Social Media Stats 2012 Update
Social media management firms are often accused of two primary faults; failure to track meaningful metrics or taking the exact opposite approach and measuring everything. Today we are going to try out a decidedly different approach; covering only what is most important to the majority of small business owners and social media marketing firms. Who is using what social media sites, what value is experienced and what is most often missed? These are just a few of the questions we will tackle while providing some insightful tips along the way.
As of the end of 2011, which social media sites are most IGNORED by small business owners?
1. YouTube – Despite numerous studies indicating that video is one of the most viewed, shared and highly rated social media format, over 60 percent of small business owners still don’t use it. Nada! Not a single, solitary video! On the other hand, big business entities have adopted video en mass along with social media marketing firms so there must be something to it. Remember, video doesn’t have to cost a lot to be effective. Consider adding a video component to your next social media marketing campaign to try it on for size.
2. LinkedIn – Popular among business crowds, LinkedIn is one of the most mature niche sites out there and a leader in B2B communications, recruitment, networking and business opportunities. Considered by some to be the serious big brother to social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn provides a much needed niche to business owners. Yet nearly half (47%) still don’t have a LinkedIn account.
3. Facebook – The leader in social media, Facebook started out as a social site targeted toward the younger generation. In recent years it has gained ground among business owners (both large and small) as a major marketing contender capable of reaching young and old alike. Despite the undisputed popularity of the world’s largest social media site, over 40 percent of business owners still don’t use Facebook to reach clients on a regular basis.
4. Twitter – Somewhat surprisingly, Twitter ranks as one of the most utilized social media sites among business owners with over 70% actually taking the time to send out a quick tweet now and then. However, despite rating highly with the small business crowd, many simply don’t make the most of all that Twitter has to offer.
Frequency of Updates
Great, so now we know what social media sites are most used (or abused) by small business owners so it’s time to turn our attention to the frequency of updates. How often is content posted? The bad news is that roughly half of all LinkedIn users post less than once a month or “very irregularly”. Frequency is somewhat better for Facebook and Twitter but with roughly 1/4 or more posting once per week or less, there is still obvious room for improvement. And video via YouTube? Forget it…remember, the majority never post a video and among those that do…it tends to be a very rare event.
Why Such Irregular Updates?
Obviously small business owners understand the value of social media marketing so why are they updating so infrequently? It all leads back to the same old problem; lack of perceived time! In fact, there is an inverse correlation between the size of the small business, available staff and number of posted updates. Among those that outsource to a social media marketing firm, the results are clear; diversity of different social media sites used to generate interest and communicate with clients, greater frequency of updates and more professional overall appearance.
- 6% – The number of small business owners that report having optimal skill and competency to handle social media marketing.
- 32% – The number of small business owners that self report being in the “average for our industry” range.
- 32% -The number of small business owners that report they are below average but improving.
- 19% – The number of small business owners that admit to being “fundamentally ill-equipped”.
- 12% – The number of small business owners that don’t have a clue what they are doing or where they rate!
Barriers To Success
It is often assumed that small business owners lack the budget to implement a successful social media marketing strategy but in fact, that is often the least important factor. Time, inability to measure proper metrics, lack of technical skill and know-how plus quality of agency partners all play important roles in the barrier to success. Among business owners that are investing in social media, nearly 40% intend to increase their budget for either mobile marketing and/or social media analytics during 2012. Roughly 23% plan to hire a social media management firm to help enhance their strategy. This is in keeping with those that report a strong belief that social media is a significant tool to help grow their business…as opposed to those that belief it is a significant risk to the company reputation. Obviously attitude is everything when it comes to investing in social media marketing but why do some small business owners see it as a risk while others view it as a tool for success? It’s a fair question and one which researchers are hard at work to measure. Early results seem to indicate there is confusion surrounding adequate security and privacy measures as well as proper response methods when confronted by consumers. Education, information and access to a single source contact are all instrumental parts of creating a comprehensive social media management team poised for long term success.