"An overwhelming majority (88%) of marketers say they are using some form of social media to market their business, though 72% of those using it say they have only been at it a few months or less, according to a social media study by Michael Stelzner, sponsored by the upcoming Social Media Success Summit 2009.
The study found that Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn and Facebook - in that order - are the top four social media tools used by marketers, writes Marketing Charts.
The research also included an analysis of nearly 700 open-ended responses, which revealed the top-three questions marketers are asking about social media:
What are the best tactics to use?
How to do I measure the effectiveness of social media?
Where do I start?
When asked if they used social media for marketing purposes, 88% said they are employing some form of it. Business owners are more likely to use social media marketing (90+%) than employees working for a company that is not their own (81%), and respondents ages 30-39 are most likely to use social media marketing (92.8%), the study found. 72% say they have either just started or have been using social media for a few months.
The survey found that there is a direct relationship between how long marketers have been using social media and their weekly time commitment. For people just beginning, the median weekly time commitment is two hours per week. For those who have been at it for months, the median jumps to 10 hours per week. For those who report social media marketing use for years, the median is 20+ hours each week.
Respondents report that the #1 benefit of social media marketing is gaining attention for the business, and 81% say their social media efforts have generated exposure for their businesses.
Improving traffic and growing marketing lists is the second major benefit, followed by building new partnerships. At least two in three participants found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours a week invested, while those who have been doing this for years reported better results. Owners of small businesses (2 - 100 employees) are more likely than others to report benefits.
More than half of participants say a major benefit is the resultant rise in search engine rankings that often comes with increased efforts.
Though about one in two found social media generated qualified leads, only about one in three said social media marketing helped close business, though this percentage was higher (61.6%) among those who had been using social media for longer periods of time.
By a wide margin, Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn and Facebook are the top four social media tools used by marketers, with Twitter in first place."
Source: Media Buyer Planner