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Report: Social Media Examiner 2016 State of Social Media Marketing

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It can be easy to get caught up in the buzz of new social media marketing platforms and content types (live video ring a bell?). But what are today’s marketers implementing the most and experiencing the most success with? The answers might surprise you.

Social Media Examiner recently released their 2016 State of Social Media Marketing Industry Report which dives into the responses of over 5,000 marketers who share their top priorities, successes, failures and outlooks for social media marketing.  This post will dive into a few of the highlights that I found most interesting from this year’s report.

#1 – Not All Marketers Implementing Social Media Analyze Success & Measure ROI

Social media marketing still seems to hold a mystery for a lot of marketers. Of those surveyed in this report, only 19% strongly agree that they regularly analyze their social media activities. Additionally, only 41% say that they are able to measure the ROI for their social media activities.

In order for marketers to be effective with any aspect of their digital marketing approach, a close eye to the data is essential. By closely watching this information, marketers are better able to adapt and evolve their strategies to meet customer need.

#2 – Some Marketers Are Facing Declines in Website Traffic via Facebook

Social media can be a great source for referring traffic to a brand’s website. But just like those above that are not measuring the ROI of their social media, many aren’t sure if referral traffic from Facebook has declined or not. However, 23% have noticed a decline in traffic in the past 12 months.

#3 – Social Media Marketing is Becoming More Difficult

Social media is a quickly evolving beast. Platforms are constantly changing algorithms, releasing new features and “changing the rules”. That requires marketers to think on their feet and quickly adapt their approach at the drop of a hat. According to this survey, 40% of marketers believe that social media has become increasingly difficult in the past 12 months.

#4 – Many Marketers Are Spending Under 6 Hours a Week on Social Media

A successful social media marketing strategy requires commitment. Building an audience in general, let alone one that is engaged and interacts with your brand takes time, and an ongoing investment of both time and often budget.

However, 37% of marketers are spending a maximum of five hours per week on their social media efforts. That means, at most they are spending 1 hour a day managing their social media accounts.

Today’s customers expect swift responses from the brands they follow and interact with online which would be extremely difficult to master in only 5 hours a week.

#5 – The Top Reported Benefits of Social Media Marketing Might Surprise You

Increased exposure for the business is listed as the top benefit of social media marketing by an 89% of respondents. The other benefits that made the top of the list include:

  • Increased Traffic 75%
  • Developed Loyal Fans 68%
  • Provided Marketplace Insight 666
  • Generated Leads 66%

#6 – The Super 3 Still Reign Supreme

Even with the increasingly popular use of platforms like Snapchat and vine for brands across the globe, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are still the most commonly used social media platforms by marketers. From 2015 to 2016, both Twitter and LinkedIn faced a slight decline while Instagram gained a few points.

#7 – The Outlook for Paid Social Media

Many social networks are increasingly making it more difficult for brands to maintain the organic reach that they used to. That change has required an investment in paid social media to become more of a necessity than a luxury.

An overwhelming 87% of marketers invest their budgets in Facebook ads versus the next platforms coming in at 39% (Google ads), 18% (Twitter ads) and 17% (LinkedIn ads).

#8 – The Difference Between B2B & B2C

One of the biggest contrasts within this report is the importance of different social networks for B2B and B2C marketers. The top three social networks (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) both rank high for both types of marketers, but the order of importance is vastly different.

What Does the Future Hold for Social Media Marketing?

Next year, we may begin to see some of these responses shift as more and more marketers begin adopting the use of platforms like Snapchat and SlideShare. We cannot be certain what the future will hold for social media marketing, but we do know that marketers are finding it to be a value tool for interacting with and engaging their audience. Social media marketing is here to stay.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. |
Report: Social Media Examiner 2016 State of Social Media Marketing | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Report: Social Media Examiner 2016 State of Social Media Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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Social Media Secrets: 5 Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

It's plain to see that B2B marketers, at large, see the value in social media. The latest B2B benchmarking research from CMI and MarketingProfs found that nearly two out of three respondents (61%) increased their usage of social media for content marketing purposes in the previous year. Another new report shows that social content is atop the list of focal areas for B2B marketers in the coming year.

It’s also fair to say, based on various data points and conversations with folks in the biz, that most of us feel we could be doing better with social. The size of the audiences on these platforms make them essential to any digital strategy, but breaking through suppressive algorithms and showing clear ROI is a perpetual challenge for brands.

One pivotal key to excelling with social media marketing is understanding all the tools you have at your disposal. Each platform offers a number of capabilities that seem to be underutilized by marketers who either don’t know they exist, or don’t fully recognize their potential impact.

