3 Shockers From Michael Stelzner’s ‘2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report’

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Man looking shocked, Michael Stelzner’s ‘2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report’ in the background.

3 Shockers From Michael Stelzner’s ‘2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report’

By Ralf Skirr.

I’ve just finished reading the “2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report” and for me 3 facts really stand out on the surprising side.

In case you never heard of it: The “Social Media Marketing Industry Report” is an annual report from SocialMediaExaminer.com on “How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses.”

The “Social Media Marketing Industry Report” answers questions like:

  • What are the top 10 social media questions marketers want answered?
  • How many hours per week do businesses invest in social media marketing?
  • What are the 9 most important results marketers are achieving with their social media efforts?
  • Which social media platforms businesses are using, and how is their usage changing this year?
  • Which is the number 1 social media site people want to learn more about?

And many more…

If you haven’t seen the report yet, go and download. It’s free until April 19.

Download Page: 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

Shocker #1 – Only 40% say they’re getting sales through social media

On a list of 9 benefits of social media marketing, 'improved sales' ranks last. (see page 9)

At the same time, 59% say they’re getting leads from social media.

What’s wrong with that picture?

  • If 19% of businesses are getting leads but no customers, they need to seriously look at their marketing funnel. (59% getting leads, 40% getting customers)
  • If 85% of businesses are aiming at increased exposure, but only 40% get customers, they need to ask themselves: What are we getting from increased exposure?

I believe the culprit here is a lack of goals and strategy, especially with smaller businesses.

They got the idea they need to be on social sites. They opened an account. They started posting.

And from there, things just happen coincidentally. You spend some time daily to visit the sites, post stuff, and interact. You post an occasional promotional link every now and then.

Mh, so who am I to cast the blame?  

Look at my profiles, and you’ll find random, non-strategic social posting is just what I do.

But I find it costs more time than it’s adding in value to my business.

That’s why I have signed up for Mari Smith’s ‘Social Midas Course.’

If you feel you’re putting more work in than you get out (in leads and sales), sign up for Mari’s course, and build  a streamlined, successful social media strategy this month:

http://ibmm.com/mari

Sidenote: Strangely, Mari’s course doesn’t seem to have a social or community component. I’d be happy to have a private discussion, or even a small mastermind group, with anyone who joins the program. Message me through my contact form or through google plus if you're participating at Social Midas.

Shocker #2 – Most businesses leave major marketing channels untapped

How will businesses change their social media marketing and non-social marketing in the future?

The big picture is easy, use of marketing channels falls into 2 groups:

1. Planning to increase use above, or near, 60%

  • Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Google plus, LinkedIn
  • SEO, Email marketing, Event marketing

2. Planning to increase use below, or near, 40% – all of these are also below, or near, 50% of current use. (see page 34 for current use)

These methods are ignored by half or more of all businesses:

  • Photo sharing sites, Forums (big mistake!), Social bookmarking, Geo-location, Daily Deals
  • Online advertising (shocker!), Press releases, Webinars (hey, they sell your products like hotcakes!), Sponsorships
  • And way down: Direct mail, Print ads, Radio ads, Television ads. I agree with that!

(see pages 24-30, and 35-39 for planned increase)

Let me be brief on this one: I know each marketing channel costs time and money – but more channels means more customers.

Re-evaluate for your business at least these 3 channels:

  • Forums in your niche are pre-build communities that deliver you potential customers on a silver platter.
  • Online advertising is the easiest form of marketing where you can measure money spent and money earned. Cut the losers, continue the winners.
  • Webinars build better relationships than ANY other form of marketing, except live events.

Shocker #3 – Most businesses get their priorities wrong.

Here are the platforms businesses are using for social marketing, in order of importance:

  • Facebook  92%
  • Twitter 82%
  • LinkedIn 73%
  • Blogs 61%

(see page 21)

Businesses prioritize Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn higher than their own Blog?

Michael Stelzner’s ‘2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report’

That’s completely upside down.

  • Always remember: Any third party web site can change their rules anytime. (Think Squidoo)
  • Always remember: Any third party site can suspend your account anytime. (Think Google)
  • Always remember: Any third party site can turn loser anytime. (Think MySpace)

You don’t know what happens with other people’s sites in the upcoming years, but you always have full control of your own web site or blog.

Besides, you don’t want to support their business, you want to support yours. And the best way to support yours is to support your own site and blog.

True: short term, getting engagement on Facebook and Twitter is MUCH easier than getting engagement on your own blog.

Also true: long term, you’ll profit more when using social sites to support your own blog, not the other way round.

Using social media to support your blog will put a solid foundation under your own site. It will help with popularity, sustainable Google rankings, and keep your content alive.

In internet marketing, your own web site is the center of the universe!

My takeaways from Michael Stelzner’s ‘2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report’

These are not recommendations taken from the report, but my own thoughts about where businesses can improve, based on the report's statistics.

1. Refine your social media marketing goals and strategy. Putting customer acquisition on top of the list might be a good idea. Exposure in itself is useless. Consider Mari Smith's Social Midas.

2. Evaluate unused marketing channels. Social media marketing is trendy, but there are lots of other profitable channels. Are you missing out on other trends and easy access to customers in your niche?

3. Make your own site more important than any other. Prioritize your own site for content, use social media to support your site.

Do you agree with my ideas? Why is social marketing going wrong for so many businesses? Let me know in your comments.

Ralf Skirr

Ralf Skirr

Owner and Managing Director at DigiStage GmbH
I'm Ralf Skirr, lifestyle entrepreneur, internet business coach, and blogger. Blogging at RalfSkirr.com about business strategies, social media & influence, seo & content marketing trends, and how to be a successful entrepreneur.
Ralf Skirr

@ralfskirr

I help business owners to get more customers and sales from their website, position themselves for higher profits, and build a future proof business strategy.
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  1. Ralf Skirr April 8, 2012 at 3:38 am #

    Today I found another statistic about what businesses are getting from their social media activities:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/expanding-social-presence-can-have-positive-impact-on-business-operations-new-comptia-study-finds-2012-03-19

    In this study only 43% of businesses use social media for lead generation (58% in Michael Stelzner's statistic), sales aren't mentioned.

    I'll cover this topic more indepth in future posts. Wouldn't it be better if you could expect leads and customers from the hours you put into social media?

     

     

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