43% of marketers have no time for social media
20 Sep 2011: Almost half of marketing managers have identified time and resourcing as the biggest problems preventing them from fully engaging social media marketing, according to new research commissioned by Webtrends, the global leader in mobile and social analytics. Somewhat surprisingly for an industry that prides itself on demonstrable, measurable results, the research also found that despite 92% using social media for marketing in some way or other, only 14% have social media monitoring tools in place to measure their success and traction.
Other reasons for failing to grasp the social media marketing nettles included needing to focus on other marketing activity (25%) and cost constraints (22%). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the research also found that there are few businesses that already have social media policies in place, with only 10% of those questioned having a defined social media process. Additionally, only 34% have a social media plan for the next year.
Social media is not, however, being entirely ignored, according to the survey, with budgets being directed towards social media and a healthy jobs market. Some 34% of companies have recently recruited new staff, and 47% now having in-house staff to manage the networks. In addition, most marketing managers are spending between 5 and 10% of their marketing budgets on social media (with a quarter of respondents doing so).
The research findings also indicated that use of social media is evenly split between a customer-centric and company-centric focus. According to the report, the aim for 57% of companies is to engage with customers, while 52% wish to raise the profile of the company.
Conrad Bennett, Director Technical Service at Webtrends, said: “Channels like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have become primary points of contact for many consumers looking to engage with brands. Therefore, it is more important than ever for companies to have an active presence online. A brand’s reputation can be enhanced – or even built from scratch – via social networks, so marketing managers should be putting plans in place and where necessary hiring the relevant expertise to be the first line for direct contact with consumers.
“It was interesting to find out that just 14% of those surveyed have social media monitoring tools to see exactly what is being said about their brands online. Measurement is as important a part of the marketing strategy as the campaign itself. Why have an online presence in the first place if you are not going to monitor what people are saying online? Gathering concrete data on how consumers are interacting with brands online enables marketers to make solid business decisions based on an accurate knowledge of what people are engaging with.”
When it comes to mobile marketing, a substantial majority (83%) see a mobile strategy as important to their activities and marketing managers are putting more and more budget aside for mobile marketing campaigns, with 34% planning to spend more than 20% of next year’s marketing budget on mobile. This shift to mobile is also reflected by the fact that over half (55%) see mobile strategy as a standard part of planning any campaign.
Building a brand’s image is the main driver behind developing a mobile channel, according to 59% of respondents, with over half (55%) citing existing customer demand as a main driver. Furthermore, 55% of those surveyed believe a successful mobile campaign will help them attract new customers.
Mobile apps and mobile websites were found to play a large role in mobile campaigns, with only 16% identifying neither mobile apps nor mobile websites as appropriate for their business. In fact, the research found that 89% plan to invest in a mobile website, and 87% have plans to invest in apps.
Other key findings from the research:
- Facebook is the most common social network for marketing with 71% using the platform, while 42% use Twitter (ahead of YouTube and LinkedIn with 35% and 19% respectively).
- The reason behind the dominance of Facebook is that marketiers see more return-on-investment from their activities (75%) compared to other social networks.
- Success in social media is measured by an increase in customers, according to 51%, while 39% see success as an increase in company visibility, 35% as an increase in followers, 27% as an increase in sales and 22% as an increase in market share.
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