With this in mind, we’re setting out to highlight some of the most useful yet overlooked features for driving results on social media platforms. Today we're focusing on the channel most pertinent to B2B marketers: LinkedIn*, with its member base of more than half a billion professionals.

Take Notice of These 5 Marketing Tools & Features on LinkedIn

Whether your goal is building brand awareness, generating leads, or boosting conversions, these five fundamental functionalities can provide a big assist if you aren't taking advantage of them already.

#1: Robust (and Now Simplified) Audience Targeting

LinkedIn recently overhauled its Campaign Manager tool (the interface through which marketers build, manage, and measure ads) around an objective-based advertising framework. The basic purpose of this initiative was to make it easier for users to align every element of their campaigns with the overarching objective. One of the slickest improvements to come out of this is the audience setup experience, which is now simpler and more intuitive.

From a B2B marketing perspective, the depth of available professional targeting parameters is by far LinkedIn’s biggest relative advantage compared to other social platforms. Nowhere else can you accurately filter audiences based on facets such as Job Title and Job Seniority. This provides unparalleled ability to reach decision makers and purchase influencers directly.

The revamped interface makes it quicker and more straightforward to select a qualified audience in line with your campaign goals.

[embed]https://youtu.be/AAx60JxxWFg[/embed]

#2: Revamped LinkedIn Analytics

The latest Social Media Marketing Industry Report via Social Media Examiner found more than half of respondents (54%) either uncertain or disagreeing that they are “able to measure the return on investment (ROI) for my organic social media activities.”

This is another area of Campaign Manager that LinkedIn recently spruced up. Given that advertising on this platform tends to be more expensive than other social networks, it’s especially important to ensure you’re getting return on that spend. The new reporting experience makes it easier to see results at a glance, and make optimization tweaks on the fly.

The underlying appeal of LinkedIn’s targeting facets also applies to its reporting mechanism; you can get an aggregated look at who is viewing and engaging with your content (i.e., which companies, which job titles, which experience levels). These insights can help you align your LinkedIn strategy and even your content marketing strategy more generally.

#3: Content Suggestions

Can’t figure out what to share on social media? That’s a common enough challenge. The Content Suggestions tab, found on the top nav bar within LinkedIn Page admin center, offers ample inspiration. It serves up a list of third-party articles your defined audience is engaging with — essentially a readily available stream of targeted, trending content.

Not only does this make it easy for marketers and social media managers to find share-worthy content that’s more likely to resonate with their followings, but it can also fuel employee advocacy efforts.

#4: Website Retargeting

Retargeting is a popular digital marketing tactic, which involves serving ads to people who’ve already encountered your brand. The element of familiarity, plus a concrete demonstration of past interest, tends to drive considerably higher clicks and conversions than standard ads.  

Through its Matched Audiences feature, LinkedIn allows you to place a pixel on your company’s website, then serve ads to people who’ve visited it before, while they’re on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to follow up with someone in a different context. One especially savvy approach is to create customized retargeting creative based on the specific section of your site a person visited (i.e., upper-funnel messaging for someone who went to your “About” page, and lower-funnel for someone who checked out a solution page.)

[embed]https://youtu.be/SgXlOH-1pPk[/embed]

#5: Lead Gen Forms

This might be my favorite marketing tool on LinkedIn, and it definitely seems like one that more B2B brands could be utilizing. Lead Gen Forms are leveraged in combination with various types of ads, enabling your company to collect valuable contact info (and additional data about a prospect) from an individual who downloads something of value with minimal friction.

Unlike most gated-asset forms, which require a user to tediously fill out multiple fields, Lead Gen Forms automatically populate based on the member’s LinkedIn profile data. As such, it takes only a couple of seconds to get through the process. Because you’re attaining a more comprehensive snapshot of people who download, you can better qualify them as leads in comparison with other form-fills that often procure only a name, phone number, and email.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34Xe1E59N6A&feature=youtu.be[/embed]

Step Up Your LinkedIn Marketing Game

LinkedIn can be one of the most valuable components of a holistic B2B marketing strategy. As mentioned earlier, there’s no denying it’s a pricier place to play than most other social networks, but you’re also paying for access to a higher-quality audience. Using the five features above can help you understand, segment, reach, and engage this audience efficiently while closely tracking the impact of your efforts.

Another underutilized tool on LinkedIn is video, which has been a key focus for the platform recently. Learn about all the metrics and specs for video on LinkedIn, as well as every other major social network!

*Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Social Media Secrets: 5 Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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