5 Must-Read Social Media Marketing Studies

A lot is happening in the world of social media. Here’s a quick summary of recent major research findings:

#1: By 2010, 26 Million (1 in 7) U.S. Adults Will Use Twitter Monthly

A new study by eMarketer surpasses their previous estimates of Twitter usage. The study, conducted just last month, found the following: “In 2009, there will be 18 million U.S. adults who access Twitter on any platform at least monthly. That represents a 200% increase over 2008 levels. Usage will reach 26 million U.S. adults in 2010, a further 44.4% climb.”

Earlier this year, eMarketer reported more conservative usage numbers, stating that there were indications of large numbers of users abandoning the site shortly after signing up and many others only using it sporadically. However, they recently revised their estimates because “recent data shows healthy—and growing—percentages of U.S. Internet users adopting the popular microblogging platform,” according to eMarketer senior analyst, Paul Verna.

Twitter is not the only social networking site to report record usage numbers. In September, Facebook officially hit the 300 million-user mark, making the social networking site nearly as large as the U.S. population.

#2: Americans Spend 17% of Online Time on Social Media Sites

As popular social media platforms continue to grow their numbers of users, it is logical to conclude that Americans are spending more time on social networking sites. According to a recent study by The Nielsen Company, 17% of the time spent online was at social networking sites (an increase from 6% in August 2008).

Among those paying the most attention to this recent trend are advertisers. Online ad spending increased by 119% to $108 million in August 2009.

#3: In 2010, Over 50% of Marketers Will Be Using Social Media

Marketers are becoming even more aware that social media marketing must be a key component of their media buy strategy. This was recently affirmed in the findings of the “2010 Media Planning Intelligence Study” by the Center for Media Research, which examined the likelihood of marketers including social media in their 2010 marketing plan. Over half (56.3%) of marketers stated that social media would “realistically” be part of that mix.

The top 5 most popular media for the 2010 marketing spend were as follows:

  • Email (56.8%)
  • Social networks (56.3%)
  • Keyword search (49.7%)
  • Radio (42.2%)
  • Magazines (42.1%)

In addition, 57% of media buyers reported they will buy non-traditional media, including online, display video, search, mobile and event sponsorships, while 43% reported they will buy the more traditional media, including TV, print and radio.

#4: Blogs Most Useful Social Media Tool, Say 51% of Businesses

McKinsey Quarterly’s “Global Survey” examined companies’ overall assessment of the value of different social media technologies. As reviewed by eMarketer, “When it came to customer-related benefits, blogs were the most useful tool, bringing measurable benefits to 51% of responding companies worldwide. That was followed by video-sharing and social networking at 48% each, and RSS feeds at 45%.”

In addition to these findings, the top three reported benefits of Web 2.0 marketing included:

  • Increased marketing effectiveness (52%)
  • Higher customer satisfaction (43%)
  • Reduced marketing costs (38%)

#5: 75% of Marketers Plan to Increase Social Media Use in 2010

According to a recent survey by virtual events provider Unisfair, marketers are most focused on attracting and keeping customers in 2010 and they plan to use social media to make this happen. A few interesting factoids from the Unisfair findings:

The 3 leading marketing priorities in 2010 according to U.S. marketers:

  • New customer acquisition (60%)
  • Customer retention and engagement (48%)
  • Thought leadership (45%)

The top 5 marketing tactics U.S. marketers planned to increase in their 2010 marketing mix:

  • Social media (75%)
  • Web search/SEO (51%)
  • Email campaigns (49%)
  • Virtual events (48%)
  • Online advertising (28%)

The study also asked marketers to rank the value of social media platforms. LinkedIn came in on top at 26%, Facebook at 23% and Twitter at 17%.

What are your thoughts? How might these study findings impact your future social media activities? I’d love to hear from you.

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About the Author, Amy Porterfield

Amy is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-In One for Dummies and a social media trainer and speaker. Check out her latest webinar, 7 Simple Strategies to Profit From Facebook. check. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.bestaffiliatefamily.com peterrubel

    I wonder why the percent of marketers NOT planning to use social media in 2010 is as high as it is (100 – 56.3 in Study #3). Reasons must be multiple, but over time I can only suspect an increase in marketers using social media.

  • http://www.bestaffiliatefamily.com peterrubel

    I wonder why the percent of marketers NOT planning to use social media in 2010 is as high as it is (100 – 56.3 in Study #3). Reasons must be multiple, but over time I can only suspect an increase in marketers using social media.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Peter – I think there are still TONs of businesses on the fence with social media. That’s why we put this site together. – Mike

  • http://www.ssandtech.com/component/wpmu/socialmedia JJ Reich

    I’m curious about all the “marketers” discussed above. If their primary focus is “advertising” through social media, they simply don’t understand the concepts of the medium.

    What I would like to see is a little more depth to the questions – not “Are you going to use Social Media?” But instead, “How do you plan on invoking the concepts of Social Media and Social Networking?”

    I

  • Anonymous

    Amy,

    Thanks for all of this great information. I will use it in my work with clients and as the DC Social Media Examiner on Examiner.com

  • Anonymous

    Amy,

    Thanks for all of this great information. I will use it in my work with clients and as the DC Social Media Examiner on Examiner.com

  • http://NaomiTrower.com Naomi Trower

    Hi Amy,
    As a real estate broker, social media has definitely picked up for our already established business. My husband comments all the time, “Honey, I received another lead from your social media efforts, keep them coming!” :) Most companies and business owners still don’t understand it but that is why resources such as these are great. Thanks for providing this resource.

  • Anonymous

    bright future for niche market social networks!

  • Anonymous

    bright future for niche market social networks!

