What Does It Take to Get the Benefits of Social Media?

Marketing professionals are taking advantage of the social media more now than ever before.  A study conducted by the Social Media Examiner revealed that the majority of marketers, 59%, are engaging in social media for at least 6 hours a week. Another 33% of marketers are spending at least 11 hours a week engaging in social media while about 15% dedicate at least 20 hours per week. These numbers demonstrate the importance and emphasis that is increasingly being placed on leveraging social media networks.

In addition to reporting on the number of hours marketers spent using social media, the study looked at how marketers thought they benefited. Of the 3800 social media marketers surveyed, 69% percent reported increased traffic to their web sites, 58% directly benefited from lead generation, and 40% experienced increased sales.  As a result, most marketing professionals thought they benefited in one or more ways by using social media.

While the numbers speak loudly about of the advantages of delving into social media, the study also provided valuable insights about what works and what doesn’t work when it came to measuring the results of using social media. This proved especially important for the 31% of marketers who did not report increased traffic as result of their social media campaigns. In other words, what steps were they overlooking?

First they learned that it is important to understand that social media must be a long-term strategy. It takes time to generate positive outcomes. The marketers who were consistent with social media strategies over many weeks or months reported the best results.

Secondly, it became apparent that experience is the next most important factor when it comes to social media marketing success. The study reported a significant relationship between the number of years spent on social media campaigns and sales growth. Marketers with three or more years of experience reported the highest overall rate of success.

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