Many Local Businesses Still Underestimate The Benefits Of Social Media

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Many Local Businesses Still Underestimate The Benefits Of Social Media

We have discussed the benefits of social media marketing many times on this blog to emphasize just how powerful social media can be as part of a company’s online marketing strategy. However, the truth is that we probably should be discussing it more due to the startling divide between the average company’s social media policy and the reality of the market.

The Benefits Of Social Media: Recent Study Indicates Many Local Businesses Lag Behind

We’ve been saying for some time that companies who want to be competitive in the new age of media should be actively using social media as part of their online marketing strategy. However, a recent study shows that most companies still underestimate what the benefits of social media marketing can do for them.

According to recent research conducted by Ragan Communications and NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions, less than one-third of companies have employees dedicated solely to social-media tasks. The study noted that “organizations are cautious about dedicating resources to social media, and adding social media to the list of tasks traditionally assigned to communicators.”

The study polled more than 2,700 social-media professionals, revealing that:

  • Only 27% of companies have someone focusing exclusively on social.
  • 65% of companies pile social media tasks on top of other duties.
  • Social media budgets remained flat in 2012, and are unlikely to increase in 2013.   
  • 70% of respondents are either “dissatisfied” or only “somewhat satisfied” with how they measure their social media efforts, compared to a mere 31% who are “satisfied” or “very satisfied.”

Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications explains that this means company communicators today are “…doing events, they’re putting out newsletters, they’re writing press releases, and now they’re handed this task of overseeing Twitter accounts, Facebook and Pinterest pages.”

Running a social media marketing campaign as an afterthought is unlikely to harness the potential of social media as a marketing and communications tool that can drive business.

So why is social media marketing worth a deeper commitment? To answer this we’ll check out the latest social media statistics by Neilson.

Neilson’s 2012 Social Media Report

According to Nielsen and NM Incite’s latest Social Media Report:

  • Consumers continue to spend more time on social networks than on any other category of sites: Approximately 20% of their total time online via PC, and 30% of total time online via mobile. 
  • Total time spent on social media in the U.S. across PCs and mobile devices increased 37% to 121 billion minutes in July 2012, compared to 88 billion in July 2011.
  • The recent proliferation of mobile devices helped fuel the continued growth of social media. Consumers’ time spent with social media on mobile apps and the mobile web has increased 63% in 2012, compared to the same period in 2011.
  • Facebook remains the most-visited social network in the U.S. via PC (152.2 million visitors), mobile apps (78.4 million users) and mobile web (74.3 million visitors), and is multiple times the size of the next largest social site across each platform. 
  • 17% of time spent online via personal computer is on Facebook, making it the top U.S. web brand in terms of time spent.

These figures indicate that consumers are spending more time than ever engaging in social media, and this trend does not figure to reverse itself anytime soon.

The Benefits Of Social Media Are Clear- But How Do You Develop A System?

Realizing the benefits of social media marketing does take effort and expertise, and soon more companies will realize they need to get a handle on how to staff, budget and run their company’s social media efforts. One of the most efficient ways to do this is by leaving it to the experts who know how to maximize return on investment in social media and other aspects of internet marketing.

No matter how you do it, the time is now to take your business’s social media campaign to the next level!

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