Social media has grown exponentially over the last decade, with new networks, components, features, and technologies. There weren’t any standard for experience or expertise in social media marketing when it first emerged as a category. The scenario is completely different now, More than 2.2 billion people use social media, making it the marketing channel for businesses with the most potential. Unfortunately, much of that potential is untapped. In recent times the use of the social media has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels, with half of the entire world’s population frequenting this platform on a regular basis, their use of it which pertains to various commercial and educational purposes is increasing by the day.
According to an April 2016 eMarketer report, social network ad revenue is expected to hit $32.91 billion in 2016, growing 30.9% over 2015.
With these discovery major fortune 100 companies have taken advantage of these platform in a great way by making their presence known on various social media sites.
The internet as a whole has a whooping sum of 3.17 billion users and an active 2.3 billion active social media users. Users of social media sites have increased by 173 million in the previous year(2015) and up to 1 million new users are added every day.
Many businesses now see social media as part of their marketing channel, as this platform offers the best way to connect with the vast number of customers who always surf this networks every now and then, organizations are now making social media to be an integral part of the company’s affairs, even Chief marketing officers now see this platform as an unquantifiable asset the organization has. In these organizations the marketing department tends to be in charge of the social activities as they are actually the ones that communicate with the customers in relation to the brand’s products, social media is gaining wider acceptance into other departments, but nevertheless it is now basically known as a marketing function.
According to a recent survey and interview of 350 social media professionals organized by SimplyMeasured.com:
- 63.2% of social media team live within the marketing organisation.(an increase from 57% in 2015)
- A slight growth was witnessed by companies that included social media as part of their communication team, with an increase from 13% in 2015 to 16.5% in 2016
- Only 4.5% of companies transfer social media to public relation team(a decrease from 9% in 2015)
From the above stats it is clear that:
The major question that abounds in social media today is not whether you are involved in it, but whether you are doing it enough. Getting lots of social media attention is great, but are these activities boosting revenue, attracting talent and linking collaboration gaps in your organization? Is your use of social media allowing your company engage with the right prospects, boost their online experience and tap into their most recent insight and ideas.
Social marketing teams primarily converse with the online community, this means that individuals that comprise the marketing dept has to be of utmost importance to the target audience, that is employees that are able to share knowledge and expertise reasonably. It is the duty of the CMO to ensure that these category of employees are in place to carry out their specific tasks.
Which department is in control of social media?
Some experts suggests that the social media should be controlled by the public relations, while others feel it is actually the duty of the marketing department, but majority of companies has fused it to the marketing department, as being a social business the marketing department can be integral to any social media presence, even to the point of being the only driver depending on how your internal business is structured.
According to the survey social media dominates:
- Marketing: 63%
- Communication: 16%
- Public Relations: 5%
- Customer Support: 1%
- Others: 15%
Let’s dive into social media giants user statistics before we go further:
has a total of 1.65 billion users and also adds 500,000 new users everyday. Face book also records 62% of social logins made by consumers to sign into websites of various brands. Also up to 798 million users access FB via mobile and users spend a total of 21 minutes a day on this platform.
|YouTube||has over 1 billion users, there is also a total of 3.25 billion hours of videos watched each month. Also YouTube records a total of 1 billion mobile video views per day. The total number of video views recorded everyday exceeds 4,950,000,000. Also has localized version for 70 countries. It is also the 3rd most trafficked website behind google and Facebook.|
|has up to 400 million users, also 500 million people visit twitter each month without logging in and twitter has a total of 1.3 billion accounts with only 320 million active accounts, coupled with up to 500 million tweets sent per day. 68.5% of companies in the US use twitter for marketing|
|has 400 million users and more than 40 billion photos have been shared so far. Instagram records a total of 3.5 billion likes per day.|
|Google+||has up to 440 million active users, with a total of 2.2 billion profiles and it has been recorded that each user spends 12 minutes a day on the site.|
|has up to 414 million registered users and a total of 100 million active users. It has been recorded that on a monthly basis a user spends 17 minutes on his/her time while exploring the site.|
|has a record of 110 million users, it also records a total visit of 76.2 million people from the US. Also the average number of minutes each user spend on Pinterest monthly is 98 minutes. It acknowledges that 70% of its users engage with content on the platform by majorly clicking or saving something. According to Ben Silbermann, Pinterest Chief executive and co-founder “people are planning out really core and important parts of their lives on Pinterest”.|
|Tumblr||has a total of 230 million active users, also Tumblr recieves a sum of 1,20,0000 sign ups and more than 105.2 billion current posts and it is also available in 13 different languages.|
With all this statistics, its inevitable that most top organizations have made social media marketing to be an integral part of their business activities even to the point of completely transforming to a social business and also tend to creating specific departments in their companies that mainly focus on communicating with customers via social media networks.
For organizations to harness the immense benefits from this platform, they have to build a team that is strong and dedicated enough to capture consumers interests. Building a good team leads to overall success in social media marketing.
Another important thing to look out in a social business is the social media team, having a well organized and dedicated team is one of greatest asset an organization can have. Listed below are some job roles of the social media team and those that are of utmost importance to the organization:
Social strategist: this person is responsible for the overall vision and accountability towards achieving business goals.
Community managers: he serves as a link between the community and the brand
Business unit liaison: major duty involves reaching out ti business units and creating collaborations.