  • http://www.720media.com Taa Dixon

    It’s always nice to have updated statistics like this to refer our social media marketing clients to–thanks for the info.

    - Taa
    http://www.twitter.com/720media

  • http://twitter.com/marketingfails Paul L’Acosta

    Great resource Amy. I enjoy finding a compendium of sources in an organized and complete way like this instead of looking for it on wikiPedia and the other 3 million sites like it. Thank you for this service and making all this data available for us to share with clients and friends. Okay, in two simple words, you Rock!

  • http://twitter.com/moubi Miroslav Nikolov

    I hope blogs will remain important part of the web thee next 10 years:)

  • http://www.saubers.ch/ Philipp

    Interesting numbers and I can confirm, it also seems to be the trend in Europe.
    What I think is, that E-Mail marketing will drop dramaticly within the next few years, as nobody is going to read Mails anymore, if not realy necessary

  • http://www.saubers.ch/ Philipp

    Interesting numbers and I can confirm, it also seems to be the trend in Europe.
    What I think is, that E-Mail marketing will drop dramaticly within the next few years, as nobody is going to read Mails anymore, if not realy necessary

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Philipp – I would not rule out email as a powerful tool that can be integrated into social media campaigns. – Mike

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Philipp – I would not rule out email as a powerful tool that can be integrated into social media campaigns. – Mike

  • http://twitter.com/btilus Brandon Tilus

    Very interesting to see some actual numbers instead of best guesses. Thanks for compiling the info!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com Michael A. Stelzner

    I interviewed the CEO of Technorati. He said that the word blog is blurring, but you will see blogs becoming more important. It will become less obvious whether a site is hosted on a blog platform or not.

  • Anonymous

    Great stats — thanks for compiling! We work with nonprofit organizations, offering a mobile application that integrates with social networking, and the number one objection we hear is, “Does this really work?” It’s been hard to find third-party studies that prove it, but there are now an increasing number.

    I’d love to see mobile applications included in studies like these in the future. One of the greatest advantages to social media is that it’s so accessible to mobile devices — so users can access it anytime and anywhere. Planning ahead for how any given social media effort will work on mobile devices seems a natural fit to me.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Naomi – it’s always great to hear about businesses getting leads through social media… this should help those businesses that are still on the fence about engaging in social media.

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Paul,
    So glad you liked it! I am just like you–I like to see relevant and useful info all in one place to make navigating as easy as possible. With social media practically changing by the minute, I know I will continue to have a steady stream of great info to report and I am looking forward to it! (P.S.: You rock too!)

  • http://www.hpcareer.net Michaela Conley

    There are tons of businesses that are paralyzed by the idea of adding social media into their mix. They are still not convinced that there’s something to all this other than just a lot of noise. This is a great little site.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    I follow what’s happening with social media internationally and, of course, I’m keenly interested in mobile technology hooking up with social networking. This could have great impact in many regions of the world.

    Plus, when those different cultures start using social networking applications on mobile phones, I suspect we’ll see different needs and ideas pop up and this could in turn give us new ideas for social networking “our” end.

    Like you I find it hard to get third party studies… but I’m sure it’s only a question of time.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    I think this is an interesting topic… both of you make great points.

    Just looking at my own inbox, I know that my habits have changed drastically. I really do not have enough time to read all the promotional emails that come in and I always immediately hit the spam button when there is a whiff of a promotional email from someone I don’t recognize.

    And yet there are a few people I follow where I’ll always take a few short seconds to glance through their email no matter how promotional it seems. Those are the ones that have engaged with me elsewhere. But I am very quick to get rid of emails when the sender is off-topic to my expectations in some way.

    Today I only respond to people who use email within a comprehensive social media campaign where they truly engage me outside of email. But when someone does pique my interest outside of email I will always give their first email to me a glance.

    It’s not n easy marketing world out there for email today – but the ones that get it right have a good chance of getting good results.

  • Anonymous

    really good article i will be visiting your blog regularly

  • http://www.facebook.com/CarinGalletta Carin Marine Galletta

    First, let me tell you how awesome your site looks. Secondly, great content. I look forward to reading more or your posts.

  • http://www.salobrenavillas.com/WhoAreWe.htm Salobrena villas

    “1 in 7 will use twitter at least monthly” is this to say at least once a month….? May be it is my lack of enthusiasm for Twitter but to me such a figure seems to lack an understanding of its proper usage … a better figure would be at least daily – facebook’s feed will remain more manageable over a week or a month but to speak in terms of a monthly usage of this channel makes me doubt the usefulness of this statistic. Anyone who is not using twitter once a day is not really using it!

  • http://www.kelsiguidry.com Kelsi Guidry

    I really think blogs will remain a VERY important part of the web.
    Blogs should be the home base to everyone online. Eventually blogs and social profiles will fuse as your “Internet Profile” rather than your social networking profile.
    It may not always look like blogs of today, but a very similar content platform will always be in place.

  • http://www.kelsiguidry.com Kelsi Guidry

    I really think blogs will remain a VERY important part of the web.
    Blogs should be the home base to everyone online. Eventually blogs and social profiles will fuse as your “Internet Profile” rather than your social networking profile.
    It may not always look like blogs of today, but a very similar content platform will always be in place.

  • http://www.designsoftstudios.com/Services/Social-Media-Optimization Social Media Optimization

    Its no doubt that Social media is leading technique at this time for web promotion. But figures disappoint me a lot, Being SEO i must recommend SEO rather than Social Media. These figures makes me think about my techniques related SEO. Thanks for well explained post.

  • Pingback: B2B Web Strategy » More evidence of the growing importance of social media







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