The quest to put a price tag on social media investment

 In Blog

Occasionally some quality information surfaces that’s helpful in pinpointing the impact of social media. We’re moving closer and closer to better measuring the medium that has traditionally been challenging to track. However, according to a recent study, there are still many unanswered questions. 

Social Media Examiner and HubSpot released the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report this month. The 41-page document is packed with statistics and charts surrounding how marketers are using the technology and what’s in store for the future. It’s rich with insight from more than 3,000 professionals.

Some of the top questions we still want to know include how best to show a return of investment, which measurement tools are the most effective and how much is a Facebook fan really worth?

Here’s a summarized version of the report’s major findings:

Significance: 90% of marketers agreed that social media is an important part of their business.

ROI: Learning how to monitor and measure social media’s return of investment and integrate their social media activities are top areas one-third of respondents want to master.

Time commitment: More time is being spent on social media: 58% of marketers are using social media for 6+ hours a week and 34% are investing 11+ hours a week

The rise of video: Video is the top area of investment for 2011 as 77% plan on increasing their use of YouTube and video marketing.

Continuing Ed: 70% are aiming to learn more about Facebook and 69% are shooting to become better versed in blogging.

The benefits: The top three advantages of social media marketing include “generating more business exposure” (reported by 88%), “increased traffic” (72%), “improved search rankings” (62%).

Top tools: According to the study, the top social media tools listed, in order, are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs. Facebook overtook the top spot from Twitter since the 2010 study.

Outsourcing: Just 28% of businesses polled are outsourcing portions of social media.

In addition, marketers are also using social media to enhance traditional marketing methods and 73% of businesses plan to increase social media activity in 2011. In fact, the study found that small businesses can see a benefit in lead generation with just 6 hours of social media investment a week. Staying relevant to the audience is still the goal – content is king.

-The complete report is available here
-We want to know: what pressing social media questions do you want answered?

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