Social media manager: he overlooks various projects that may include launching programs, managing campaigns, keeping team on timeline, formulates program plans.
Social analyst: makes use of social Analytics, web analytics, brand monitoring, also responsible for measurement and reporting.
Web developer: provides dedicated assistance to help plan and integrate social technologies
Content strategist: formulates contents that will best portray the efficacy of the brand.
Digital strategist: primarily integrates social into all digital channels.
As a result, social media teams, professional tenures, and levels of expertise have grown. Social media has developed into a marketing function, and with that comes more clarity and greater budgets. According to indeed.com, over 78,000 currently-posted jobs mention “social media” in the description. At this same time in 2015, that figure was only 54,000.
According to the survey:
- 26.3% respondents have the title of social media manager
- 13.7% are marketing managers
- 7.9% are directors of marketing, this shows an increase in interest in social at top level.
Among all these job roles social media manager is the most important of them all. Basically all responsibilities that has to do with social media falls to this individual, primarily responsible for creating content and marketing strategies for the organization’s social media channels, and also oversees all means of communication within the company and issues control over them.
Here are 5 proven benefits of social media marketing for business organizations:
Improved Sales: companies who engage social media as one of their platforms for marketing are sure to witness more sales because their products and services are exposed to a vast number of consumers at every given period in time.
According to social media examiner “more than half of marketers who have been utilizing social media for at least two years report it helped them improve sales”
Boost Business Exposure: business exposure is sure to be boosted by the consistent use of social media as a means of marketing products and services because your brand is now seen by hordes of individuals that flock social media sites.
According to social media examiner “with as little as 6 hours per week the vast majority of marketers indicated that social media efforts increased exposure for their business”
Leads Generation: According to social media examiner “By spending as little as 6 hours each week 66% of marketers see lead generation with the help of social media“.
Affordable Marketing Expenses: using social media for promoting brand awareness happens to be the most affordable means known, due to the fact that everything has already being set, all you have to do is to promote your brands on this networks and reap the countless benefits. According to social media examiner “more than half of those who spent at least 11 hours per week on social media efforts witnessed a benefit of reduced marketing expenses”.
Develop Business Partnerships: there is no doubt about the fact that the exposure that social media offers your business will lead to development of business partnerships in many ways than one. According to social media examiner “the more marketers invest in social media, the more they gain business partnerships…more than half of marketers who have invested at least 2 years in social media marketing reports that new partnerships were formed”.
Social media marketing offers countless benefits other than the above mentioned points but let us go further into another important aspect of social media marketing which dwells on challenges marketers face in their social media marketing journey.
Challenges faced by social media marketers
- Getting attention in the midst of many: with tons of contents pushed out daily it is very easy to get lost in the crowd, so you have to make sure that you are focusing on the right people.
- Coming up with unique content at all times: this is one challenge that marketers face and it is one that never ceases because unique contents need to be published at all times even though the brands are similar.
- Taking care of social media while balancing other duties: As we know most organizations combine social media duties with other duties, so it is sure to be a challenge to marketers as they tend to be distracted by their other obligations.
- Getting needed co-operation from team members: getting your co-workers to participate in your new strategy of social media marketing may be difficult at times due to the fact that some may not like the idea of mixing social and work together.
According to the survey these are the major challenges social media marketers face:
- Measuring ROI- 61.1%
- Acquiring budget and resource for social media marketing – 38.2%
- Following results in centralized dashboard – 27.6%
- Understanding performance across social media channels – 25.2%
- Developing strategy- 25.2%
- Publishing content-17.6%
- Integrating social tools- 13%
- Monitoring competition- 12.6%
Measuring the return on investment has been a problem to marketers, according to the survey 61.1% cited it as their major problem.
Solving this challenge:
Click here to read about Solving the 10 Most Common Social Media Marketing Challenges by Brian Peters. Brian points out that a lot of marketers focus on tactics first, rather than creating a growth process.
Tactics first is putting the cart before the horse. You need a process that will help you build a scalable, predictable, and repeatable growth machine – Brian Balfour
According to social media examiner there are 5 top questions social media marketers want answered, they are:
Tactics: which social tactics deliver best results?
This is one of the major questions marketers are seeking an answer to, up to 92% wishes to know the best tactics to employ due to the fact that the social network is an ever changing platform.
Engagement : what are the best means of engaging my audience with social media?
Trying to figure out how to effectively connect with consumers remains prominent on the list of questions marketers want answered (90%).
Measurement: how do i measure the ROI on my social media marketing?
Up to 86% of active marketers want to find out the means of measuring their return on investment for their social media activities.
Audience: how could i possibly locate my target audience on social media?
Finding great prospects is a major concern for marketers, 86% of marketers are searching for assistance on how to harness the endless benefits of social networks by connecting with the right people.
Tools: what are the best social marketing tools?
Marketers are in need of better tools to make their social media tasks easier. Up to 86% have no idea of the best tools to use.
Though the level of knowledgeability among today’s marketers has continued to increase, this greater sophistication doesn’t imply that its evolution is complete. Marketing programs, as well as social media constantly evolve, the challenge will be for social marketers to discover and understand the relationship of various digital marketing channels, build a common language with other teams, and continue to scale and develop programs.
As the survey asserts, social marketers still find it difficult to measure the ROI of their social media campaigns. By understanding the full impact of social media activity in the buyers journey, social marketers will continue to test and improve their impact on marketing programs all through 2016 and hopefully beyond.