.

  • More than half of respondents reported a rise in search engine rankings as a major benefit of social marketing. (See Twitter as Google SEO)

  • A significant majority of respondents believe that social media marketing reduces their their overall marketing costs.